Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham: Manuel Lanzini bags winner for Hammers to ease pressure on Slaven Bilic
West Ham recorded their first league win in six games as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday night.
Manuel Lanzini scored the only goal of the game as he expertly tucked away Aaron Cresswell’s cross with just under twenty minutes played. Christian Benteke was given the opportunity to level the scores on the stroke of half time, but the Belgian skewed his penalty horribly wide of the post.
The Hammers were reduced to 10 men late on when Cresswell received his second booking of the night. But the away side held on to ease the pressure on manager Slaven Bilic, with the club moving out of the relegation places.
Slaven Bilic’s side, who began the weekend with the worst defensive record in the division, lined up with five at the back with midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate providing the extra man.
But that did not stop Jason Puncheon finding a huge gap to play the ball through to Wilfried Zaha, who flashed his shot across goal and wide.
However, there was an intensity to West Ham’s play which has so far been missing at their new ground.
They took the lead in the 19th minute when Dimitri Payet toyed with three Palace defenders before feeding Cresswell, who fizzed in a precise, low cross which Lanzini gobbled up at the near post.
But Palace, who had barely threatened since that early Zaha chance, were gifted a way back into the game moments before half-time when Benteke tumbled over Angelo Ogbonna in the area.
Benteke confidently stepped up to take the spot-kick, but lifted his side-footed effort high and wide of the top corner.
Still there was time for Andros Townsend to find Benteke in the area again before the break, but he knew his luck was out when his header grazed a post and flew wide.
After the interval Cresswell, impressing on his first appearance of the season following a knee injury, was clipped by Yohan Cabaye in the area only for referee Martin Atkinson to book him for simulation.
That decision was compounded less than a minute later when Cresswell tugged back Zaha to earn his marching orders.
But Palace were unable to take advantage with Benteke heading over the crossbar and Hammers keeper Adrian making a fine point-blank save to deny Connor Wickham in stoppage time.