Hammers produce superb team performance
West Ham United produced the perfect team performance as they put a difficult few days behind them to record an emphatic 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
All the headlines may have surrounded Dimitri Payet, but the players showed they are united as they secured their first victory in 2017.
It turned out to be the perfect day for the east London Club as Sofiane Feghouli netted his first Premier League goal, Andy Carroll scored a superb scissor kick and Manuel Lanzini also got on the scoresheet as the Hammers got back to winning ways in style at London Stadium.
Slaven Bilic could not have asked anymore from his players who were under the spotlight following a turbulent few days, but they showed how much they are behind the manager with a superb team display.
The players showed character, determination and the quality to record their biggest Premier League win at London Stadium.
It was also a day to remember for Michail Antonio who was forced to miss the build-up through illness, but played his part with three crucial assists during the game.
With injuries and players away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Bilic opted to change his system and rever to three at the back with James Collins making a timely return to first-team action after he was forced to miss the last month with a hamstring injury.
The system had worked so well for the Hammers in the impressive 1-0 win at Selhurst Park back in October and Bilic was hoping for a similar outcome.
Following a slow start to the game, the Hammers created the first major opening on 26 minutes.
Skipper Mark Noble picked up the ball on the right hand side and crossed in for Andy Carroll who volleyed the ball inches over the bar.
The game started to open up and Palace almost came close to breaking the deadlock on 31 minutes.
Collins looping header fell into the path of Yohan Cabaye who tried an audacious 30-yard volley which produced a fine save from Darren Randolph diving low to his left.
Former Hammers defender James Tomkins blew a golden chance to open the scoring for Palace on 35 minutes.
Andros Townsend's free-kick picked out Tomkins who only had Randolph to beat but he sliced his shot wide of the post.
Bilic made a change at the interval bringing on Sam Byram to replace Angelo Ogbonna as he reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with Michail Antonio playing alongside Carroll in the Hammers attack.
The move almost paid off straight away as Carroll fired a shot from the edge of the box just wide of the post.
Byram also had a chance to get his name on the scoresheet on 66 minutes when the ball fell kindly to him inside the box and he struck a half-volley just past the post.
The deadlock was finally broken on 67 minutes and you could sense the relief around London Stadium.
Antonio got in behind the Palace defender and took the ball around Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey.
The Hammers winger crossed towards goal and Feghouli was in the right place to knock the loose ball into an empty net.
Carroll secured all three points for the home side in spectacular fashion on 79 minutes.
Antonio's left-foot cross fell perfectly for the Hammers forward and he produced a great piece of skill to fire the perfect scissor kick past Hennessey into the roof of the net.
Lanzini was not to be outdone as he made it three on 85 minutes with another superb finish.
Antonio turned provider once again as he played the perfect through ball into the path of the Argentine midfielder and he showed all his class to deliver the perfect chip over Hennessey as the Hammers celebrated a memorable victory.
West Ham: Randolph; Reid, Collins, Ogbonna (Byram 46), Cresswell; Feghouli, Obiang, Noble, Antonio (Fletcher 89), Lanzini (Fernandes 87); Carroll
Subs not used: Adrian, Calleri, Oxford, Quina
Bookings: Noble, Carroll, Byram, Lanzini
Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Tomkins, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Cabaye, McArthur (Lee 70), Ledley (Schlupp 80), Puncheon, Townsend (Remy 70); Benteke
Subs not used: Speroni, Fryers, Kelly, Flamini
Bookings: Ledley, Ward
Referee: Neil Swarbrick