Christian Benteke scored but was then sent off as Crystal Palace survived playing 20 minutes with 10-men in a 1-1 draw with West Ham.
The rejuvenated Palace striker scored his third goal in his last three games (34) when connecting with Joel Ward's cross as the visitors looked set to burst West Ham's bubble after four wins in their last five matches.
Roy Hodgson's side are a tough team to peg back once in front and it required a moment of brilliance from Sebastien Haller (55) to draw West Ham level as he thumped home an overhead kick that nearly took the net off.
- How the teams lined up | Match stats
- Premier League table | Fixtures | Results
- Hodgson furious after 'ludicrous' Benteke red card
Benteke then went from hero to villain when picking up a second yellow card for an elbow on Tomas Soucek.
A win would have taken West Ham above Manchester City and Chelsea into fifth but they rarely carried the required quality to seriously put Hodgson's men under significant pressure.
West Ham: Fabianski (7), Diop (5), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (6), Coufal (7), Rice (8), Soucek (7), Fornals (6), Benrahma (6), Bowen (6), Haller (7)
Subs: Lanzini (6), Snodgrass (6), Yarmolenko (6)
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (8), Van Aanholt (7), Dann (7), Kouyate (7), McArthur (7), Townsend (7), Milivojevic (6), Eze (7), Zaha (6), Benteke (6)
Subs: Ayew (6), Schlupp (6)
Man of the match: Declan Rice
How an eventual night for Benteke didn't cost Palace...
Both teams started with great energy, fresh from good results at the weekend. Benteke had the first of his five shots in the first half on 14 minutes when nodding a Ward cross wide from 10 yards out.
The Hammers hit back down the right as Vladimir Coufal whipped one in on a plate for Pablo Fornals but his header skewed wide of the post.
The service from wide always looked capable of troubling the Hammers and it was Ward again down the right who provided the service for Benteke - this time he took it. A cross from deep was seized upon by the striker, who directed a powerful header into the ground and past Lukas Fabianski.
Palace sensed their chance to take the game away from the hosts and Andros Townsend made a sensational break down the right but his tidy work wasn't matched by Benteke, who tried an extravagant backheel from five yards that dropped tamely into Fabianski's hands.
There wasn't much of a response from the Hammers after the break as Hodgson's side looked well drilled in their shape and Haller was offering little threat through the middle.
That all changed on 55 minutes when he scored an absolute screamer.
Coufal provided the width from the right and his decent cross was made into a great one by Haller, who produced a spectacular overhead kick that flew into the top corner.
The match reverted into a cagey affair following the leveller but sprung back into life on 70 minutes when Benteke was given his marching orders for a second booking. Already booked for an elbow on Angelo Ogbonna, Benteke once again used his arm for leverage but caught Soucek in the chin and David Coote was quickly on the scene to brandish a second yellow.
The Hammers huffed and puffed against the 10 men but lacked the creative nous to move the Palace back four from their deep defensive line. Declan Rice came the closest to stealing the points but his 25-yard curling effort clipped the crossbar as Palace left with a deserved point.
Man of the match: Declan Rice
It's easy to forget that Declan Rice is still only 21. He plays like a man who has been around the block at the top level for many years and carries the West Ham armband with such confidence. Yet again he was the outstanding performer for the Hammers.
No player on the pitch made more passes than him (74) with everything positive West Ham did coming via his ability to move the ball quickly into his more attack-minded teammates, all achieved with a passing accuracy of 93.2 per cent. He has an ability to turn 50-50 challenges into 75-25 ones in his favour such is his timing and aggression in the tackle.
It was a performance that would have merited a winning goal but his curling effort from 25 yards clipped the bar in the closing stages. He's a frightening prospect for club and country.
What the managers said
West Ham boss David Moyes said: "I wasn't that surprised by Seb's goal, he has an incredible ability and technique.
"I think one of the first goals he scored for me was a scissor kick, but it's the tap-ins I want to see him score as well.
"We need him to be a big part. We're missing Michail Antonio and we need someone to come up with the goods, and we got a wonder-goal from him."
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson on Benteke's red card: "It was a ludicrous decision.
"He only tried to use his arm for leverage and honestly win the ball. It's always likely to happen if both players are trying to win it.
"It's odd to sit here and say these things as if you're some monster who wants everything to go his way.
"Decisions like that ruin games of football.
"I'm bitterly disappointed to see Benteke sent off for two honest challenges.
"Most importantly, it's a question of analysis and assessment of game situation - there's no guarantee that another referee will have a different assessment - but David Moyes and I agreed that there has to be some possibility of arms brushing people's faces in aerial challenges.
"I can't fathom his two yellow cards."
- Two of the last three occasions that a player has both scored and been sent off in a Premier League game have been Crystal Palace players - Benteke today and Wilfried Zaha against Southampton in January 2019.
- Crystal Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 12 Premier League matches, their worst run since a 14-game stretch between May and November 2017.
- Benteke has scored 28 headed goals in the Premier League, second only to Olivier Giroud (31) since his debut campaign in 2012-13.
- Benteke has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances, as many as he managed in his previous 48 matches in the competition.
West Ham have a London derby with Chelsea, who have lost their last two league games, on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, Palace welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime.