Haller’s Spectacular Goal Earns West Ham Point

Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

After a poor first-half, an astonishing overhead kick from Sebastien Haller earned West Ham a draw against London rivals, Crystal Palace.

West Ham had gone behind due to a header from Christian Benteke and had been mostly dominated in the first half of the match. The second half was a much different story as they managed to drag themselves level thanks to Sebastien Haller. The Home side will be disappointed not to have won the game after Benteke had been sent off with twenty minutes to go.


After a successful return to a more traditional formation against Leeds David Moyes decided to keep the same set up in his team. There was, however, one change to the starting line-up. Issa Diop returned to the starting line-up for the first since West Ham’s defeat to Arsenal back in September.

Fabian Balbuena was the player to make way for Diop. The Paraguayan has done a superb job since his recall to the side but has picked up a minor knock and was therefore left out of the matchday squad.

The rest of the side remained the same with Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek were in the midfield sitting behind the attacking trio of Pablo Fornals, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen. Sebastien Haller continued to lead the line in Michail Antonio‘s absence.


The opening half-hour was edged by Crystal Palace. West Ham wasn’t able to keep hold of the ball in the attacking half and were inviting pressure on to the. Palace were playing well by Vladimir Coufal was doing well to marshall Wilfried Zaha for the most part.

Palace did eventually grab the opening goal through Christian Benteke. Left-back, Joel Ward, whipped in a brilliant cross toward the Belgian who managed to beat Diop to the ball. The striker’s header glanced perfectly into the bottom left-hand corner, Fabianski potentially could have done better to keep it out.

West Ham did improve after the break and dragged themselves level in spectacular fashion. The impressive Coufal put in a lofted cross into the box. The cross was smashed home by a beautiful overhead kick from Haller. The strike could be argued to have been better than Andy Carroll‘s against Palace a few years ago.

Sebastien Haller, West Ham.
Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

The game presented itself for West Ham in the 70th minute as Palace’s goalscorer Benteke was sent off. The striker was issued a second yellow card for an ariel elbow on Tomas Soucek. Despite going down to ten men, Palace were able to hold out and keep the scores level until full-time.


The first half was very poor from the Hammers. Cyrstal Palace looked very comfortable defending all of the host’s attacks. The only real meaningful effort West Ham was from Jarrod Bowen. The Englishman was able to cut in and fire a shot goalwards, drawing a good save from Vicente Guaita.

Defensively Balbuena was proving to be a big miss. Diop was beaten far too easily for Benteke’s goal. Something the Paraguayan would have been better suited for. Conceding seemed to stun the  Hammers who for the rest of the first half struggled to get themselves back into the game.

The second half showed how the Hammers have a newfound belief running through them. Moyes’ team managed to survive some Palace pressure and really got themselves going. Haller’s goal came with plenty of time to complete a consecutive comeback in the Premier League.

David Moyes, West Ham.
David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by STEPHEN POND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

One of the reasons for this improvement in performance was the introduction of Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine was very impressive and had a hand in the equaliser. Lanzini’s all-round play was very calm and progressive, something that had lacked in the first half.

Despite coming from behind to earn a point. The fact Palace were down to ten men for twenty minutes does make it hard not to see the game as two points dropped. Even though there was improvement the team still lacked a killer instinct in order to grab a winner.

Something that was evident against Palace was that the Hammers need to toughen up. The Eagles are a physical side and to many times Moyes’ men were shrugged off the ball. The extra physicality that Palace had seemed to nullify the Hammers set-piece threat for the most part.

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Next up for West Ham is another London derby, this time an away fixture against Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea. The Blues will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Wolves.