Jordan Ayew scored a sensational 90th-minute winner to help Crystal Palace come from behind and beat West Ham at Selhurst Park.
The striker danced through the Hammers defence on the edge of the box and then brilliantly beat goalkeeper Roberto with a calm chip.
West Ham had taken the lead through Robert Snodgrass before Cheikhou Kouyate equalised against his former club.
Match-winner Ayew set up Kouyate’s goal with a knock-down which allowed the midfielder to sweep home a volley from seven yards.
Palace climb up to eighth with the win but West Ham fall to 17th, just a point above the relegation zone as pressure increases again on manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Ayew magic grabs deserved three points for Palace
Roy Hodgson’s Palace are now just three points off the European places after a winner that could hardly have come in more spectacular fashion.
Ayew drove in from the right wing, beat Declan Rice with a drag-back and dribbled around two more defenders before showing brilliant composure to send Selhurst Park delirious.
The Ghanaian unsurprisingly said afterwards it was one of the best goals he has scored in his career and Hodgson said it would “live long in the memory”.
A dreary first half did not hint at what was to come later, but the winner was deserved reward for Palace’s second-half performance.
Ayew and Luka Milivojevic had both gone close before Snodgrass’ opener which came against the run of play.
That said, the Scotland international could have scored again moments before Ayew’s goal if not for an excellent block from Jairo Riedewald.
Palace have rarely grabbed the headlines this season but they now go into the second half of the season with 26 points and the chance of just a second top-10 Premier League finish.
Pressure back on Pellegrini’s stuttering Hammers
When Snodgrass put West Ham in front the Hammers were en route to a second successive Premier League win which would have moved them well clear of the drop zone.
Instead, not helped by wins elsewhere for Southampton and Aston Villa, they are looking worryingly over their shoulders once again.
They have had 12 days without a match since their win at Southampton but have followed those three points with defeat – as they did when they beat Chelsea last month.
Pellegrini was reportedly facing the sack had his side lost at Southampton and will have to face more questions about his position after this defeat.
They only had two shots on target in the 90 minutes and will wonder how Ayew was able to beat so many defenders for the winner.
The Hammers have two days to recover before a difficult game against Leicester at London Stadium on Saturday before they host Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
Man of the match – Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
‘We need to recover soon’ – manager reaction
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, speaking to Match of the Day: “It was a fantastic effort. I thought Jordan Ayew did ever so well to set up the first goal. The second was one of those wonderful individual efforts that will live long in the memory, get lots of airings on TV.
“He deserves that. A fine rewards for his performance today and this season so far.
“The whole performance was one of character.”
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, speaking to Match of the Day: “Disappointed because I think today was similar to Palace at home, where we lost in the last minute.
“It was a tight game, unfortunately for us we didn’t keep that score because we dropped inside our box, allowed them to have possession.
“We need to recover as soon as we can. We need to play our home game where we are not having good results – we have two games in a row there and I hope we start winning.”
Ayew the late goal specialist – the best stats
- Crystal Palace recorded a Premier League double over West Ham for just the second time, having previously done so in the 2013-14 season under Tony Pulis.
- The team scoring first hasn’t won any of the last six Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and West Ham (D3 L3), with the Eagles coming from behind to win 2-1 in both meetings this season.
- Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last three London derbies at Selhurst Park in the Premier League (W2 D1) – their longest such run since between March 1993 and September 1994 (also three games).
- 76% of Crystal Palace’s goals in the Premier League this season have been scored in the second half of games (13/17), including eight of their nine at Selhurst Park.
- Ayew has scored 21 goals in the Premier League, with 20 of those being netted in the second half (95%) – the highest such ratio of any player with 20+ goals in the competition’s history.
- Snodgrass has scored four league goals against Crystal Palace – only against Bristol City (five) has he netted more in English league competition.
- Kouyate became the fourth player to score for both the Eagles and West Ham in the Premier League, after Iain Dowie, Michael Hughes and James Tomkins.
- Wilfried Zaha completed 12 dribbles for Crystal Palace in this game; the most by a player in a Premier League outing since Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in February (13 versus Huddersfield).
Both sides are back in action in two days time. Crystal Palace travel to Southampton on 28 December (15:00 GMT kick-off) while West Ham host Leicester later the same day (17:30 GMT kick-off).