Downing delighted with Palace victory

A beaming Stewart Downing emerged from the dressing room to explain why Saturday's victory at Crystal Palace was an immensely satisfying one.

The Hammers midfielder had extra reason to smile as he notched his first Barclays Premier League goal of the season, which along with Mauro Zarate's opener and Carlton Cole's second half finish saw West Ham deservedly get all three points against the Eagles.

Despite Maurouane Chamakh pulling a goal back for the home side early after the break, the Hammers took the victory in an entertaining game on the road.

"It was really pleasing, a good performance by us and I of course was delighted to score. I think we managed to contain them well - it was their first home match of the season and this is always a difficult place to come, but we had lots of momentum.

"Last season we came here, didn't make our chances count and we lost and that happened to us last week against Tottenham, even though we had played well. On Saturday we knew we were playing well enough to keep control of the game and had the edge, so when we did concede which although was disappointing, we held on well and came through that bit of pressure to get another goal and wrap up the win."

For Downing himself, he was pleased to make his mark on the scoresheet. After opening up space for himself with some clever play, the Hammers No11 stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner from 20 yards for the second goal.

"Obviously I am eager as is the manager for me to get more goals this season, so to get off the mark second game in, is nice. I want to shoot more, get in the positions I need to be in. With the goal, I had it in my head what I wanted to do and hit it where I wanted to and it worked."

Downing said a second bustling London derby was always going to be tricky.

"You don't tend to think too much about the managerial situation [Crystal Palace] because they can be flat or galvanised by what is happening. This is a hard place to come and play and we played really well in this game, we passed it well, played some good football and scored some good goals. The pleasing thing is we finished our chances which I am sure our manager is very happy about."

Downing had praise for his team-mates across the park and said it had been a very positive start to the season for several of West Ham's new additions.

"Mauro scored a tremendous goal. The manager has been easing him into everything, making sure he was up to speed on his fitness. He's a clever player and if he can get more goals like today, than that is going to be a great help for the team.

"He showed some nice touches and linked up well. Cheik [Kouyate] got a lot of the ball, he has been very good, he likes to help break up play and gets forward. He has had an excellent start for us and if he can keep that up as much as he can, he'll prove to be a very good signing for us.

"I think all the new signings have settled in well and those who have played have made good starts. We have a bit of a stronger squad this season which I think helps the manager. Last season the team had to literally pick itself at times because of injuries but we have a lot more options now and can change it around a bit if needed.

"We got the second goal at a good time and the manager stressed that when we had the ball to keep it as we were penetrating them well on attack. The only disappointing thing for us was letting them back in a bit when Chamakh scored putting ourselves under a bit of pressure. But apart from that, thought it was a really good performance and a good win for us.

"We might have even played better in parts last week [against Tottenham] but we lost. We played really well here against Palace and took our chances and won well and got the first of what we hope are many more points to come."