London, England 4th November – Marouane Chamakh’s goal took Crystal Palace off the bottom of the Premier League table as they beat West Ham 1-0 in Tony Pulis’s first home game in charge at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.
Chamakh scored the only goal of the game — the Moroccan’s first since August 24 — when he headed in Barry Bannan’s curling cross in the 42nd minute.
The striker had previously scored just one goal this season — although that was still one goal more than he managed in five months on loan at West Ham last term.
West Ham came into this all London clash boosted by a 3-0 win over Fulham but have still to record back-to-back Premier League wins since being promoted last year.
Victory left Palace just three points adrift of safety and West Ham, one of several clubs on 13 points who could yet get drawn into a relegation battle.
“We stayed strong and didn’t give them the chances to score and I hope it will be like that every week until the end of the season,” said Pulis.
Meanwhile West Ham manager Sam Allardyce bemoaned his side’s performance at both ends of the pitch.
“Not enough cutting edge. I think that’s the problem for us,” Allardyce said.
“Then we gave away the most ridiculous goal I’ve seen in a long, long time from our point of view.
“I haven’t got the words for it when everybody has a marker and the ball comes in from the corner, you still have your marker, you don’t lose your marker but we did and being in the middle of the goal with a free header they’re not going to miss.
“That’s the most disappointing thing for me today (Tuesday) because that’s lost us the game effectively.
“On such a crucial game we should not have let that slip. A point at the end of the day wouldn’t have been a bad result. It’s all our fault today.”
Palace captain and Australia international Mile Jedinak, released Jason Puncheon early on, only for Puncheon to shoot tamely at Jussi Jaaskelainen.
West Ham, however, then looked the more likely to open the scoring with Mark Noble failing to connect properly with a close-range shot following a well-worked free-kick routine.
The Hammers then created another fine chance only for Mohamed Diame to head over the bar from Stewart Downing’s curling cross.
And moments later Palace took the lead when, after Bannan’s initial cross was blocked, the Scotland midfielder whipped in a second ball glanced in by the now unmarked Chamakh.
The second half saw Palace go in search of a second goal that would put the result beyond doubt and give Pulis the boost of a victory after his first game in charge ended in defeat by Norwich last weekend.
Another Bannan cross was headed narrowly over by Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jaaskelainen did well to spread himself to deny Cameron Jerome after he raced through one-on-one.
West Ham, however, did have the ball in the net after 65 minutes when England winger Downing lashed in a low volley but James Tomkins had already been penalised for a foul in the area, although it looked as if the Hammers man had been impeded first.
Palace substitute Jimmy Kebe also had a ‘goal’ ruled out moments later when he turned in Jedinak’s pull-back but was flagged for offside.
West Ham pushed for an equaliser late on but Ravel Morrison and James Collins were off target, while Kebe shot over the top in stoppage-time for Palace.
An angry Morrison was booked after the final whistle for shoving Joel Ward in the face.