Tony Pulis grabs first three points as Crystal Palace beat West Ham
PUBLISHED: 09:53 04 December 2013 | UPDATED: 09:53 04 December 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tony Pulis grabbed his first three points as Crystal Palace boss last night, as The Eagles snatched a 1-0 win over West Ham.
Ex-Hammer Marouane Chamakh scored the only goal in the game at Selhurst Park, which lifted Palace from bottom of the Premier League table and on to level points with Fulham.
New boss Pulis named an unchanged side after Saturday’s narrow loss at Norwich, which provided a stable base for a calm opening to the game for the home side.
Both sides offered little until the 15 minute mark, when Jason Puncheon forced Jussi Jaaskelainen to save a low drive from 25-yards.
It was in the 42nd minute that the decisive goal came, as Joel Ward’s speculative 30-yard free kick was deflected for a corner.
Barry Bannan’s cross was half-cleared back to him on the right, and his return ball found the rising head of Chamakh in the six-yard box. He managed to direct a faint header beyond Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan on the far post.
Spirits were high, and the second half saw Palace come out of the dressing room with all guns blazing. Puncheon again proving a threat as his effort was deflected off the sliding James Collins and tipped past the post by Jaaskelainen for a corner.
With West Ham in total disarray, Kagisho Dikgacoi nodded Bannan’s consequent cross over the top and then, just seconds later, Cameron Jerome broke clear but the advancing Jaaskelainen denied the Palace striker with a brave stop to keep his side in the contest.
With the game slipping away, West Ham brought on Joe Cole and striker Maiga to replace Nolan and Carlton Cole - however, they made little impact.
At 15 minutes remaining, Stewart Downing threatened the goal - but Julian Speroni was more than grateful to gather the ball into his chest from the former Liverpool man’s free kick.
The win puts Palace into 19th place, but was somewhat marred events after full-time when sparkling midfielder Ravel Morrison was booked for a scuffle with Ward.
Crystal Palace host fellow new boys Cardiff on Saturday, who sit just three points above The Eagles in 17th.
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