Soccer-West Ham held to draw at home by Palace

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United v Crystal Palace - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 3, 2023 Crystal Palace's Joel Ward with teammates applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Tony Obrien

LONDON (Reuters) -West Ham United scored early but were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Hammers remained ninth in the standings, on 21 points, as they failed to take advantage of Brighton & Hove Albion's 3-2 defeat by Chelsea, while Palace moved up to 12th on 16 points.

Palace came into the game on the back of two defeats, and will be happy to come away from this one with a point.

"We've stopped the bleeding. When you go on a run of successive losses, just a point is massive in this league," Palace defender Marc Guehi said.

"There are so many good teams, and it's quite competitive around us. Today was a good point, and it's important that we move on and build on this."

West Ham took the lead in the 13th minute when James Ward-Prowse played a pass out wide to Vladimir Coufal on the right who cut it back to Mohammed Kudus in the area and his first time shot found the bottom corner via a small deflection.

"It is always good to score early on in the game," Kudus said. "It gives the team momentum and energy."

Palace's equaliser came in the 53rd minute with West Ham looking to play it out from the back, but a stray pass from Konstantinos Mavropanos was picked up by Odsonne Edouard who raced into the box and fired his shot into the far corner.

It made up for his miss just a minute earlier when Guehi met a free kick into the area and played the ball across goal, but Edouard couldn't get his head to it and Ward-Prowse, just behind him, headed it over for a corner.

The visitors struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the first half after falling behind, but with West Ham failing to build on their early lead, Palace went in at the break still very much in the game.

West Ham did have the ball in the net in the first minute of the second half, but Tomas Soucek, who took a swing at a cross from Kudus without touching the ball, was in an offside position.

The home side had a great chance to retake the lead in the 64th minute when Lucas Paqueta sent a dangerous ball into the box but an unmarked Emerson at the back post hit his volley from close range over the bar.

West Ham had won their last two league games, but in a game with few chances they were forced to settle for a point at home.

"In games like this, we expect more from ourselves. If we don't get three points, at least we have to get a point," Kudus said.

"When there are not many chances, we need to be compact and defend better to win the game with just one goal."

The home side finished stronger and had chances late on to take all three points, but Palace held out for a well-earned draw.

(Reporting by Trevor StynesEditing by Christian Radnedge)

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