Friday 6 December 2019

Bilic delighted as Hammers shine in Payet's absence

West Ham United 3 Crystal Palace 0

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic Photo: PA
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic Photo: PA

Slaven Bilic branded West Ham "magnificent" after they shrugged off Dimitri Payet's absence to overcome Crystal Palace.

Payet this week rocked the Hammers by asking to leave the club and refused to play against the Eagles.

Lanzini scores the third goal Photo: Reuters
Lanzini scores the third goal Photo: Reuters

But Sofiane Feghouli's first Premier League goal, Andy Carroll's stunning bicycle kick and a stylish late third from Manuel Lanzini ensured the France star was not missed in the slightest. Indeed, West Ham actually put on their best display of the season while their so-called talisman kicked his heels elsewhere.

And Bilic was eager to put the spotlight on the players who proved their commitment to the club, rather than the wantaway midfielder whose image outside the stadium needed a steward to protect it from potential vandalism.

"It was a great day for us," said the Hammers boss. "I would like to praise the players, they showed everything we asked them for. I would say we were magnificent."

The first half was goalless but, after a tactical rejig to a back four, West Ham kept knocking on the door and were rewarded when Michail Antonio teed up Feghouli for a tap-in. Carroll then conjured up a superb acrobatic effort from Antonio's cross, a sure contender for goal of the season. Lanzini galloped on to Antonio's third assist of the afternoon five minutes from time to wrap up a morale-boosting win and leave former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce still searching for his first victory with Palace.

Andy Carroll scores the second goal Photo: Reuters
Andy Carroll scores the second goal Photo: Reuters

"It's tough for us at the minute," Allardyce said. "I'm still finding out about the players here and they are making statements to me by the fact results are not good enough. We don't have the capability to make sure we don't lose. That's the first thing to put right at a struggling club and at the moment we don't know how to get that result."


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