West Ham vs Crystal Palace player ratings: Benteke show tainted by red

The Eagles dominated the first half with their hosts looking unusually leggy after their exertions at Leeds United last week.

Benteke started his third consecutive game and was relishing leading the line against a West Ham back four without Fabian Balbuena missing through injury. The Belgian gave a warning after 15 minutes, nodding wide from Joel Ward’s cross, but made no mistake the next time around, moving clear of Issa Diop and heading across Likas Fabianski for his third goal in as many games.

West Ham struggled for a response before the break but were level quickly after the restart, Sebastien Haller pulling a sublime finish from the blue as the Ivory Coast international thundered home a bicycle kick from Vladimir Coufal’s cross.

Palace shut up shop after Benteke was sent off for a second yellow in the and the Hammers could not find a way through for a winner.

West Ham (4-1-1-1): Fabianski 6, Coufal 8, Diop 5, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 6, Bowen 6 (Yarmolenko 6, 80’, Soucek 6, Rice 6, Fornals 5 (Lanzini 7, 45’), Benrahma 7 (Snodgrass, 88’), Haller 7

Subs not used: Dawson, Noble, Fredericks, Randolph

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita 6, Ward 7, Kouyate 6, Dann 6, van Aanholt 5, Townsend 6 (Schlupp, 85’), Milivojevic 6, McArthur 7, Eze 7 (Ayew 6, 76’), Benteke 6, Zaha 7

Subs not used: Butland, Tomkins, Batshuayi, Mitchell, Riedewald.

Top: Vladimir Coufal: Plays like a Premier League veteran. Never seems to tire and delivers devilish crosses time and again.

Flop: Issa Diop: A first start for the defender since he tested positive for coronavirus back in September. Allowed Benteke far too much space for his opening goal.

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