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Player ratings: Palace v West Ham

October 29 2017

Luka Milivojevic

Luka Milivojevic

A last-gasp goal from Wilfried Zaha earned Crystal Palace a point as the Eagles came from two down against West Ham. Mike Scott gives his ratings...

What was billed as a six-pointer in the battle to avoid relegation turned out to be a real game of two halves, with West Ham fans incensed that their side gave away the lead deep into injury time, while Hodgson called a point Ďscant rewardí for the Eaglesí dominance...

Julian Speroni - 7

In a game where the visitors had precious few chances, Speroni was a talismanic figure. He started countless moves, adding urgency and, ultimately, beginning the move that resulted in Palaceís 97th minute equaliser. He could do nothing about West Hamís second, a beautiful strike from Andre Ayew just before half-time; the first he was wrong footed. Has surely cemented his first XI place now until the transfer window.

Joel Ward - 6

Ward again looked confident, even without Mamadou Sakho marshalling the troops, although was culpable in giving too much space for both of the West Ham goals. On the ball, he looked strong and he got forward plenty to support the midfield. Some promising positions and runs did sometimes end with poor crosses, especially one that flew miles over the goal just before half-time, but he kept up the work-rate right up until the final whistle.

Was sacrificed for Bakary Sako (6) on the hour in a bid to chase the game, who made a nuisance of himself and provided balance to the attack. Was unfortunate to miss the rebound after Joe Hart parried onto the bar.

James Tomkins - 6

Tomkins was incredibly unlucky to find Joe Hart in the kind of form he hasnít shown with an England shirt on in at least the last five years; the ex-Hammers man had two excellent headers saved by the international number one either side of the break, including a 12 yard effort tipped onto the bar. At the other end, he lost Javier Hernandez for West Hamís opener and was caught off the pace for Andre Ayewís goal, but he did provide a strong, level headed performance without any silly errors or mistakes.

Scott Dann - 6

Much like Tomkins, the West Ham goals did underline Dannís positional failings for those moves, but it would be harsh to say either had a bad game. Perhaps the issues underline how important Sakho is in ensuring everyone is covering where they should be, but for long periods Dann frustrated a strong West Ham front line. He had a good opportunity early on to score from a decent Cabaye set piece.

Patrick van Aanholt - 5

Pressure has been building on Van Aanholt after a series of less than convincing defensive displays culminated in grumblings from many fans who travelled to Bristol City in midweek, so there were some exasperated groans at 2pm in the Arthur Waite when he made the team sheet again. Fate transpired to solve the situation cruelly, with the Dutchman limping off with a hamstring injury barely 11 minutes in.

In his place, Timothy Fosu-Mensah (7) took up the left back role and will have pleased the manager. Very little threat came down his flank and he dealt with it well, allowing him to be involved in some breaks and moves from the back that will encourage the Selhurst faithful. He looked like an outlet on many occasions, linking up well with Schlupp.

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Luka Milivojevic - 7

Another strong performance from the relentless Serbian was capped by a coolly taken penalty that has opened his account for the season. West Ham have been accused of being slow in their play and have been shown to cover the least ground in the Premier League this season; Milivojevic took as much advantage of this as best he could, providing the grit that underpinned a great display from Cabaye. Lost the ball in the West Ham half ahead of the visitorsí second, but rarely put a foot wrong otherwise.

Yohan Cabaye - 8

The Frenchman seems to be undergoing a real renaissance under Hodgson and this was (certainly in the second half) about as good as we have seen from Cabaye this campaign. A quiet first half an hour aside, his set pieces were virtually all menacing and caused West Ham plenty of problems. He hit the post in the second half, after a beautiful strike from outside of the box. Got the crowd going towards the end, he linked up well with Loftus-Cheek and was as important in getting the point as anyone else on the pitch.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6

With McArthur out following an ankle injury sustained up at St Jamesí Park, the Chelsea loanee found his way back into the team, but had an anonymous first 45 minutes. Finding himself more central after Bakary Sakoís introduction changed the formation, he was menacing as the link between Cabaye and the forward men. Was instrumental in the equalizer.

Jeffrey Schlupp - 6

Schlupp was another player to have a relatively anonymous first half, but he looked more comfortable in front of Fosu-Mensah than perhaps he has recently in front of Van Aanholt. With little threat in the second half from the Hammers, he was another outlet for a brace of Cabaye set pieces and balls forward and was unlucky not to score from a rebound after another of Joe Hartís inexplicable shows of skill.

Andros Townsend - 7

At times, it feels hard to write anything new about Townsend this season. He worked his socks off again, earned the penalty that got Palace back in the game and made a real nuisance of himself. Unlike other games, however, he found himself in a slightly more unfamiliar, deeper position after Sako was introduced, seeing a lot of the ball centrally and having less opportunity to get crosses in. The trademark long-range shots of last season appear to have been ironed out of his game for the most part; heís turning into one of Palaceís real pillars of strength.

Wilfried Zaha - 8

Supporters might resent Palace being called a one-man team, but moments of brilliance from Zaha are simply a cut above anything else most players can produce. Of course, his last-gasp finish in the 97th minute was what sent Selhurst absolutely insane. But there were half a dozen runs down West Hamís right throughout the second half where it just seemed like the visitors had no idea how to react. In truth, for the first half and into the second, he had a quiet game, but then, the best players only need a moment to change the game. Again, he was a worthy winner of the fansí Man-of-the-Match award.

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