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West Ham gatecrash top four as Soucek double earns win at Palace
Tomas Soucek bagged a brace as West Ham climbed into the Premier League’s top four after a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.
Wilfried Zaha fired Palace in front after only three minutes of their London derby.
The Ivory Coast international combined with Christian Benteke on the edge of the area before the Eagles number 11 drilled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was Zahas ninth goal of the campaign and ensured West Ham made the worst possible start at Selhurst Park.
The visitors managed to equalise in the ninth minute when Soucek profited from the Palace defence switching off.
Pablo Fornals cross looked to be going out of play, but Antonio was able to hook the ball across the face of goal where the Hammers central midfielder headed in from close range.
It was the Czech Republic internationals sixth goal of the season, which made him the clubs outright top goalscorer.
Soucek doubled his tally and West Hams midway through the second half to put the visitors in front.
Aaron Cresswells free-kick to the back post was controlled by the midfielder and he steered an effort past Vicente Guaita to make it 2-1 after 25 minutes.
VAR did review the incident before it allowed the goal to stand and Palace almost conceded again straight from the kick-off, but Antonio fired an effort against the post.
The Hammers went close to adding a third on the hour mark when Antonio forced a smart save from Guaita from close range.
But Craig Dawson finally rewarded West Hams dominance with a third at Selhurst Park in the 65th minute.
Jarrod Bowen whipped in an inswinging corner which was headed home by the Hammers centre-back to make it 3-1.
Palace had prepared for Michy Batshuayi to enter the fray before the set-piece. But when he eventually made it onto the pitch, the task of salvaging some points had got a whole lot harder.
Zaha curled an effort wide with seven minutes, before James McArthur blazed over, as Palace looked for a route back into the game.
They did pull one back in the final minute of stoppage time when Michy Batshuayi found the target, but the visitors were worthy winners in the end.
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