West Ham Utd 1 Crystal Palace 2 6th November 2022

Olise sinks Hammers in a last gasp winner at London Stadium to end winning run

I hope everyone is safe and well.

Time. It’s either on your side or totally against you, you either have too much time or nowhere near enough. I seem to be suffering from the later at the moment with so much going on. We have some urgent work deadlines and I’ve had to make time to keep time otherwise I’m behind time! Phew! It seems I’m always chasing my tail as time slips away. It could be age or just not utilising my time effectively.

It seems to take quite some time to put these images together so I end up taking more time to post after the matches and with so many home matches recently it’s hard to keep on top – time, it seems is not on my side right now.

So to the last gasp winner by Olise that sank us at home against Crystal Palace, it seems we cannot run out the time of a game to get something out of the match. Antonio could have wasted time by taking the ball wide, trying to keep the ball by the corner flag or turn in and swing in a cross. Instead he chose to pass it to the keeper. In no time at all, Palace we’re on the attack and just before the ref called time Olise shoots and with Cresswell’s deflection bags the winner.

Time had run out on the team and the week ahead seemed to be affected by this poor result. When Morley said he fancied a 3-0 win for the Hammers in his pre match interview, some of us fans said we would be lucky to get a draw. Palace are playing some tidy attacking football and we are looking soft at the back on the counter.

Time – would it have been a different result if we have managed to have more time on the ball during the match? Retaining possession and frustrating Palace? A bit of time wasting at the end to see out the match for a draw? If only Antonio have given himself more time, maybe we could have earned a draw. No, time it seemed had gone too quickly as Palace made the most of the Hammers flat feet and took all three points right from under us after Benrahma put us ahead in the first half. He has benefitted from extended first team playing time.

But we know these results so well, Palace haven’t won away this season – cue an away win at London Stadium against a side on a winning streak at home. But you wouldn’t have thought it from the way we played, Benrahma put us in front on his 100th appearance for West Ham, but it was against the run of play. And without creating any clear chances to challenge Eagles keeper Vicente Guaiti except for Kehrer’s effort in the second half.

But we must raise the VAR issue again as Referee Paul Tierney points to the spot after Antonio goes down in the box after being brought down by Guaiti’s wayward arm. Set pieces and penalties were our speciality last season, so this could be our chance to get back in front. Cue VAR and Ref Tierney changes his decision. The more time he is looking at the screen you know it’s not going our way. Time – its either on your side or against you.

And we know what the outcome of these VAR decisions will be, time after time it seems we fall to a decision going against us despite the ref having initially awarded in our favour. We have discussed this before but it’s making quite an impact on the game and potentially the outcome of the match. Over time these decisions equal themselves out, we are told, but I’m not convinced and would love to see the stats on that.

After only 3 days after our Europa Conference League win against FCSB to secure our place in the next round, but with 11 changes to the team playing ahi’s t the Eagles, you cannot argue that there was not enough time between the matches. The first team to secure 100% record in the group stages and we looked disjointed and drained of confidence. My brother says ‘Look at the teams we played in the ECL though’ I argue winning builds confidence, whoever you play. Time, it seems, tells its own story as we hit a bump in the road and get beat in the last seconds of a match we could have won.

I hope you enjoy the photos from the match, despite the result and I’ll post the other two matches during the week.

Take care everyone

Dawud 

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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