Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham: Wilfried Zaha leads Palace to vital point with last-gasp strike
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 29/10/17 7:55am
Wilfried Zaha gave Crystal Palace a morale-boosting point against West Ham as they came from behind to draw 2-2.
First-half strikes from Javier Hernandez (31) and Andre Ayew (43) were cancelled out by a Luka Milivojevic penalty (50) and Zaha's dramatic last-minute equaliser (90+7) in a fiery contest at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half, but Joe Hart pulled off a string of superb saves before Zaha slotted home to secure Roy Hodgson's men a crucial draw with seconds left on the clock.
The result means Crystal Palace remain bottom on four points, while West Ham move up to 16th.
West Ham: Hart (9), Cresswell (7), Fonte (6), Zabaleta (5), Ogbonna (5), Kouyate (6), Noble (5), Fernandes (6), Lanzini (6), Ayew (7), Hernandez (7)
Subs: Masuaku (6), Rice (5), Antonio (5)
C Palace: Speroni (6), Ward (5), van Aanholt (N/A), Tomkins (6), Dann (6), Milivojevic (6), Cabaye (7), Loftus-Cheek (6), Schlupp (6), Townsend (7), Zaha (8)
Subs: Fosu-Mensah (6), Sako (6)
Man of the Match: Joe Hart
After a very slow beginning to the match with both sides tentative when attacking, the first real sign of action was in the 29th minute when Zaha tumbled in the box, but referee Bobby Madley waved away any protests. Following the incident came a West Ham counter-attack which Hernandez finished off as he slotted in Aaron Cresswell's low cross from close range.
Moments later, Joe Hart pulled off an incredible double save. First, he denied Tomkins's header with a stunning reflex stop before he unintentionally batted away Jeffrey Schlupp's point-blank strike with his shoulder.
With Palace looking sloppy going forward, it was perhaps no surprise that West Ham's second goal came from a poor giveaway by Milivojevic in central midfield. Ayew was given the licence to go on a fine individual run before he smashed the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.
James McArthur lost his race to be fit in time as Ruben Loftus-Cheek took his place in midfield.
For West Ham, Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Jose Fonte and Chicharito all came in for Adrian, Declan Rice, Andy Carroll and Sam Byram.
Crystal Palace responded brightly in the second half and were back in the game five minutes in after Andros Townsend was bundled over in the box by Angelo Ogbonna. Milivojevic converted the penalty straight down the centre of the goal to provide Palace some much-needed momentum.
Yohan Cabaye so nearly found the equaliser for Palace minutes later but his venomous drive from outside the box beat Hart, but clattered off the inside of the post and out. Palace continued to dominate in the second half but Joe Hart was proving hard to beat. In the 77th minute, he superbly pushed away Zaha's fierce strike shortly before he dived across goal to keep out Cabaye's free-kick.
In the 90th minute, Hart tipped James Tomkins' header onto the bar but Palace would get their equaliser in the 97th minute. Zaha engineered space in the box to beat Cheikhou Kouyate, before firing a shot through substitute Damian Rice's legs into the bottom corner to hand Palace what could be a vital point at the end of the season.
Man of the match - Joe Hart
Joe Hart had his best match in a West Ham shirt. He pulled off two superb saves in quick succession in the opening 45 minutes before denying Zaha twice, Cabaye and Tomkins in the second half.
Hart will feel hard done by to concede so late on to the Ivory Coast international, but he put on a display to be proud of and arguably justified Slaven Bilic's decision to start ahead of Adrian.
The pundit - Phil Thompson
"Crystal Palace thoroughly deserved it, as poor as they were in the first half they were as good in the second.
"Joe Hart dispelled whatever people have been saying about him because he was absolutely terrific, on his own he kept Palace out.
"It was such a good atmosphere in this ground and the home fans were sucking the ball in the second half and they thoroughly deserved it because they gave it a right good go."
West Ham are unbeaten in the Premier League versus Crystal Palace under Slaven Bilic (W3 D2 L0).
Wilfried Zaha's goal (96:06) was the second latest goal scored in the Premier League this season, after Raheem Sterling's winner at Bournemouth in August (96:34).
All 41 of Javier Hernandez's Premier League goals have been scored from inside the box; only Tim Cahill (56/56) has a higher 100% record.
Crystal Palace are one of just four teams in the big five European leagues yet to keep a clean sheet this season (also Benevento, Malaga and Dijon).
Crystal Palace face a tough away trip to Tottenham Hotspur for next weekend's Super Sunday. West Ham, meanwhile, next play Liverpool on Saturday evening.