It’s been an average season for West Ham United, who currently find themselves with only one win in the last seven Premier League games, and their visit to Selhurst Park was to provide no further joy.
Although Manuel Pellegrini’s men found themselves ahead in the first-half after Michail Antonio was wiped out by Palace ‘keeper Vicente Guaita for a penalty, which Mark Noble converted, we were truly convinced that they could sustain their frail lead.
Indeed, it would be Palace’s game from that point on; amassing a total of 25 shots compared to the Hammers’ poultry 6 and dominating both possession and set-pieces in their opponent’s half. And their efforts were finally rewarded in the 76th minute after substitute star Wilfried Zaha knocked home a deflected strike.
Truthfully, it’s hard to select our nominee for the unsung hero of West Ham’s game. Englishman Michail Antonio quite rightfully won Man of the Match for his tireless efforts running up and down the pitch, but barely any of his teammates warrant mention past the halftime point.
Polish goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański is most deserving of our credit, however, following yet another marvellous performance between the sticks.
A barrage of shots rained down on the 33-year-old who has already made a top-flight high of 101 saves this season, and he was in scintillating form again until Zaha’s deflected shot crept past him in the dying stages of the match.
In a post-match interview, he admitted, “[The goal] was frustrating. You never want to let the goals in. It was a bit unlucky from our side, a bit of a deflection. You hope the luck will be with you, but they came out strong second half and it is a fair result. We have to respect the point.” (source: whufc.com).
A great player who has worked wonders for West Ham this season. What a signing he’s been.