Crystal Palace move off the bottom of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over West Ham at Selhurst Park in Tony Pulis’ first home game in charge of the club.
The win, which came courtesy of a goal from Marouane Chamakh in the first half, moves Palace up to 19th, ahead of Sunderland and level on points with Fulham.
Defeat for West Ham leaves them just three points above Palace and level on points with Stoke and Cardiff meaning either side could go above them tomorrow night as the two sides meet at the Brittania.
West Ham dominated the first half, with plenty of possession of the football and had the first chance of the game as Kevin Nolan failed to find a finish after Mark Noble’s clever chipped free kick.
West Ham continued to dominate with young Ravel Morrison looking dangerous and had another chance when Razvan Rat sliced his shot wide.
However, it was Crystal Palace who took the lead as the half drew to a close. Barry Bannan’s corner was blocked but the ball found its way back to the Scottish international who at the second attempt delivered a perfect ball for Chamakh to glance home.
Buoyed by the goal, it was Palace who came out the stronger in the second half and should have put the game to bed. First Jason Puncheon had a great chance, which was blocked behind and from the resulting corner Kagisho Dikgacoi headed wide.
Within a minute Palace went close again, this time Cameron Jerome went one on one but saw his shot save by the impressive Jussi Jääskeläinen.
West Ham then began to exert some pressure of their own and the matches moment of controversy arrived as they had a goal disallowed. Stewart Downing’s strike was ruled out for a foul earlier in the move by James Tomkins although replays show this to be a debatable decision.
West Ham continued to push but it was Crystal Palace who were to have the best chance to score again late on. Jimmy Kebe had two attempts to finish the game, the first one saved and the second, with the goalkeeper still on the floor, blazed over.
Palace held on to secure their third win of the season.
There were ugly scenes at the full time whistle and Ravel Morrison was booked for an apparent push to face of Palace defender Joel Ward. Morrison was very lucky to escape with only a yellow card and credit to Ward who didn’t make a big deal of it.
Man of the Match: Marouane Chamakh. – Chamakh has come under a lot of scrutiny this season but his work rate tonight for Palace was phenomenal. In the first half when Palace lacked possession he chased everything and thoroughly deserved his goal and the standing ovation when he was substituted with five minutes to go.
“We stayed strong and didn’t give them the chances to score and I hope it will be like that every week until the end of the season.” – Chamakh