West Ham United suffered their eighth defeat of the 2022-23 Premier League season at the hands of Crystal Palace at the London Stadium on Sunday (6 November), and pressure is starting to mount on manager David Moyes.
The Hammers went in front after 20 minutes through a worldie from Said Benrahma from 22 yards out, but playing out from the back proved costly for them as they lost possession in the process and allowed Wilfried Zaha draw his side level four minutes from the break.
The Hammers thought they had won a penalty 10 minutes to the end of the second-half when referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot after Michail Antonio appeared to have been pulled back by Marc Guehi, but VAR intervened and the decision was rescinded.
It appeared both sides were going to settle for a share of the spoils, but Michael Olise had other plans, opening his account for the season by curling in an effort that took a huge deflection off Aaron Cresswell and flew into the top corner in the 94th minute, handing Patrick Vieira’s side their first league win on the road this term as a result.
It broke West Ham’s heart, dropping them to 15th in the table, with just four wins and two draws to their name so far.
The Hammers are just two points off the relegation places, and improving on their sixth and seventh-placed finishes from 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively, looks beyond them at the moment.
They host a resurgent Leicester City on Saturday (12 November), and they will be looking to get back into winning ways before the World Cup break.
Moyes is under increasing pressure after Blackburn Rovers dumped his side out of the League Cup in the third round on penalties during the week, and the clash against the Foxes could be a must-win for him if he wants to hold on to his job.
Crystal Palace moved to 10th position with their fifth win of the campaign, but they are just on 19 points having lost four and drawn four, and Vieira will be eyeing a third consecutive league win ahead of Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.
The Eagles will likely head into the World Cup break in the top half of the table regardless of what happens against the last-placed team in the log, but a victory will surely further move them closer to safety and the European places.
Unfortunately, they have been dumped out of the League Cup after Newcastle United won them on penalties on Wednesday (9 November), following in the footsteps of all the London clubs that played in the third round.
Having finished 12th last term, Vieira will be working towards helping Palace end in the top-seven this term in order to play European football in 2023-24, and with just two points currently between them and the last continental spot, just anything is possible going forward.
Three out of their four league defeats and two out of their four draws have come against teams above them in the table, and getting results against those teams will be required if they want to end the campaign on a solid note.