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Premier League

  • 28 February 2015
  • • 18:15
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 34857

West Ham 1-3 Crystal Palace: Murray scores twice and sees red

West Ham 1-3 Crystal Palace: Murray scores twice and sees red

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The striker opened the scoring and notched a third after Scott Dann's goal but was then dismissed after picking up two yellow cards, with Enner Valencia netting a late consolation

Glenn Murray scored a brace but was then sent off as Crystal Palace ran out 3-1 winners against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday.

The striker opened the scoring before half-time, and added a third after Scott Dann had extended his side’s lead, but he was then dismissed after picking up a second yellow card in a challenge with Winston Reid.

By Liam Twomey
"Let's see how Sam explains this one", one livid West Ham fan shouted towards my section of the press box as Upton Park rapidly emptied after a result that will rank among the most embarrassing of the season. Crystal Palace were well worthy of a win on an afternoon in which the hosts appeared completely devoid of imagination and cutting edge until it was too late.

Particularly galling for Sam Allardyce will be the fact that all three of the visitors' goals came from set-pieces, but of even greater concern will be the overall trajectory of a season that so recently promised so much. West Ham have now recorded just one win in 10 and, with 11 games to go, mid-table obscurity seems a much likelier destination than the Europa League places.

Palace, in contrast, are onwards and upwards under Alan Pardew, who appears finally to have found a club where the affection is mutual. A mid-table finish for the Eagles, after the Neil Warnock debacle, would be no small feat.
There will be debate around Murray's first, however, with Aaron Cresswell playing a major part in the striker's goal.

In attempting to clear Murray's tame header from Jason Puncheon's corner, Cresswell succeeded only in sending the ball spinning into his own net on the stroke of half-time.

Sam Allardyce may lament the fact that the striker - one of four Palace changes - had five minutes earlier escaped a possible red card when, having already been booked, he clumsily fouled Cheikhou Kouyate.

Allardyce's mood will have darkened significantly just six minutes into the second half when his side failed to defend another Puncheon corner, with Dann profiting to head home from close range.

The match as a contest was over in the 63nd minute when Murray steered a diving header past Adrian, with Puncheon again the provider, while the Palace striker eventually received his marching orders for a foul on Winston Reid.

Enner Valencia reduced the deficit with a superb late strike, but Palace eventually exacted revenge for August's 3-1 home loss to the Hammers.

It was the hosts who threatened first, Mark Noble's 14th-minute free-kick casting Julian Speroni in the role of mere bystander, before striking the crossbar.

Palace's first clear sight of goal came midway through the half as Murray collected Puncheon's pass before slicing his shot wide of the target.

The same duo linked up again on the half-hour mark as Adrian was called into action to block with his legs, before Jordon Mutch was forced off with an injury and was replaced by the returning James McArthur.

Having survived one scare in their box when Damien Delaney volleyed an effort into the ground that looped across the six-yard box, West Ham were punished on the stroke of half-time.

Cresswell stuck out a boot to deal with Murray's header, but the ball skewed into the net as the Palace forward took full advantage of his initial let-off from referee Mike Dean.

Things went from bad to worse for Allardyce early in the second half as Puncheon's corner was headed in by the unchallenged Dann, while another Murray header made it 3-0, six minutes before his dismissal.

Valencia's 20-yard strike allowed West Ham a strong finish but, after Carl Jenkinson and the Ecuadorian were denied late on, the hosts saw their winless run extended to six games.