Another Derby Disappointment
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 01 Mar 2015 13:59:00
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Alan Pardew certainly got his revenge for the defeat of his Newcastle United side at Upton Park back in November, as his new charges arrived in East London and took all the points on Saturday; West Ham United slipped to ninth in the Barclays Premier League table after losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace.

Sam Allardyce named an unchanged side from last weekend's 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Diafra Sakho partnered Enner Valencia upfront which meant that new signing Nene was on the bench.

The home side began brightly as they enjoyed good possession in the opening stages and came close to going in front on 15 minutes when Mark Noble won a freekick just outside the box. He took responsibility himself and was dismayed to see his measured effort rebound off the bar with Julian Speroni well beaten.

Despite the Hammers' pressure the visitors slowly found their way back into the game and fashioned an opening ten minutes later when Wilfred Zaha played in Glenn Murray but Winston Reid did enough to nullify his effort.

Five minutes later Murray created a much clearer opportunity but his effort was well stopped by Adrian's quick reactions.

The Eagles opened the scoring on 41 minutes when Murray's weak header from Jason Puncheon's corner was deflected past Adrian by Aaron Cresswell's desperate attempt to clear.

The half-time whistle was met with some disapproval in sections of the capacity crowd.

The second-half was only six minutes old when Pardew's men doubled their advantage as another Puncheon corner was headed home by Scott Dann.

Just after the hour mark, Big Sam introduced Nene in place of Alex Song for his West Ham debut.

Soon after Palace were awarded a freekick following Cheikou Kouyate's foul on Murray. Puncheon delivered the ball in for Murray to head home for 3-0.

The hosts almost reduced the deficit on 68 minutes when Nene was disappointed to see his well-struck effort rebound off the post.

A minute later Murray, who had earlier been booked, was shown a second yellow after catching Reid with a late challenge and Palace were down to ten.

With 76 minutes gone the Hammers gave their fans hope as Valencia scored his first home league goal with a well struck volley from the edge of the area.

The home side went close again on 81 minutes but Speroni produced a spectacular save from Carl Jenkinson's effort.

Valencia nearly beat Speroni again with just three minutes left but his superb dipping effort was met with an equally good save from the Argentinean.

Although five minutes of stoppage time were signalled the Hammers were unable to find a way through the resolute Palace defence.

The Irons return to Upton Park on Wednesday evening for yet another London derby; this time they only have to deal with leaders Chelsea!

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