Crystal Palace snatched victory at West Ham as Jordan Ayew had an 87th-minute goal awarded by the video assistant referee at the London Stadium.
The strike was initially ruled offside by the linesman after Ayew stabbed in from Martin Kelly’s header but the decision was overturned after a lengthy VAR review.
Sebastien Haller had given West Ham the lead when he swept home.
But Palace equalised through Patrick van Aanholt’s penalty before Ayew’s goal secured all three points.
The win moved Roy Hodgson’s side into the top four of the Premier League while ending West Ham’s six-game unbeaten run.
VAR takes centre stage again at the London Stadium
The addition of VAR in the Premier League has been a much debated subject this season and the London Stadium has now played host to some of its most controversial moments.
In West Ham’s opening game of the campaign against Manchester City, VAR ruled out a goal for the visitors after Raheem Sterling’s shoulder was adjudged offside, and this was a similarly close call.
When Ayew turned home from Kelly’s knockdown, the linesman’s flag was immediately raised and all but the most eagle-eyed would have disputed the decision.
However, VAR intervened, leading to a lengthy delay and after examining many angles it was deemed that Ayew had just been played onside.
It was tight but ultimately the correct decision and Palace now have two additional points that could prove vital at the end of the season.
Missed chances prove costly for West Ham
This was West Ham’s first defeat in the Premier League since they were thumped 5-0 by Manchester City in their season opener but they arguably only had themselves to blame for not extending their unbeaten run to seven games.
Much of their good form has been down to an attack that will be the envy of many of their opponents in the Premier League, with Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini offering a combination of pace, power and creativity.
However, they were all uncharacteristically off key in the final third in this game.
Haller – West Ham’s record signing in the summer – fluffed a golden chance in the first half when he shot straight at Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita from only a couple of yards out while Anderson mis-hit a volley before seeing a header saved.
Even after Palace had got back on level terms they again had a golden chance to win it late on but Haller took too long to shoot from a good position and was closed down by Van Aanholt.
In the end, five of West Ham’s nine shots on goal failed to hit the target. However, they had scored two more goals in four of the five games prior to Palace’s visit meaning this was likely just to be a bad day at the office for the Hammers’ usually sharp shooters.
Man of the match – Patrick van Aanholt
‘We need to play better’ – what they said
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It’s hard to accept. We were a bit unlucky with the decisions.
“We scored a goal and took the lead but we had other chances, especially in the first half. I said before we started the season that the way we use VAR is the most important thing. We have nothing to complain about.
“Maybe a second goal would have decided the game. We had three good chances to score but didn’t manage to. I don’t think we played a bad game but we need to play better and keep improving. It was a good chance to be in the top three in the table.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “I thought we were a bit unlucky to fall behind. The first half we were very satisfied with, we were a constant threat.
“I wouldn’t say Haller’s goal came against the run of play but we felt it wasn’t in the offing at that stage. We were then fortunate that the two decisions that had to be made went our way.
“The one area we’ve been constantly strong in is central defence, but we’ve been working on our attacking play as well. That’s why we’ve managed to amass a good tally of points so far.”
Palace loving life on the road – the stats
- Only Manchester City (33) and Liverpool (30) have won more away points in the Premier League in 2019 than Crystal Palace (25).
- Only Aston Villa (8) have lost more points from winning positions in the Premier League this season than West Ham United (7).
- Of all teams to have scored at least 100 goals in Premier League history, Crystal Palace have scored the highest ratio of them from the penalty spot (12% – 52/432).
- Since they were promoted back to the Premier League in 2013, Crystal Palace have won (47) and scored (38) the most penalties of any side in the division.
- Sebastien Haller has been directly involved in 14 goals in his last 15 home league starts at West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt combined (7 goals, 7 assists).
- Since his debut for Crystal Palace in January 2017, no defender has scored more Premier League goals than Patrick van Aanholt (12, level with Marcos Alonso).
West Ham are away to Everton in their first game after the international beak on Saturday, 19 October (12:30 BST) while Crystal Palace are at home to Manchester City later on the same day (17:30 BST).