Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United
The first game back after the recent international break was a tough trip across the capital to Selhurst Park to face an in form Crystal Palace team, managed by former hammers manager Alan Pardew.
This game was a chance to continue our unbeaten away record, not only did we make it 5 game without losing away from the Boleyn ground, but this also became our 6th game home and away without losing, pushing us into third place for the time being at least.
Even with Crystal Palace playing with 10 men for the second half, this is still a game that we should be proud off. Tough place to go and win like we have, sometimes teams find it hard to break down a 10 man team. But to be fair to Palace they didn’t sit back on the 1-1 draw which maybe in the end helped to get the result we ended with. But with that being said we didn’t panic and controlled the game well, passed the ball around a created several chances throughout the second half.
The substitutions made by Slaven Bilic were good and all played a part in the two late goals we scored, with Carroll, Jelavic and Zarate all being involved in the goal that put us 2-1 up. This is a massive advantage for any team to have, it gives the manager the ability to change a game as we have seen on a few occasions this season.
In terms of individual performances, Payet just keeps on getting better and better. Another all round game from him topped off with a neat run finished off by a calm chip over the help Palace goalkeeper to seal the impressive away win.
One other player that I felt played well was James Collins who was called in to replace the injured Winston Reid, even with little game time behind he looked as if he had played every game so far with a confident and strong performance. As always he gave his full for the team, blocking shots and chasing down the pacey forward that Crystal Palace posses.
There weren’t many bad things about West Ham’s game on Saturday, however something that has hindered us many times already this season is our defence. And yet again we had a poor moment, less than 5 minutes after we scored to make it 1-0, we lost our concerntraion and gave away a silly penalty that was converted by their French star Yohan Cabaye.
A couple of other points to make from the game is that this now means we have still kept up the record of scoring at least a goal in every game we have played this season which puts us as the second highest scoring team in the league. One last thing to point out is that one characteristic that is great to have instilled in the team is to play until the very end and don’t relax for a moment, this most certainly helped us in this game.
Man of the match
For me there is only one candidate for man of the match, that player is Manuel Lanzini. He scored 1 goal and got 1 assist and in general was involved heavily in the game, showed great energy and skill throughout the game. He really has been a brilliant coup from Bilic who has tried to sign him at previous clubs.
Another good away day for the Hammers, a tough game at home Vs struggling Chelsea is up next, definitely a game there for the taking. The Boleyn will certainly be up for the game with the fans loyal and passionate support yet again.