Marouane Chamakh’s goal took Crystal Palace off the bottom of the English Premier League table as they beat West Ham 1-0 in Tony Pulis’s first home game in charge at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.
Chamakh scored the only goal of the game – the Moroccan’s first since August 24 – when he headed in Barry Bannan’s curling cross in the 42nd minute.
The striker had previously scored just one goal this season – although that was still one goal more than he managed in five months on loan at West Ham last term.
West Ham came into this all-London clash boosted by a 3-0 win over Fulham but have still to record back-to-back Premier League wins since being promoted last year.
Victory left Palace just three points adrift of safety on 10 points and West Ham one of several clubs on 13 points who could yet get drawn into a relegation battle.
Palace captain Mile Jedinak released Jason Puncheon early on, only for Puncheon to shoot tamely at Jussi Jasskelainen.
West Ham, however, then looked the more likely to open the scoring with Mark Noble failing to connect properly with a close-range shot following a well-worked free-kick routine.
The Hammers then created another fine chance only for Mohammad Diame to head over the bar from Stewart Downing’s curling cross.
And moments later Palace took the lead when, after Bannan’s initial cross was blocked, the Scotland midfielder whipped in a second ball glanced in by the now unmarked Chamakh.
The second half saw Palace go in search of a second goal that would put the result beyond doubt and give Pulis the boost of a victory after his first game in charge ended in defeat by Norwich last weekend.
Another Bannan cross was headed narrowly over by Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jaaskelainen did well to spread himself to deny Cameron Jerome after he raced through one-on-one.
West Ham, however, did have the ball in the net after 65 minutes when England winger Downing lashed in a low volley but James Tomkins had already been penalised for a foul in the area, although it looked as if the Hammers man had been impeded first.
Palace substitute Jimmy Kebe also had a ‘goal’ ruled out moments later when he turned in and Australian Jedinak’s pull-back but was flagged for offside.
An angry Ravel Morrison was booked after the final whistle for shoving Palace’s Joel Ward in the face.