The Premier League midweek action kicked off at Selhurst Park yesterday evening where West Ham paid a visit to an out-of-form Crystal Palace side.
Palace had won just one of their last nine games ahead of this clash and were desperate to return to winning ways as soon as possible.
West Ham however were on a five game winning streak in all competitions and were incentivised by the chance to go fourth with a win.
But it was the Eagles who got off on the front foot and found themselves ahead after just three minutes when Wilfried Zaha turned on the edge of the area and fired low out of Fabianski’s reach.
But West Ham responded quickly to their early deficit and just six minutes later, Michail Antonio hooked the ball back across goal for Tomas Soucek to head home in dominant fashion.
From that moment, it was the Hammers who were looking the more dangerous side in a game played at a good intensity.
And after 25 minutes, Soucek was on hand again to bring down an Aaron Cresswell free kick and finish well from a tight angle for his second of the game.
Immediately after Palace kicked off again, Cheikhou Kouyate gave Antonio a golden chance with his weak pass but the Englishman could only hit the left hand post with his effort.
Antonio then went close again before half time after a nice West Ham move, as Cresswell fired a low effort straight at the striker who was unable to divert it on target.
At half time, the Hammers would’ve left they were good value for their lead although could’ve been completely out of side against a Palace team who simply hadn’t been good enough.
The second half was played in a similar manor to the first with West Ham looking the more dangerous going forward but you got the feeling they needed one more goal before they could start to feel comfortable.
Antonio missed another glorious chance as he was on the end of a lovely pass from Benrahma across the face of goal but he was only able to win straight at Vicente Guaita in goal.
But then West Ham did double their lead on the 65 minute mark as Craig Dawson leapt above everyone else to nod home emphatically past the keeper.
Game management proved to be fairly routine for the Hammers who were still creating the odd chance but were mostly happy just to see the game out.
The Eagles searched for a way back into the game but were limited to shots from outside the box against a very organised visiting defence.
James McArthur went close with his long range strike but fired just over the top right corner.
There was a late consolation for Palace though who got one back through Ayew’s flick and Batshuayi’s finish but that was too little too late as far as the hosts were concerned.
All three points headed to East London as West Ham earned their sixth consecutive win in all competitions, enough to take the Hammers up into the Champions League spots ahead of the remaining fixtures this week.
More misery for the Eagles though who remain in 13th place and in truth, that 3-2 scoreline flattered them a little.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, West Ham manager David Moyes expressed his delight with the win but was quick to state that his side are not yet the finished article.
“I’m really pleased with the performance, and really pleased with coming back and how we played then. Maybe if we had our finishing boots on, we might have scored one or two more”.
“I’ve sensed for a while that we’re getting better with an improved team. But I think that we’re not scratching the surface yet. I think we’ve got so much more we can give and so much more we can do”.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, who was without his assistant Ray Lewington due to coronavirus, was left feeling rather disappointed.
“The positive was to get such a good start, but we didn’t capitalise on it, far from it.”
“I thought out first-half performance cost us dearly, and a goal from a corner kick to give them a two-goal advantage was obviously going to make any hopes we had of laying siege to their goal very difficult.”
The Eagles have a winnable run of fixtures coming up and don’t face a side within the top half of the table until March, although they need to start winning on a far more consistent basis.
The Hammers meanwhile are loving life right now and will hope to extend their winning run on Sunday when they look to solidify their place near the top against an out of form Liverpool side.