Belfast Telegraph

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Hart furious as Hammers let their lead slip

Crystal Palace 2 West Ham United 2

By Tom Allnutt

Joe Hart branded West Ham’s late capitulation at Crystal Palace “unprofessional” and said it left his team-mates lost for words.

Hart was unable to stop Wilfried Zaha scoring a 97th-minute equaliser at Selhurst Park to complete a dramatic comeback and deny West Ham a morale-boosting victory.

Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew had put the Hammers two up at half-time, but Luka Milivojevic converted a penalty early in the second period before Zaha’s stoppage-time strike earned Palace a 2-2 draw.

Hart was unfortunate not to finish a victor. The England goalkeeper pulled off a string of excellent saves, including one with his finger-tips to keep out a James Tomkins header late on.

“I can’t believe we’ve done that,” Hart said. “I can’t believe we’ve fought all the way to the end and then been so unprofessional at the end.

“It’s a little bit speechless in the dressing room. No one does things on purpose in this team, but it’s two points dropped — as simple as that.

“I hadn’t switched off, but it was a good finish by Zaha, through legs, and I’m bitterly disappointed.”

West Ham came under sustained pressure in the last 10 minutes, but they were naive too.

“You’ve got to keep the ball in the corner, it’s that simple, and you can’t let people keep running through you and getting chances,” Hart said.

“Today counts for a point, but that’s about it. We learn simple things.”

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