Roy Hodgson was a delighted figure on the touchline at Selhurst Park, as Crystal Palace secured their Premier League survival with a 4-3 win over West Ham United. But it appears he wasn’t the happiest man in the stadium.
West Ham took an early lead through Tomas Soucek, and it felt like the South London outfit will have to wait another week to end the talks of relegation. But Palace quickly found their way back into the game, scoring four goals to complete the double over the Hammers.
It was Jordan Ayew who started the comeback with a smart run through the middle before beating West Ham’s goalkeeper with a low shot into the near post. With only 14 minutes on the clock and a 1-1 figure on the scoreboard, plenty was left to fight in the game on Saturday afternoon.
But Ayew had no plans to wait for any other development in the tie and chose to make the most out of the moment by celebrating his goal by taking off his shirt. It’s not often fans see such an over-the-top celebration after an equalising goal, and certainly not when the goal has been scored within the first quarter of the game.
Palace scored three more through Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp, and Eberechi Eze to ensure there wasn’t another spirited comeback from West Ham. A win for Palace meant that not much was made of Ayew’s antics, which had the potential to backfire massively.
Players receive a yellow card for taking their shirts off. It is believed that it’s done to make sure there isn’t any time-wasting, as a player might take more than necessary time to first celebrate and then put their shirt back. Indiscipline is another reason cited by many. Accordingly, Ayew was shown a yellow card by the referee.
The 31-year-old was able to keep himself away from the referee’s attention for the remaining minutes, as he wasn’t involved in any reckless challenge or aggressive protests against any decision. But had he received another card and as a result instruction to leave the pitch by the official with the scoreline at 1-1, Hodgson would’ve certainly not been in the same delightful mood he was after the full-time whistle.
Some fans chose to see the funny side of it and claimed Ayew’s antics was the “most obvious betting on yourself to get a yellow” moment.
But on a serious note, betting on football is banned worldwide for all players, managers, coaches, club staff, directors, and licensed agents involved in the game. Brentford striker Ivan Toney is facing an uncertain situation after pleading guilty to numerous charges issued by the FA.
To be fair to Ayew, this was only his fourth goal of the season. As a striker, he understands goals are a precious commodity, and considering his form, he’s not guaranteed to celebrate every match week. He saw the moment and seized it.
Most importantly, with that goal, he became the first Ghanaian player in Premier League history to be directly involved in 50 goals – an outstanding feat worthy of a memorable celebration.