West Ham 1-1 Palace
Crystal Palace and West Ham played out a dire affair at the Tax Payers Stadium on Tuesday night. Christian Benteke found the net for only the second time this season to give the visitors the lead in the 24th minute, heading home an Andros Townsend cross.
The hosts levelled two minutes before the break as Mark Nobel converted a Javier Hernandez “won” penalty. Calling Hernandez a diver might be a bit strong in this scenario, but he did hang his foot and wait for contact and he did go down like he’d been hit by a car despite James Tomkins merely brushing his foot. No wait, that IS diving!
Wayne Hennessey and Adrian were both forced into smart saves in the second half, but neither team looked like the possessed the ability to find a winner on the night.
Do we have bad karma? One player comes back only for another to go out long term. The tackle that injured Bakary Sako was a not even a foul according to Neil Swarbrick. Pablo Zabaleta won the ball, but he jumped in studs up and with excessive force. This is not the “good old days”. This is a foul and potentially a red card.
All the initial reports are suggesting that Sako will be out for some time. The best we can hope for here is that it triggers further movement on transfer deadline day.
Talking of the referee, my word was he biased to West Ham on the night. Zaha roasted Byram three times and was fouled, twice when heading towards the byline/penalty area. All three of them were yellow cards, but he was only booked for the third one. Meanwhile, one foul and Luka was in the book, one foul and Tomkins was in the book.
Then he booked Townsend for diving after the winger sought out contact. I do not condone that from Andros, but it is infuriating when we have all witnessed Hernandez do the same thing in the penalty area, winning a penalty that has cost us two points.
Man of the Match: James Tomkins
He gave away the penalty, but if players are going to cheat, there is not much that he can do about that. His tackle to deny Hernandez in the first half was incredible and he was everywhere all night stopping his former Club.
Up Next: Newcastle
This has to be seen as a good opportunity to get back to winning ways. We’re a far better side at Selhurst under Hodgson and a win here would take us to within three wins of safety.
Come on you Palace!