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West Ham Utd 3-0 Crystal Palace

Filed: Saturday, 14th January 2017
By: Staff Writer

Three goals of the highest quality saw West Ham secure their first win of 2017 - with Dimitri Payet nowhere to be seen.

The French international may have been instrumental to United last season but even before he went on strike after his demands to leave the club were denied, he had been a shadow of the player that lit up the final season at the Boleyn Ground.

And whilst fans may have been fearing the worst following the loss of the team's main attacking force - and may still have been doing so at half time following a dreary and cautious opening 45 - few were talking about Payet come the final whistle.

And that was due to an 18-minute spell towards the end in which West Ham finally came alive, scoring three goals and thus securing their biggest home win of the current Premier League season.

Michail Antonio, having been freed to play in a more advanced role following a second half reshuffle was involved in all three goals. The target of much transfer speculation this week, his involvement here will have done little to deter any potential suitors.

It was Antonio's 68th-minute centre, having received the ball wide on the left via a clever pass from Mark Noble and then rounded 'keeper Wayne Hennessey, that left (a potentially offside) Sofiane Feghouli with a tap-in to open the scoring.

And the game was all but put beyond Palace's reach on 79 minutes when Andy Carroll scored one of the goals of the season with a simply breathtaking overhead kick - the sort that results in sports editors and pundits demanding his instant recall to the national fold.

The provider for Carroll was, once again, Antonio - and it was he who provided a perfectly-weighted pass for Manuel Lanzini to latch on to before lifting the ball over the head of an advancing Hennessey to make it 3-0 with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

And whilst he received a yellow card as a result, the Argentine's joyful celebrations - in which he leapt into the arms of his adoring fans - were a small but significant moment of positivity following months of misery at Stratford.

West Ham Utd: Randolph, Reid, Collins, Ogbonna (Byram 46), Cresswell, Feghouli, Obiang, Noble, Antonio (Fletcher 89), Lanzini (Fernandes 87), Carroll.

Goals: Feghouli (68), Carroll (79), Lanzini (89).

Subs not used: Adrian, Calleri, Oxford, Quina.

Bookings: Noble, Carroll, Byram, Lanzini.

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Tomkins, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Cabaye, McArthur (Lee 70), Ledley (Schlupp 80), Puncheon, Townsend (Remy 70), Benteke.

Subs not used: Speroni, Fryers, Kelly, Flamini.

Bookings: Ledley, Ward.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Tickets Sold: 56,984.

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