West Ham fought back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in treacherous conditions at the London Stadium on Tuesday.
West Ham United 1 Crystal Palace 1
Mario misses good chance early on
Benteke gives Eagles the lead
Noble equalises from the spot
Hennessey denies Hernandez winner
An entertaining first half brought two goals as Christian Benteke headed Roy Hodgson’s side in front, before Mark Noble restored parity from the spot in the closing stages.
But the second half was a different story as the two teams battled the elements without success to come away with a share of the spoils.
The Irons handed a debut to new signing Joao Mario and he almost made a dream start when Javier Hernandez set him up with a downward header from Cheikhou Kouyate’s cross on four minutes, but the Portuguese midfielder volleyed wide of the right post from inside the box.
Instead it was Palace who went in front 20 minutes later as Andros Townsend went past Declan Rice on the outside and delivered a inch-perfect cross for Benteke to power home a header.
In the last 14 League games, good to see @chrisbenteke back in the goals
Usual superb travelling fans, got to keep grinding out results.
Onwards and upwards #cpfc
— Brighty (@Mark__Bright) January 30, 2018
The hosts looked to respond with Aaron Cresswell seeing his shot deflected behind for a corner, which was directed over the crossbar off the head of Angelo Ogbonna on 26 minutes, before Luka Milivojevic took aim from distance at the other end four minutes later, but cleared the goal by some margin on the half-hour mark.
However, the east Londoners were let back into the contest two minutes before half-time when James Tomkins clipped the foot of Hernandez with a sliding challenge inside the area on the left to concede a penalty, which was dispatched by Noble, who notched his 50th goal for the club.
Adrian had to be alert to keep the scores level at the break as he parried away Townsend’s venomous strike from the edge of the box in stoppage time.
Sadly, the second half failed to deliver as the inclement weather made for a poor display. Adrian was called into action four minutes after the restart, although Patrick van Aanholt’s curling free-kick presented him with an easy save.
On his home debut… ? pic.twitter.com/gDig32ltZs
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 30, 2018
Wayne Hennessey was finally tested two minutes later as he pulled off a fine save to keep out Hernandez’s header from Sam Byram’s cross, while at the other end Rice had a pop from distance on 63 minutes after being allowed to advance on goal from the back, but his effort sailed over the crossbar.
There were no other chances in the remaining 27 minutes as both teams struggled in the wet conditions and had to settle for a point apiece.