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  • BY Yann Tear at Selhurst Park

Brave late rally from Eagles not quite enough to undo damage of first-half blitz from Hammers

Crystal Palace (0) 2 Edouard 83, Olise 90

West Ham United (3) 3 Antonio 23, Lanzini 26, 45pen

The Hammers survived a late scare to claim the points, thanks to some clinical finishing, which puts them back up to fifth place in the Premier League table.

Patrick Vieira was back in the dug-out after a Covid time-out but he could not inspire his team to victory as they fell to a second home defeat of the campaign.

There were chances aplenty at both ends, but the Hammers were the ones with the ruthless streak before the break and after Michail Antonio had plundered the opener, Manuel Lanzini scored twice – once with a smart finish, the second from a spot-kick awarded after VAR intervention.

There was little sign of the disappointment to come for home fans early on, with their team starting impressively. Jordan Ayew cut the ball back for Jeffrey Schlupp to clip against a post, Luka Milivojevic sent a free-kick just over and Schlupp was denied at the far post by a fine Ben Johnson block.

But soon the Hammers were on the front foot and causing problems of their own.

Vicente Guaita saved a hook shot from Antonio before patting down Said Benrahma’s header from the rebound and Antonio crossed from the left byline for Benrahma to nod just wide.

The Eagles did not heed the warning. Benrahma swung in a cross from the left and Antonio got ahead of Marc Guehi to prod home past Guaita for his eighth of the season.

Moments later, Rice’s driving run ended with him slipping the ball in for Lanzini to side-step Joachim Andersen before planting a left foot volley into the roof of the net.

Palace were so unlucky not to peg a goal back on the half hour – first when Odsonne Edouard got on the end of a return pass from Ayew to drill a firm shot onto the underside of the bar, then when Christian Benteke turned inside the area to fire at Lukasz Fabianski from close range.

The striker also almost converted a cross from the right from Joel Ward, but it was hit too centrally and Fabianski saved comfortably enough.

But it was just not their half. In the last minute, Lanzini made it three from the spot after VAR alerted ref Darren England to Milivojevic handling on the edge of the area as he cleared a loose ball.

Palace’s woes continued after the break. Ayew’s pace again got him past the last man but Edouard, stretching, could not find the net at the far post. Jean-Philippe Mateta came on and set up Edouard for another punt which flashed off target. Ayew had a shot blocked when he should have scored.

At the other end, Antonio whistled a shot just past an upright but it was Palace who ended with a flourish as they had a good go at a salvage operation.

Edouard finally found the net when he touched home a cross from the right from substitute Michael Olise. Then, Olise swung in an angled free-kick which was missed by everyone before lodging in the far corner of the net.

There was almost a miraculous finale too as a spectacular bicycle kick from Mateta almost rescued an unlikely point for the Eagles - his shot flashing wide. Close, but no cigar.

*Earlier in the day, Spurs beat Watford 1-0 at Vicarage Road with a goal in the sixth minute of injury time from Davinson Sanchez.

It maintained Antonio Conte’s unbeaten league record with the north Londoners, who are sixth in the table – a point behind West Ham but with two games in hand.

Eagles: (4-3-3) Guaita – Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell – Schlupp, Milivojevic (Mateta 60), Hughes (Riedewald 75) – J Ayew, Benteke (Olise 68), Edouard. Subs not used: Butland, Tomkins, Eze, Matthews, Kelly

Hammers: (4-2-3-1) Fabianski – Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Johnson (Masuaku h/t) – Rice, Souckek – Bowen, Lanzini (Noble 89), Benrahma (Vlasic 71) – Antonio. Subs not used: Areola, Yarmolenko, Fredericks, Kral, Oko-Flex, Alese

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