West Ham fans getting excited after three wins in a week
PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 December 2018
Second-half goals from Snodgrass, Hernandez and Anderson give Hammers victory over Crystal Palace
West Ham showed their class and their ability to come from behind and score some superb goals, but let’s not get too carried away.
A Crystal Palace side who had won just a single game in their last 10 should have been there for the taking, but in the first half it was the Eagles who held sway.
They grabbed the lead early on through James McArthur and could have added to that before half time as they smashed a free kick against the bar with Lukasz Fabianski beaten.
But this Manuel Pellegrini team is made of sterner stuff than previous Hammers sides and in the second half they steamrollered their way to a third victory on the bounce.
Andy Carroll came on at the break for the ineffective Lucas Perez, but there were no scrappy goals, all three were magnificent.
Robert Snodgrass’ first league goal in claret and blue crowned a great week for the Scot, Javier Hernandez made his finish look easy when it clearly not, while the icing on the cake was Felipe Anderson’s stunning curler.
Three wins on the trot for the first time in two years, and, at the time, 10th place in the table, it doesn’t get much better.
“I think we deserved the win because if you review the complete game, Crystal Palace had three chances to score,” said manager Manuel Pellegrini.
“They scored two from set-pieces and one free kick hit the bar, but apart that they did not have any clear opportunities.
“Fortunately I think we started the second half with the calm that we didn’t have in the first half. In the first half we had good positions, but we were missing the calmness to make options.
“I felt we were playing too fast and it was difficult to create chances.”
They were also missing the strength and pace of Marko Arnautovic and that was especially acute in the first half as the team failed to really hurt the Palace defence.
There must have been a few worried faces in the crowd at the break as the Hammers trailed, but not in the dressing room it seems as Pellegrini has instilled a new style of play in his team.
“I think the important thing is that we scored three goals for the third game in a row and that reflects a little bit more that this team is trying to do things in a new style.”
West Ham are definitely looking up the table now rather than over their shoulder. That disastrous start which saw them lost their opening four league games are now a distant memory.
And remember the team is still without the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and now Arnautovic.
“If we win the next game maybe we will negate that bad start,” said the boss. “But I said to the players that we must keep the winning mentality and try to go game by game.”
The last time West Ham won three on the trot, they lost their next three league games.
Somehow, looking at the fixtures and looking at the strength of theis Hammers squad, you can’t imagine that happening again.
Fulham away, Watford at home followed by trips to Southampton and Burnley and a home game with Brighton all seem to be games that a West Ham playing like this could win.
The team dropped one place on Sunday when Wolves won, but still things are definitely on the up under Pellegrini.
But still, let’s not get carried away!