Style and substance delight Sam

Sam Allardyce was rightly delighted with the substance and the style of Saturday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League win at Crystal Palace.

West Ham United played some outstanding football at Selhurst Park and ran out thoroughly deserved victors over the Eagles.

Mauro Zarate netted a belter of a maiden West Ham goal to get things started on 34 minutes, volleying the dropping ball in from outside the penalty area after Mark Noble's shot had been blocked high into the air.

Three minutes later, it was two as Stewart Downing collected Cheikhou Kouyate's pass, cut in from the right flank and bent an inch-perfect shot into Julian Speroni's far corner.

James Tomkins hit the bar with header shortly after half-time before former Hammer Marouane Chamakh arrowed in for Palace three minutes into the second period.

The home side then had their best period of the match, but their comeback was nipped in the bud when Tomkins' free-kick dropped to Carlton Cole, who smashed past Speroni on 62 minutes.

Diafra Sakho was handed a debut late on as the Hammers played out time and collected their first points of the 2014/15 season.

Big Sam told West Ham TV he could not have been happier with the way his side played following their last-gasp home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur the previous weekend.

"The disappointment of having 20 attempts at goal and not scoring was totally forgotten as the quality of our three goals was outstanding," said the manager. "It made for the perfect performance for us because we got even better control of the game than we did against Tottenham.

"We completely controlled the game for virtually the whole 90 minutes except for when we let a sloppy goal in just after half-time.

"They had a ten-minute spell playing on their home ground, but the rest of the game belonged to us and I think the way the lads tactically controlled the game was brilliant."

While the opening goal would just not come against Spurs, it was Zarate who settled nerves with his unstoppable strike, capping a period of sustained West Ham pressure and possession.

"It was fantastic to see a debutant in Mauro come in and show what he could do with a very good goal to get us underway. I was just getting a little worried at that time because we hadn't scored, despite the level of pressure we were putting on Palace. We weren't converting our chances.

"To come up with that quality of strike from outside the box was brilliant. Then, on top of that, Stewart's finish was equally good, cutting in from the right and passing the ball into the bottom corner of the net. That's what we've been asking him to do."

Even when the home side did emerge after half-time with renewed energy and got themselves on the scoresheet, Big Sam was proud of his players' ability to regroup and put the game to bed through Cole's emphatic volley.

"It was a beautiful start, then we all thought Tomkins was going to score his header at the far post, because he doesn't normally miss from there, but it wasn't a goal.

"Then, they scored and had a ten-minute spell of pressure before we got control of the game again and I'm delighted that we have scored our first goal of the season off a set play. Carlton worked it and finished it beautifully.

"It was the performance and result we were all looking for. Fantastic!"

With a remit to produce more attacking and entertaining football, the manager was delighted with the flair, creativity and innovation in his side's play in south east London.

It was easy on the eye when West Ham had the ball, and fantastic to see the relentless work-rate and pressing when they didn't.

The manager - as well as everyone else connected with the Club, no doubt - would love to see that combination on a regular basis.

"We're introducing new players and I think Aaron Cresswell and Cheikh have shown their capabilities in the two games we've played and we can only hope they get even better, because it's all so new to them.

"Zarate made his debut and scored and looked very good in tight areas with his ability, Sakho came on and held it up and had a couple of good lay-offs, had a couple of shots at goal and a header which might have gone in, which was encouraging.

"We've got a lot of injured players to come back, so hopefully this is the start of something good and I hope the lads get ready for Sheffield United on Tuesday night and then Southampton.

"It gives me optimism and if they continue to finish like they did on Saturday then that's only going to give me more optimism because we're going to be a very, very good side and be in a very good position in the league.

"That must have given everyone at the game - the Joint-Chairmen, the fans, us as staff and the players - a huge amount of confidence in the positive way and the quality with which we played."

West Ham return to action at home to Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup second round on Tuesday evening, when Adult tickets are just £10 when bought in advance.

Following that, the Hammers welcome Southampton to the Boleyn Ground next Saturday 30 August at 3pm ahead of a 16-day international break.