Sebastien Haller gave West Ham a lead, but the loss keeps Manuel Pellegrini‘s side from entering the Top Four. The Irons have 12 points and sit 7th.
Three things we learned
1. Guaita keeps it even early: That blonde-shock of hair in the golden shirt made two incredible saves on Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson in the first half-hour, and the Spaniard has performed as a top half goalkeeper according to most metrics. Saturday was no different.
2. Team goal gives West Ham its lead: West Ham’s opener had the fingerprints of Manuel Pellegrini all over it. Anderson blazed down the left side, and both Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini passed up chances to force a shot or cross until the ball got wide for square pass for a lunging Haller to poke home. Beautiful stuff.
3. VAR gives Ayew the winner: A lengthier than usual review added drama to Ayew’s winner, which was initially reviewed offside. Man was it close again, but Ayew was in the right spot when Gary Cahill nodded a free kick to the edge of the six.
Man of the Match: Fredericks — Sent the ball to Haller for the goal in addition to a point-blank goal line clearance.
Two London clubs are eyeing three points which could take them into the rarefied air of the Top Four when West Ham United hosts Crystal Palace at the London Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
Matchweek 8 in the Premier League continues with a top-ten matchup as West Ham welcomes London-rival Crystal Palace to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and NBCSports.com).
Since its 5-0 beatdown by Manchester City on opening day, West Ham has been one of the Premier League’s most consistent sides in league action. It’s won three matches and drawn three, as Manuel Pellegrini‘s side has managed pretty well without Marko Arnautovic. Declan Rice and new signing Sebastian Haller have been very good, and West Ham has ground out some big results.
Crystal Palace meanwhile is tied with Chelsea and Tottenham for its place in the table, and WilfriedZaha and Gary Cahill have been as good as advertised for Roy Hodgson‘s side. However, it’s an added test for them without Milivojevic this weekend.
Manuel Lanzinion his time at West Ham: “I’ve scored some good goals against Palace. I hope I’m going to score more goals. “I think it will be a very hard and difficult game. They are playing well, and they have some very good players, so we will need to work hard and keep playing in the way we have been; with the same spirit. We need to take the three points to continue our good start.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on Zaha’s early-season form: “At the start of the season, the first two games really, he wasn’t perhaps the Wilf we know and love but since that time he has been the Wilf that we know and love. Like I’ve said right the way through, like Steve [Parish] has said right the way through, he’s a player we need. To his credit, he’s focused on one thing and one thing only and that is helping Crystal Palace.
West Ham and Crystal Palace have had a strong start to the year, but we see this as advantage West Ham. They’re at home, not missing their captain, and Sebastian Haller has been very dangerous all season. West Ham 2-1 Crystal Palace.
Nothing to separate entertaining Bournemouth, West Ham United
But Bournemouth will feel aggrieved by the chalking off of a Nathan Ake goal by VAR, one that would’ve made it 3-1.
Callum Wilson and Joshua King scored the goals that counted as the Cherries now sit seventh on 11 points, one point behind third-place West Ham.
Three things we learned
1. Yarmolenko at his very best: Last week’s star show led to another for the Ukranian playmaker, who took the fine work of Sebastien Haller to set him up and raised it to the next level. He worked a very good center back in Nathan Ake to score, and could’ve had two or three assists on the day. With Haller, Manuel Lanzini, and Yarmolenko, the Irons have game changers.
2. VAR stings Cherries: Bournemouth’s Ake thought he had a goal to go with an assist, and the Cherries would’ve had a 3-1 lead had VAR not noted that Ryan Fredericks was hip-to-hip with a just offside Dominic Solanke as the ball took the slightest of turns off the West Ham defender. It’s an offside that probably never gets called without video, as Solanke was in the sightline of Irons goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez but not making a play on the ball.
3. Wilson scores, but will rue miss: Are these the sort of missed chances that keep Callum Wilson from breaking into the England mix? The striker scored once, yeah, but his 1v1 chance belted into Jimenez’s thigh from close range is one which should’ve really decided the match.
BONUS. Fabianski injury a big concern: Roberto Jimenez has plenty of experience between the sticks, but Lukasz Fabianski limping off heavily could be a major prob for the Irons. He was one of their best players last season, and West Ham looks up for a Top Seven challenge. Slim margins between star keepers and adequate ones.
Man of the Match: Yarmolenko
West Ham took a deserved lead following its bright start, as Sebastien Haller settled the ball and laid off for Yarmolenko. The Ukranian turned Nathan Ake — no east feat — and curled a gorgeous ball around a helpless Aaron Ramsdale.
VAR took a look at a potential Bournemouth equalizer which had been blown dead for offside. Ake’s trap of a cross was kept onside, and King’s classy finish hit the scoreboard after a minute’s review.
The next moment was an injury, as West Ham star backstop Lukasz Fabianski was banged up and the Irons introduced well-traveled Spanish backstop Roberto Jimenez. The backup allowed four goals to Oxford United at midweek.
Felipe Anderson had a scissor kick well-saved by Ramsdale on the edge of first half stoppage to keep West Ham from taking what would’ve been a fairly well-earned advantage.
Wilson belted a shot past Jimenez, after the referee played advantage following a foul on Dominic Solanke outside the 18. Perhaps the defense and keeper shifted off, but Wilson did not. 2-1 after 29 seconds of the second half.
Ake made it 3-1 in traffic, but would it stand past VAR? No, a razor-thin call went against the goal scorer, whose shot hit West Ham’s Ryan Fredericks on its way past Jimenez. Solanke was ruled to be offside.
Yarmolenko’s curling effort nearly leveled the score line in the 64th, but just missed the far post.
The in-form Ukranian then sent a gorgeous pass over the fray for Anderson to head on Ramsdale, who was wise to the effort.
Jimenez denied Wilson 1v1, an unreal opportunity denied by indecision and sturdy goalkeeping.
Cresswell delivered West Ham’s equalizer, scoring tighter to goal than his pristine free kick last week. It was a Yarmolenko cross headed back into the fray by Anderson.
Leicester City did it out of nowhere in 2015/16 and it’s the most remarkable example, but look at the others to have slid into the Top Six’s DMs in the past decade: Saints (6th) the same season as Leicester. Everton in 2012/13 and 2013/14 was predictable, but Newcastle in 2011/12? Please.
The point is: It’s way more difficult these days to estimate the table. Last year, Watford v. Wolves was a massive fixture. This year, so far, it’s an after thought.
Saturday’s tilt between Bournemouth and West Ham on the other hand? Now we’re talking…
Green: New season-high ranking Red: New season-low
20. Watford — Six months ago, a match-up between the Hornets and Wolves was for seventh-place in the Premier League. It’s a reminder of how quickly things can change, but also an inspiration for both sides because, well, how quickly things can change… Last week: 20 Season high: 19 Season low: 20 Last match: Lost 8-0 at Man City Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Wolves
19. Newcastle United — The Magpies midfield against Brighton was about as disorganized as a unit can look, both before and after Steve Bruce switched up the formation. Maybe they should just throw Joelinton, Andy Carroll, Miguel Almiron, and Allan Saint-Maximin together in a front four and roll with six defenders and four forwards. Relegation quality right now. Last week: 19 Season high: 19 Season low: 20 Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Brighton Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Leicester City
18. Brighton and Hove Albion — As poor as Newcastle played, the Seagulls didn’t convert any of their myriad chances. Also relegation quality right now. Last week: 18 Season high: 6 Season low: 18 Last match: Drew 0-0 at Newcastle Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea
17. Wolverhampton Wanderers — Something’s gotta give, and Wolves better hope it’s the reappearance of old foes Watford on the docket. Last week: 17 Season high: 7 Season low: 17 Last match: Drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford
16. Southampton — Hard to read, and a match-up with mercurial old mate Mauricio Pochettino on the horizon. Last week: 13 Season high: 13 Season low: 19 Last match: Lost 3-1 v. Bournemouth Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Spurs
15. Crystal Palace — WilfriedZaha‘s 475-minute start to the season without a goal or assist is his longest drought since February 2018. Bad news for the Canaries? Last week: 16 Season high: 14 Season low: 18 Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Wolves Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Norwich City
14. Everton — Have taken an amazing start of fixtures to start the season and managed a whopping seven points and the joint third-worst goal different in the league. Remarkably disappointing, but there are some encouraging stat lines. For one thing, only Man City is allowing fewer shots per match. Now if the Toffees could stop the few shots they do allow from being pure gifts to the opposition, or start to get some big moments out of the 15th-ranked goalkeeper in the Premier League, they’d be onto something. Last week: 12 Season high: 5 Season low: 14 Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Sheffield United Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Man City
13. Norwich City — Back to Earth after the remarkable Man City win, and possibly back in the Bottom Three if they can’t do work on Saturday at Selhurst Park. Last week: 10 Season high: 10 Season low: 20 Last match: Lost 2-0 at Burnley Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Crystal Palace
12. Burnley — An all-claret tussle with Villa this week will tell us a bit about whether the Clarets are relegation fodder or not. Last week: 15 Season high: 5 Season low: 15 Last match: Won 2-0 v. Norwich City Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Aston Villa
11. Aston Villa — Dean Smith‘s men should’ve found a way to hold on for a point against 10-man Arsenal, but bad things happen to first-year teams. Big chance to re-assert strength when Burnley visits on Saturday. Last week: 11 Season high: 8 Season low: 15 Last match: Lost 3-2 at Arsenal Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Burnley
10. Sheffield United — The Southampton loss is the only score on their season list that looks bad. Otherwise, Chris Wilder‘s men are holding their own with some in-form teams. Last week: 14 Season high: 10 Season low: 17 Last match: Won 2-0 at Everton Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Liverpool
9. Manchester United — Asking us to drop them lower, but the returns of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial should make Monday a beauty. Last week: 8 Season high: 2 Season low: 15 Last match: Lost 2-0 at West Ham Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday v. Arsenal
8. Tottenham Hotspur — This week has felt a lot like last season’s three-loss week against West Ham, Ajax, and Bournemouth. The good news is that that turned out alright in the end. A visit from Southampton should help things, but will it? A refreshed Harry Kane should arrive on Saturday. Last week: 2 Season high: 2 Season low: 8 Last match: Lost 2-1 at Leicester Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Saints
7. Chelsea — Probably not as far off the pack as you think, and should’ve almost certainly had a point against Liverpool. Brighton should be concerned about this week’s trip to the Bridge. Last week: 4 Season high: 4 Season low: 12 Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Liverpool Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Brighton
6. Bournemouth — Flying. Eddie Howe‘s men have us daydreaming again, but they let us down last year after inspiring similar thoughts. Monumental litmus test when the Irons visit on Saturday in what’s one of the matches of the weekend. Last week: 9 Season high: 6 Season low: 17 Last match: Won 3-1 at Southampton Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham United
5. West Ham United — Beat Bournemouth on Saturday and we’ll be thinking legitimately about a Top Six finish for Manuel Pellegrini‘s guys. Last week: 6 Season high: 5 Season low: 18 Last match: Won 2-0 v. Man Utd Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Bournemouth
4. Arsenal — Another team whose mercurial performances — Watford, anyone? — probably betrays how much promise they’ve shown overall. Let’s see how Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, and Rob Holding reshape the defense. Last week: 7 Season high: 4 Season low: 7 Last match: Won 3-2 v. Aston Villa Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday at Manchester United
3. Leicester City — The real deal, with real depth. Brendan Rodgers has dealt well with the departure of Harry Maguire, and the Foxes should run cleanly through the Magpies to a meeting with ol’ pals Liverpool at Anfield on Oct. 5. Last week: 5 Season high: 3 Season low: 10 Last match: Won 2-1 v. Spurs Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Newcastle
2. Manchester City — Pep Guardiola didn’t know the Premier League single season record for goals was 8. Now he does. Food for thought. Last week: 3 Season high: 1 Season low: 3 Last match: Won 8-0 v. Watford Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Everton
1. Liverpool — Look, we realize this team won the Champions League last season and that it looks even better in attack and is even more refined in its system. Last week: 1 Season high: 1 Season low: 3 Last match: Won 2-1 at Chelsea Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Sheffield United