WEST HAM’S winning run at the London Stadium came crashing down in spectacular fashion against Crystal Palace.
The Hammers had won six in a row in all competitions at home before this one, and were on course for a seventh after Said Benrahma’s brilliant 20th minute opener.
Wilfried Zaha levelled the scoringCredit: Reuters
Declan Rice gave England a world cup scareCredit: PA
But Wilfried Zaha equalised just before half time, and Michael Olise’s deflected effort in second half stoppage time won it at the death.
It came after referee Paul Tierney overturned his own decision to award West Ham a 78th minute penalty, the monitor showing Michail Antonio threw himself to the ground from little contact. It would hardly have been deserving after this woeful display.
David Moyes’ side simply cannot grasp a moment to gain some momentum, winning just one of their last five, spending all but one game week outside the top ten so far.
Moyes will be particularly concerned by the London Stadium’s deafening reactions to his substitutions in the 64th minute.
The decision to take off Benrahma – arguably their best player on the pitch – for Manuel Lanzini was met with loud boos followed by the chanting of support for the Algerian.
Bringing off Tomas Soucek for Flynn Downes then brought a chorus of sarcastic cheers, pointing to the fans’ annoyance at Moyes’ recent persistence with a below par Soucek.
There was at least some brief positivity pre-match as Lucas Paqueta returned to the midfield after a three-game absence in the Prem.
The Brazilian’s link-up with Gianluca Scamacca since his arrival has brought some promise, with Paqueta teeing up the Italian striker’s last league goal last month.
Yet Palace’s impressive start – searching for their first away league victory since April – pinned back the hosts and forced mistake after mistake at the back.
A blow in the form of an injury to Odsonne Edouard meant Jordan Ayew started in his place, but their attack still flowed with a freedom Patrick Vieira has instilled from day one.
Eberechi Eze tested fit-again Lukasz Fabianski from a free-kick before scuffing a shot from Nathaniel Clyne’s pull-back.
Moyes was doing his best Jurgen Klopp impression on the touchline, donning a cap and coat, but threw off both of them after his side’s woeful start.
Benrahma’s strike then came out of nowhere, picking up a pass from Paqueta, taking a touch with little pressure on him and picking out the top corner.
A decent way to celebrate your 100th game for the club – not that his teammates went on to take control of the game.
Instead, further sloppiness at the back cost them the lead, Craig Dawson’s overhit pass forcing Thilo Kehrer to take a heavy touch and Eze nipped in to feed Zaha.
The in-form Eagles star shrugged off Dawson and fizzed his shot past Fabianski. His sixth goal in 12 Prem outings at a crucial time.
Moyes reacted by hauling off Scamacca and bringing on Antonio for the second half for an immediate impact that never came.
Dawson had to be switched on to deny Zaha being put in on goal before a poor Eze touch wasted an opportunity to have a shot from a tight angle.
Antonio finally produced some magic with 12 minute left, dancing past Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi before clattering into Vincete Guaita claiming to have been pulled down.
Tierney pointed to the spot, only to be referred to the monitor, and we all know what happens after that.
To rub salt into the wounds, Olise broke down the right with seconds remaining, cut inside and saw his curler nick off Aaron Cresswell and loop into Fabianski’s far corner.