Ayew Sends Palace Into Top Six After VAR Decision


A first win away at West Ham in five years sends Palace into the international break with a very good return and league position in the Premier League ahead of tough run of fixtures.


5th October 2019


London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST




Michael Oliver took charge of the game and was assisted by Stuart Burt and Gary Beswick. Peter Bankes was the fourth official while Paul Tierney took on the VAR role with Andy Halliday his assistant.


Bookings – Yarmolenko (44), Ward (51), Haller (61), Fredericks (86), Benteke (95)


Haller (54), Van Aanholt (63 pen), Ayew (87)


The Martin Kelly/Gary Cahill partnership as voted for by our Twitter followers (yes, we bent the rules slightly!)


We head into the international break with 14 points from 8 games and sit nicely positioned in the top six of the Premier League. Be honest, who expected that after what was a difficult summer in the transfer market? You have to give huge credit to the management staff and players who really do work hard and make us very difficult to beat and this result was testament to that. The win was even more impressive after going a goal behind away from home but regardless of the hosts complaining about the decisions going against them, they were the right decisions and the Eagles deservedly took all three points.


The first big VAR moment that has involved Palace this season and while the media are proclaiming it as a controversial one, it really wasn’t as Ayew’s goal was rightly awarded after initially being ruled out by the linesman. You can perhaps understand the Hammers frustration as this is the second one against them this season, but this is why VAR has been brought in, to make sure the right decisions are being made. The jury remains out but this one favoured the Eagles.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“As a football coach, I have always believed that a successful team is built upon a core spine. Our ‘spine’ at the London Stadium of Guaita, Cahill, Kelly, McArthur and Ayew provided a structure from which the team produced a performance worthy of the win.

This was a controlled performance different from the ‘smash and grab’ result at Old Trafford in August. Even when we conceded the first goal to a well worked West Ham move, our players didn’t panic but continued with patient controlled possession. We were rewarded with the award of a definite penalty and enjoyed the benefits of the much debated VAR for a clinical Ayew finish.

Looking ahead to our next five games, this was an important three points. However never underestimate the belief and tactical nous of our players to gain unexpected results. It is a team under Hodgson’s experienced guidance where the whole is probably greater than the sum of its parts. Onwards to 6 more wins!”


31 VICENT GUAITA (8) – One brilliant point blank save followed by another that had a touch of luck about it but teh Spaniard was in the right place. It makes such a difference to rely on a goalkeeper to do just what he should be doing, and more. The free transfer has made the shirt his own and he made his own luck with saves after being in just the right position.

2 JOEL WARD (6 – BOOKED!) – A problem position many expected going into this season but the defender clocked up his 200th league appearance for the club and looking as reliable as ever. A concern when he took a booking when up against Felipe Anderson but the former Pompey man had the measure of the Brazilian for most of the match.

34 MARTIN KELLY (8 – ASSIST!) – Going about his business without any fuss by forming a formidable partnership with Gary Cahill. It is hard to see just how Tomkins or Sakho get back into this side which is largely down to this man who has been waiting patiently for his chance and is grabbing it with both hands.

24 GARY CAHILL (8) – Considering this is a player that many thought was costly, at the end of his career and in a position that we did not particularly need, he’s not doing at all bad. He has been arguably one of the best signings the club has made since returning to the Premier League. There are clubs out there bigger than us that will be looking and thinking ‘we should have taken that gamble’. Cahill has made such an impact that he was handed the captains armband and led by example.

3 PATRICK VAN ANNHOLT (7 – GOAL!) – Couple of occassions where lack of communication could have proved a real problem but the Dutchman seemed to enjoy the responsibility of set pieces, scored from the spot with a well taken penalty.

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) – Handed almost an open goal on a plate after some brilliance from Zaha but could not convert from close range. Played his part in the win but not as influential as recent games.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Sat in between the midfield and back line and the perfect choice to fill the hole left vacant by Milivojevic and did a great job.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Kouyate mixed it up well in the midfield against his former employers. Named in our preview as a key clash against Declan Rice, it was his flick on to the hand of the Hammers youngster that led to the penalty kick.

22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) – First Premier League start for the club and impressed with his link up play and general movement. Had a great shot from distance well saved and left everything out on the pitch. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 81 minutes to provide some much needed fresh legs but made an impact from the bench for the second week in a succession. It was his cross on to head of Kelly that set up the winner.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – The pantomime villain once again but was a constant threat for the hosts with his pace and skill on the counter. Ridiculous bit of skill in the first half which left Cresswell rooted to the spot.

9 JORDAN AYEW (7 – GOAL!) – Worked tirelessly once again to create opportunities and was a real pest to the hosts defence. Fully deserved his goal – could he be the answer to all our striking problems? No pressure. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6) on 90 minutes to wind down the clock but the Belgian still found time to contribute by receiving a booking for kicking the ball away.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 5 James Tomkins, 6 Scott Dann, 7 Max Meyer, 23 Victor Camarasa


13 Jimenez, 24 Fredericks, 23 Diop, 21 Ogbonna, 3 Cresswell, 41 Rice, 7 Yarmolenko, 16 Noble, 10 Lanzini, 8 Felipe Anderson, 22 Haller.

Substitutes – 4 Balbuena, 5 Zabeleta (for Cresswell 84), 11 Snodgrass, 18 Fornals (for Lanzini 68), 19 Wilshere (for Yarmolenko 78), 25 Martin, 27 Ajeti


ROY HODGSON – “I thought we were a bit unlucky to fall behind. The first half we were very satisfied with, we were a constant threat. I wouldn’t say Haller’s goal came against the run of play but we felt it wasn’t in the offing at that stage. We were then fortunate that the two decisions that had to be made went our way. The one area we’ve been constantly strong in is central defence, but we’ve been working on our attacking play as well. That’s why we’ve managed to amass a good tally of points so far.”

MANUEL PELLEGRINI – “It’s hard to accept. We were a bit unlucky with the decisions. We scored a goal and took the lead but we had other chances, especially in the first half. I said before we started the season that the way we use VAR is the most important thing. We have nothing to complain about. Maybe a second goal would have decided the game. We had three good chances to score but didn’t manage to. I don’t think we played a bad game but we need to play better and keep improving. It was a good chance to be in the top three in the table.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Ryan Fredericks (7.6) while the most shots were from Sebastien Haller (3). The most tackles were made by Felipe Anderson (5) as Wilfried Zaha (6) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 6.49 – 6.77
  • Total shots: 9 – 7
  • Shots on target: 4 – 4
  • Possession: 51.8% – 48.2%
  • Pass success: 82% – 80%
  • Dribbles: 6 – 11
  • Aerials won: 26 – 18
  • Tackles: 17 – 10
  • Corners: 2 – 2
  • Dispossessed: 8 – 14


Palace have 14 points from 8 games and sit 6th, level on points with Chelsea in 5th and 2 points ahead of Burnley in 7th.


19/10/2019 Manchester City (h)

27/10/2019 Arsenal (a)

03/11/2019 Leicester City (h)


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