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West Ham on the up with Crystal Palace coup


London (AFP) – West Ham United climbed out of the relegation zone with just their second Premier League win of the season after Manuel Lanzini’s goal secured a 1-0 victory away to London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Hammers hung on to all three points despite playing the final 15 minutes a man down after Aaron Cresswell was sent off to record their first win since August. 

Lanzini put the Hammers ahead in the 19th minute at a rainswept Selhurst Park when he turned in Creswell’s hard, low cross with a first-time touch.

Palace, managed by former West Ham boss Alan Pardew, should have equalised on the stroke of half-time when they were awarded a penalty following Angelo Ogbonna’s challenge on Christian Benteke.

The Belgium striker took the spot-kick himself but, trying to place the ball rather than power it into the net, he side-footed a shot wide of the right post.

There was still time in the half for Benteke to go rather closer to making it 1-1 when he rose above the Hammers defence and beat goalkeeper Adrian with a header that hit the post.

In the second half, the Hammers had a chance to double their lead. Lanzini burst through on goal but he was forced wide by a combination of a poor touch and onrushing Palace goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

The ball fell to Dimitri Payet, whose well-struck shot was saved by France international Mandanda.

It took Palace nearly an hour to produce their first shot on goal, with England midfielder Andros Townsend firing straight at Adrian.

The Eagles were given a boost, however, 15 minutes from time when Cresswell was sent off after collecting two yellow cards in quick succession.

Having been cautioned for diving, Cresswell saw red for a foul on Wilfried Zaha. 

Palace pressed for an equaliser and it needed a fine save by Adrian in stoppage time to tip Connor Wickham’s close-ranger header over the crossbar.

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