West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace: Red card controversy costs Hammers

  • Kouyate sent off
  • Hammers went 2-1 up
  • Payet scored stunning FK
  • Palace still without a win in 2016

10-man West Ham United lost ground in their race for a top four finish after drawing 2-2 against Crystal Palace at Upton Park on Saturday.

Palace took the lead through Damien Delaney but goals from Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet put the Hammers 2-1 up at half time.

Cheikhou Kouyate was then sent off midway through the second half, controversially, and Palace took full advantage as substitute Dwight Gayle equalized.

West Ham move to 51 points for the season, while Palace move to 34.

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Palace took the lead as a free kick from the right found its way to Delaney at the back post as Adrian tipped the ball into his path and the Irish defender nodded home. 1-0.

Their lead lasted for just three minutes as West Ham piled on the pressure and Diafra Sakho nodded down for Lanzini who scored his seventh goal of the season. 1-1.

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Dimitri Payet then forced Wayne Hennessey into a save down low which he held, and the Hammers continued to press Palace back into their own half.

Jason Puncheon missed a great chance for Palace to retake the lead before half time but he kneed an effort over the bar from close range.

Then Sakho headed wide at the back post under pressure but Payet arrived right on time to put West Ham ahead. Stepping up to take a free kick 25-yards out, Payet bent it into the far corner and sent Upton Park wild. 2-1 to the Hammers.

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In the second half West Ham were comfortable enough but Palace looked increasingly likely to equalize and Bolasie had a shot cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell after Adrian raced out to block.

Moments later a huge moment of controversy arrived as West Ham went down to 10-men. A loose ball in midfield say Dwight Gayle and Kouyate go in for a challenge and the latter won the ball by referee Mark Clattenberg believed he had gone in over the top and gave him a straight red card. The West Ham players and fans were in disbelief.

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Palace pushed hard for the equalizer late on as Yannick Bolasie‘s cross was shanked wide at the back post by Sako. With 15 minutes to go the equalizer arrived as Papa Souare’s cross from the right was half cleared by Angelo Ogbonna and it hit Winston Reid and fell to Gayle who slotted home. 2-2.

The away side pushed hard for a winner but it didn’t arrive as both teams had to settle for a point.