|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Manuel Lanzini scores for West Ham against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
Barry Glendenning at Selhurst Park for the Observer
Date Published Saturday 17 October 2015 17.24 BST
West Ham United’s surprising away form shows no sign of abating as late, late goals from Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet helped add another scalp to an already impressive high-profile collection. Here they enjoyed the luxury of an extra man for the entire second half after the referee, Mark Clattenburg, dismissed Dwight Gayle just before the interval. “Don’t ask me about the ref,” said the Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew.
Predicting the outcome of a superb ding-dong between two in-form sides may have been a tough ask, but Gayle’s dismissal was not difficult to see coming. The Palace striker was in curiously spiky form, repeatedly moaning at Clattenburg, getting in pointless tussles and generally making a nuisance of himself in ways that only sometimes benefited his team. Once he had received his first yellow card, for flying in on Payet, it seemed a matter of when, rather than if, the second would come.
This contest began rich with the promise of intriguing sub-plots: Pardew hosting a club that had sacked him and Payet going toe to toe with Yohan Cabaye in what promised to be a fascinating battle of Gallic flair. One of Europe’s current stand-out creators, Payet was distraught at being overlooked by the France manager, Didier Deschamps, during the recent international break, and arrived here fully rested and eager to add to his staggering tally of goals and assists. He could have done so in the opening minute, stretching every sinew but coming up just short to poke a low cross from Lanzini wide.
Palace dominated the early stages, but it was West Ham who drew first blood, Payet again at the heart of matters as he expertly found Victor Moses outside the penalty area. Spotting Carl Jenkinson steal in around Wilfried Zaha in the left-back position, the winger’s pass was inch-perfect and the full-back dispatched a low drive into the corner of the net.
His celebrations were abruptly curtailed as Palace restored parity almost from the kick-off, Jenkinson again in the spotlight as he took out Gayle just inside the Palace area. Cabaye’s retake to the top corner was nerveless after his first effort was disallowed for encroachment by the young man whose ongoing silliness would soon lead to an early exit.
Gayle’s second booking duly arrived just before the break, his impetuousness again getting the better of him as he fractionally mistimed a lunge on Cheikhou Kouyaté. This weird, ongoing aggression ruined an otherwise good performance from a player who can have no real grumbles about his fate.
“Maybe the penalty incident was compounded on the second challenge,” said Pardew, who felt Clattenburg could have been more lenient. “Maybe the referee was frustrated with him. Maybe. That’s something I’ll look at and maybe speak to Dwight about.”
After an action and incident-packed first half, the second was open but comparatively mundane, bringing with it Bakary Sako – on in place of Zaha in Pardew’s half-time reshuffle – and the ongoing reintegration into football society of West Ham striker Andy Carroll. In the 88th minute, it was he who climbed highest at the far post to expertly knock down a cross from Mauro Zárate and, when the pair’s fellow substitute Nikica Jelavic failed to scramble the ball home from six yards out, Lanzini popped up with a bullet from close range.
Game almost over, but as ever-resilient Palace piled forward in search of an unlikely equaliser, it was not hugely surprising that the last word went to Payet. His deft chip over the onrushing Wayne Hennessey was worthy of the self-congratulatory salute that followed it at the corner flag.