Crystal Palace, West Ham battle to draw (video)

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  • Eagles equalize through Zaha
  • West Ham opened scoring through Noble
  • Second-straight 1-1 draw for Hammers

Crystal Palace fought back to draw 1-1 at home against West Ham United, with the Eagles almost snatching a win late on.

Mark Noble put West Ham 1-0 up early on from the penalty spot, but Palace improved drastically in the second half and Wilfried Zaha returned from his ban to score his second goal in as many games.

With the draw Palace are in 13th place on 27 points, while West Ham are in 10th on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first big chance of the game saw Ryan Fredericks played in by Michail Antonio but Vicente Guaita made a fine low stop.

Despite Palace having more of the ball, West Ham had the better chances as Guaita then denied Robert Snodgrass.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Javier Hernandez’s shot was then deflected wide as the Hammers continued to threaten. Michail Antonio then won a penalty kick as Declan Rice‘s wonderful pass found the winger and Vicente Guaita clattered into Antonio. Noble sent Guaita the wrong way with his penalty kick to give West Ham the lead.

Palace should have been level before the break as Christian Benteke was played in but Lukasz Fabianski made a fine stop to his right.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The home side started the second half well, as Wilfried Zaha fired the ball across goal then James McArthur somehow missed a glorious chance as he was put clean through. The Palace midfielder took an age to sort his feet out but then sent his effort against the post.

Palace sent Michy Batshuayi on to try and drag themselves back into the game. And he should have made it 1-1.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Patrick Van Aanholt‘s cross found Batshuayi and he somehow missed. Palace’s equalizer did arrived as Zaha smashed home at the near post. 1-1.

Zaha almost won it late on as he linked up with Max Meyer and curled a shot towards the far post which Fabianski saved.

Three things we learned: West Ham v. Liverpool

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LONDON — Liverpool dropped two more points in the Premier League title race, as they drew 1-1 at West Ham United.

Pressure does strange things to teams at this part of the season.

Monday’s trip to the London Stadium offered Jurgen Klopp‘s men the chance to open up a five-point gap atop the table, but a spirited Hammers side cancelled out Sadio Mane‘s controversial opener as Michail Antonio grabbed them a well-earned point. And West Ham could’ve easily won the game had they taken their chances.

With Liverpool now drawing to both Leicester and West Ham in their last two games, Manchester City can jump top of the table with a win at Everton on Wednesday and put the pressure back on the Reds.

Here’s a look at what we learned from the London Stadium, as the title race is well and truly on.


LIVERPOOL SHOULD BE HAPPY WITH A DRAW

In the first half West Ham should have been at least 3-0 up. Liverpool were all over the place from defensive set piece situations, holding a high line for no apparent reason. Antonio scored from one situation. Declan Rice somehow nodded wide from another and both Aaron Cresswell and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez drilled just wide from counters which stretched Liverpool’s defense easily. It was as if Liverpool’s defenders were keen to keep their high-line no matter what, and in the second half they were lucky both Felipe Anderson and Mark Noble lost their cool in the penalty box when big chances arrived. Liverpool had chances themselves, as they always do, but this was far from a game where they played well and had to settle for a draw against a stubborn West Ham side. Klopp’s men got away with one by not losing at West Ham and now they are just three points ahead of Man City atop the Premier League table, and must expect City to beat Everton on Wednesday and slip to second place, albeit with a game in hand. Injuries are impacting Liverpool, but Klopp’s men are showing signs that they are cracking under the pressure. The nervous tension emanating from Liverpool’s fanbase is seeping into the previously carefree players. The 29-year wait for a league title is weighing heavy on everyone connected with Liverpool right now.


WEST HAM COUNTER TO PERFECTION

Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Liverpool have all failed to win at the London Stadium and for Pellegrini this was a perfect response after three-straight defeats for the Hammers in embarrassing fashion. Like Leicester City, the Hammers are one of those teams outside of the top six who frighten the life out of the big boys. When they aren’t forced to possess the ball, create chances and take the games to opponents, that is when they are at their best. Sure, Manuel Pellegrini has brought a certain panache and control to their game since arriving in the summer, but the fact that both Marko Arnautovic and Samir Nasri were missing through injury did them a favor. Anderson, Antonio and Chicharito pounced when they could on the counter and the pace of full backs Cresswell and Ryan Fredericks was helpful in supporting attacks and stopping Mane and Salah from running riot. In truth, West Ham’s wasteful finishing let Liverpool off the hook. Yes, West Ham’s fans want them to be more attractive to watch but when they counter this well, it’s hard to see them not deploying these kind of tactics on a regular basis against the big boys. They lost their impetus when Andy Carroll came on late in the game and that proved what direction the Hammers must move in going forward. They have the squad to hurt teams on the counter and must realize, and play to, their strengths.


INJURIES MOUNT UP FOR KLOPP

The news that Joe Gomez now requires surgery on a fractured leg was bad enough for Liverpool fans to wake up to Monday, but when Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren and particularly Georginio Wijnaldum missed the game at West Ham due to injury, the alarm bells were ringing. A midfield trio of Naby Keita, Fabinho and Adam Lallana should have had enough quality to wrestle control of this game but Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Declan Rice won that battle rather easily. Joel Matip appears to frighten the life out of his fellow defenders when he plays and even the usually placid Virgil Van Dijk was caught out as Liverpool’s undoubted defensive leader failed to settle things down. James Milner, playing at right back, was targeted throughout and both Snodgrass and Anderson had a field day drifting out to his flank. Liverpool’s squad is not quite large enough to deal with injuries to five key players, as Milner and Henderson at right back in recent games has shown. Letting Nathaniel Clyne leave on loan in the January window and not adding another defender as back up could be the difference for them in this title race.

West Ham fight back to deny Brighton

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  • Brighton went 2-0 up
  • Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes
  • Seagulls unbeaten in three games

West Ham United fought back to draw 2-2 against Brighton and Hove Albion after a wild second half at the London Stadium.

Brighton scored twice in two minutes through Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy, but 10 minutes later Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes to make it 2-2 as both teams had chances to secure all three points.

With the point West Ham move up to 10th on 28 points, while Brighton stay in 13th on 26 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

An even first half saw the Hammers gradually turn the screw as Robert Snodgrass‘ cross was flicked on by Marko Arnautovic but Anderson‘s shot was easily saved by David Button.

Arnautovic then curled one on target from distance but Button saved again as the home side were huffing and puffing.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time Arnautovic went down in the box claiming a penalty kick as Lewis Dunk closed him down, but it would have been a really cheap penalty for Brighton to concede.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

At the start of the second half Anderson almost put West Ham ahead as he dribbled at Brighton’s defense and then drilled a low left-footed effort just wide of the post.

Against the run of play Brighton took the lead as a corner was half cleared and Stephens drilled home a wonderfully controlled volley.

Moments later it was 2-0 to the Seagulls as Duffy finished brilliantly at the back post from another corner, as the Hammers were caught cold. Bernardo then had a chance to put the game to bed but Lukasz Fabianski made it

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

But West Ham battled back well as substitute Mark Noble clipped a ball over the top and Arnautovic used his strength and slotted home to make it 2-1.

Just two minutes later it was 2-2 as Arnautovic prodded home off the bar and in to score his and West Ham’s second in as many minutes. Michail Antonio looked like he ran the ball out out of play but found the Austrian striker to level things up.

Late on Dunk had a good shout for a penalty kick as he was being held in the box by Angelo Ogbonna as a corner came in, but no spot kick was awarded.

Anderson leads West Ham to comeback win at Saints

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  • Southampton led through Redmond
  • Anderson scored twice to win it for Hammers
  • 10 first team players out injured for West Ham
  • Felipe Anderson has scored 7 goals in his last 9 PL games

SOUTHAMPTON — West Ham United fought back to beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s on Thursday, as all three goals arrived in nine wild second half minutes.

Saints took the lead through Nathan Redmond, but Felipe Anderson scored twice in six minutes to turn the game on its head as Manuel Pellegrini‘s men had to deal with 10 first team players out through injury.

With the victory — their fifth in their last six PL games — West Ham move up to ninth place on 27 points, while Saints remain in 16th on 15 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Saints came flying out of the traps with Redmond getting a shot on goal from distance and Ings then wriggling free before firing a shot into the side-netting.

At the other end Felipe Anderson was the main threat as he dribbled past several Saints defenders but then slipped just as he was about to get a shot on goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

As the first half wore on West Ham were dominant and they should have been ahead through Lucas Perez. Aaron Cresswell crossed from the left and picked out the Spaniard who was totally unmarked but scuffed his shot into the ground and harmlessly wide. A huge letoff for Southampton.

The Hammers went close again just before the break as Robert Snodgrass whipped a shot just wide, but West Ham couldn’t get the goal their first half dominance deserved.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half the game sprung into life in dramatic fashion.

First Southampton took the lead after an almighty goalmouth scramble saw both Oriol Romeu and Redmond denied, then Redmond seemed to bundle the ball over the line with his hand but the goal stood as Saints led 1-0.

West Ham then came flying back, with an equalizer just 168 seconds after they went behind. Anderson cut in from the left and smashed home a low shot which beat Alex McCarthy at his near post. 1-1.

Lukasz Fabianski then made a superb stop to deny Stuart Armstrong as Saints pushed to retake the lead, but moments later the Hammers were ahead.

A Southampton corner was blocked by the Hammers and they raced into a counter led by Michail Antonio. He fed Anderson who clipped the ball over McCarthy for his and West Ham’s second goal in six minutes.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Saints continued to have chances to equalize as the game turned into an end-to-end encounter with substitute Shane Long almost getting on the end of a cross at the back post. Anderson was causing Saints all kinds of problems as he ran down the left and crossed for Perez but Jannik Vestergaard blocked his shot.

Late on Southampton threw everything at West Ham in search of an equalizer, however it was the Hammers who came closest as Anderson almost wrapped up his hat trick but McCarthy saved twice at his near post.

Premier League Preview: Southampton v. West Ham

Victoria Jones/PA via AP
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  • Saints, Irons have split last six meetings
  • 15 combined goals in last 4 head-to-head
  • West Ham leads all-time 41W-30D-34L

Two teams who watched the Boxing Day festivities on television now take center stage at St. Mary’s when Southampton hosts West Ham United on Thursday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Manuel Pellegrini‘s Irons are coming off a disappointing end to their four-match win streak, and probably deserved better than the weekend’s loss to Watford.

Meanwhile, Southampton has looked much better under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and can climb another spot by winning at home on Thursday.

West Ham can rise as high as ninth with a win, while Saints can leapfrog Newcastle into 15th.

What they’re saying

Saints boss Hasenhuttl on the refining the dynamic: “We had a very good video session after Huddersfield and looked at a few things from the game. There were a lot of good moments in our game, but also a few where we can defend better. You always have to improve your game and your automatisms and I think that was important to look at.”

West Ham’s in-form Robert Snodgrass on Boxing Day“My wife and my kids are used to it now and we will spend the time we get together smiling, opening presents and playing games like most families, and I’m certainly not the only person who had to go to work on Christmas Day. As a player, you want to play games, you want to kick on and you want to push forward. The way we’re playing this season, it’s a building process and we want to keep on creating chances and most weeks we’ll take them and get more points.”

Prediction

Goals for both sets of supporters, and a 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s.