Dimitri Payet’s free-kick v Crystal Palace was not Wayne Hennessey’s fault

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Football News

Dimitri Payet has surely cemented his status as the best free-kick taker in the Premier League after his magnificent effort for West Ham against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The France international, who also scored a stunning 35-yard free-kick for France against Russia in midweek, somehow looped the ball into the top corner of the net from 20 yards to put the Hammers 2-1 up.

Some people criticised Wayne Hennessey for failing to stop Payet’s effort - but when they see the Palace goalkeeper’s point of view, they’ll realise they’ve been a little unfair. (Scroll down this page to see the video).


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A Crystal Palace fan recorded Payet’s free-kick using his mobile phone and it’s abundantly clear that Hennessey had no realistic chance of saving the shot.

The Palace wall obstructed the Wales international’s view and Payet’s free-kick flew past him in a flash.

Video: Payet's free-kick from Hennessey’s angle

Video: Payet's free-kick on TV

Hennessey is clearly not the man to blame

From Hennessey’s angle, the shot also appeared to be heading over the crossbar. However, it dipped at the last second and nestled into the top corner of the net.

It was a special free-kick - arguably even better than his goals against Russia and Manchester United in the FA Cup last month - and the blame shouldn’t be pinned on Hennessey’s shoulders on this occasion.

Fortunately for the goalkeeper, Dwight Gayle’s 75th-minute equaliser rescued a point for Palace, who now sit seven points above 18th-placed Sunderland with seven matches remaining.

Was this the best free-kick Dimitri Payet has scored this season? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Thierry Henry
West Ham United
England Football
Crystal Palace
Premier League

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