|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Crystal Palace frustrate West Ham after Cheikhou Kouyate’s red card
Jacob Steinberg at Upton Park
Date Published Saturday 2 April 2016 17.17 BST
In unhappier times, the boos that greeted the final whistle might have been directed at the man in the home dugout. Yet West Ham United’s supporters were aiming their anger at Mark Clattenburg after he sent off Cheikhou Kouyaté midway through the second half. Slaven Bilic was engaged in a long, heated debate with the official as they made their way down the tunnel at the end of a thrillingly feisty London derby and even Alan Pardew thought that it was a harsh red card, not that his magnanimity did anything to soothe West Ham’s fury.
Crystal Palace, playing with enough verve and ambition to suggest that they are more than capable of putting relegation worries to bed in the coming weeks, were level thanks to a moment of opportunism from Dwight Gayle within eight minutes of Kouyaté’s departure and West Ham’s frustration was exacerbated by the knowledge that their push for Champions League qualification has been compromised by dropping four points in their past two matches after debatable refereeing calls.
Three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, West Ham will drop to sixth if Manchester United beat Everton this afternoon. Bilic said: “If you want to write about it, write about it. I can’t say a lot.” While the Croatian had cooled down by the time he emerged from the dressing room, West Ham’s manager was adamant that Clattenburg had called it incorrectly when Kouyaté caught Gayle with a high challenge, although he was probably pushing it by claiming that the Senegalese midfielder did not even deserve a yellow card.
It had looked like the latest exhibition of Dimitri Payet’s set-piece brilliance, a stunning free-kick that swung and swirled away from Wayne Hennessey, was going to keep West Ham within a point of City. Yet Gayle hauled Palace level with 15 minutes remaining, capitalising on a mix-up between Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid, and the hosts had to defend stoutly to earn a share of the spoils during an edgy finale, with Adrián required to make an excellent save from Jason Puncheon in the 93rd minute.
Under the circumstances, West Ham had to be satisfied with a 2-2 draw considering how open the game became as it wore on. Palace were vibrant in the second half, even before it became 10 against 11, and Pardew’s decision to replace Wilfried Zaha with Gayle and move Yannick Bolasie back to the wings during the break proved inspired. Pardew was right to say that Palace had some of their old verve back and the only disappointment for Palace, seven points above the bottom three, was that they were unable to score the third goal that would have brought them their first win in 14 matches despite some concerted late pressure.
Palace host Norwich City next week, and Pardew said: “I certainly think with our goal difference 38 points will be enough but you can’t legislate for a late run and the Premier League has a history of that.”
Palace’s manager had held a meeting with his players on Friday night, warning them not to underestimate the severity of the situation, and the visitors took the lead after 15 minutes when Adrián clawed Bakary Sako’s inswinging free-kick back into the middle to present Damien Delaney with the simplest of headed chances.
Without Yohan Cabaye’s guile in midfield and the physicality of Emmanuel Adebayor up front, Palace had looked to play on the break, with Bolasie leading the line. Yet their lead lasted for just three minutes, an attempted clearance from Scott Dann falling to Manuel Lanzini, who lashed the ball past Hennessey and into the net.
Pardew had warned his players not to commit any stupid fouls in Payet territory and Palace were eventually shown why it is such a bad idea to let the Frenchman, the scorer of a brilliant free-kick in his country’s win over Russia last Tuesday, set the ball down within shooting distance and work out the angles when Joel Ward brought down West Ham’s biggest creative threat four minutes before the break.
Payet had already had one sighter but this one was only a couple of yards outside the area, a little to the left of the D, and instead of going for whip and curl, he demonstrated his versatility by opting for power, swerve and dip. Hennessey was rooted to the spot as the ball flew high to his left. “I was expecting him to try to bend it over the wall,” Bilic said. But his smile could not hide his disappointment.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE FROM THE MATCH AT UPTON PARK
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian 5; Antonio 7, Reid 6, Ogbonna 5.5, Cresswell 6.5; Kouyate 6, Noble 7 (Obiang 80); Emenike 6 (Carroll 60, 6), Lanzini 7, Payet 8; Sakho 5.5 (Valencia 69, 6)
Subs not used: Randolph, Song, Tomkins, Moses
Booked: Reid, Noble
Sent off: Kouyate
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Hennessey 5; Ward 6, Dann 5, Delaney 6.5, Souare 7.5; Jedinak 6, Ledley 6 (Campbell 70, 6); Zaha 5.5 (Gayle 46, 7), Puncheon 5.5, Sako 6.5; Bolasie 6
Subs not used: Mariappa, McCarthy, Lee, Mutch, Kelly
Booked: Ward, Sako
Referee: Mark Clattenburg 5
MOM: Dimitri Payet