West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace: Mark Noble penalty earns hosts point
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 30/01/18 11:10pm
Mark Noble's 50th goal for West Ham earned his side point in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at London Stadium on Tuesday night.
Palace had taken the lead through Christian Benteke in the 24th minute - just the Belgium international's second league goal of the season - before Noble equalised from the penalty spot two minutes before half time.
Javier Hernandez had a glorious chance to turn the match on its head in the 51st minute, but his header was too close to Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal. With suspensions and injuries limiting manager David Moyes' options, the hosts seemed to run out of steam in the second half.
Nonetheless, the result extends West Ham's unbeaten league run to six, moving them into the top half of the table, while Palace climb to 12th, three points clear of the relegation zone.
West Ham: Adrian (7), Cresswell (6), Zabaleta (6), Byram (6), Rice (7), Collins (6), Kouyate (6), Noble (6), Joao Mario (7), Ogbonna (6), Hernandez (7).
Subs: Oxford (N/A).
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (7), van Aanholt (6), Tomkins (6), Fosu-Mensah (6), Kelly (6), Milivojevic (6), Bakary Sako (5), McArthur (5), Townsend (7), Zaha (7), Benteke (6).
Subs: Cabaye (6)
Man of the match: Joao Mario
Despite being forced to make so many changes to their starting line up, it was West Ham who started on the front foot, and could have been in front early on through newboy Joao Mario on his first West Ham start, but the Portugal international volleyed wide from a good position.
Hernandez was then denied by a fine tackle by James Tomkins just as he was about to pull the trigger, before Palace countered to open the scoring.
Andros Townsend threw the stepover on this return to the side, darted into the box, before clipping the perfect cross into the middle for Benteke to head home from close range.
The hosts responded well, and were level just before the interval through Noble from the spot. Tomkins - up against his former club - felled Hernandez in the box after good work from Joao Mario, gifting Noble the chance to equalise, which he coolly converted.
Hernandez then had a great chance to turn the match on its head just six minutes into the second half, and should his header have been a yard either side of Hennessey, he would have found the net. The Wales international 'keeper's save was acrobatic, but he shouldn't have been allowed to get there.
The rest of the half was a rather languid affair, with neither side really creating any openings of note as the rain came down in the capital. A draw was a fair result.
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West Ham are unbeaten in their last six Premier League encounters with Crystal Palace (W3 D3), with both games ending level this season.
Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 13 Premier League London derbies away from home - last recording a shutout in December 2014 against QPR.
The Hammers are unbeaten in their last six Premier League outings (W2 D4), their longest run without a defeat since April 2016 (10 games unbeaten).
Since losing their first London derby of the season against Tottenham, West Ham have remained unbeaten in the next five (W1 D5), the Hammers' longest unbeaten streak since November 2005 (five games unbeaten).
Mark Noble is the 11th player to score 20+ penalties in the Premier League.
The pundit - Phil Thompson
Palace probably missed an opportunity with the injuries West Ham have got. West Ham will be happy with a point out of this and a 1-1 draw was probably about the right thing. Benteke got the opener for Palace, but him and Zaha were poor tonight. It's so tight down there and the bottom half has been squeezed up after Swansea's result - but I think both of these teams should be alright.
Man of the match - Joao Mario
It is fair to say that it did not work out for Joao Mario at Inter Milan, so trying to resurrect your career at a Premier League side fighting at the other end of the table is difficult. The quality of his play, at times, at London Stadium showed why Moyes was so keen to bring the Portuguese in.
His pass that led to West Ham winning a penalty was exquisite, as he enticed the entire Palace backline out before threading it through for Hernandez. Palace weren't shy in making challenge, but the West Ham newboy kept getting up and coming again.
West Ham face a trip to Brighton on Saturday, while Palace have a home clash with Newcastle on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports.