BY SAM SMITH
Christian Benteke scored but was later controversially sent off as Crystal Palace were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham.
The Eagles striker met Joel Ward’s cross and powerfully headed past Lukasz Fabianski to put his side ahead.
Roy Hodgson’s side dominated but they were left to rue their missed chances after Sebastien Haller’s spectacular bicycle kick.
Benteke then saw red for a second yellow card. The Belgian’s first booking was for allegedly leading with an arm while contesting for a header with Angelo Ogbonna – with the Italian seemingly exaggerating just how bad the contact actually was.
His second was for a similar challenge with Tomas Soucek. The dismissal means Benteke will miss Saturday’s game against former side Liverpool at Selhurst Park.
Palace were the better team until they were reduced to 10 men. Nobody was able to convert Eberechi Eze’s dangerous delivery across the face of goal, but Benteke soon netted with a header from Ward’s right-wing delivery.
The 30-year-old – clearly full of confidence – nearly had a second but had his backheel saved by Fabianski. He also had an audacious volley from a tight angle that flew well over the crossbar.
West Ham scarcely breached Palace’s defence but equalised through Haller’s acrobatic effort. The Hammers tried to take advantage of their numerical superiority after Benteke’s red card – but despite Declan Rice’s late effort from range flying just wide, David Moyes’ side could not find a winner.
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