- Date – 23rd December 2017
- Venue – Liberty Stadium
- Attendance – 20,354
- Referee – Craig Pawson
- Bookings – Mesa, Fernandez, McArthur, Zaha, Milivojevic
- Goals – Milivojevic (59), Ayew (77)
- Star Eagle – Wilfried Zaha/ Ruben Loftus-Cheek (7.7)
Tough game at the Liberty Stadium as expected after the midweek sacking and while Palace did not match the performance from last weekend, there was enough about this away performance to take all three points. It was evident that Christian Benteke was missed as the focal point up front but Roy Hodgson has made this team very stubborn and very hard to beat. This was very much a case of respecting the point which sees the Eagles outside of the bottom three for Christmas.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
1 JULIAN SPERONI (6.1) – Only had one save of real note to contend with as the defensive line in front of him protected the goal well.
34 MARTIN KELLY (6.9) – Dealt with what came his way without fuss and has slotted into the defence well since returning to the starting line up.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (6.9) – Many wondered if the injury to Sakho would have a real effect on the back line but Tomkins has really stepped up after showing glimpses earlier in the season.
6 SCOTT DANN (7.2) – Forming a very good partnership with Tomkins at the back and marshalled the defence well to keep the hosts frustrated.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6.8) – Disappointing game from the utility man, perhaps his first poor showing in a number of games.
28 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7.4) – The return of the Serb and he picked up from where he left off with another goal from the penalty spot. May have prevented the equaliser had he not dived into the tackle initially.
7 YOHAN CABAYE (7.0) – Worked his socks off once again and continued to provide that touch of quality in the middle. A worry that he cannot last the whole game though. Replaced by 26 BAKARY SAKO (6.2) on 76 minutes but could not create the same impact as he had in the previous couple of games.
8 RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (7.7) – Very good performance from the Chelsea loanee, plenty of powerful runs with the ball, one ending in winning the penalty.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.3) – Far from the kind of showing that we have come to expect from the Scotsman and is most likely to make way for Benteke after this game.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7.7) – Harshly booked early on but was always a thorn in the side of the home side with his trickery on the ball and mazy runs.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7.5) – Excellent game, should have been on the score sheet with a superb effort which was matched by a super save. Always the willing runner throughout in support of Zaha. Replaced by 3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6.1) on 85 minutes for some fresh legs to see out the game.
Unused substitutes – 13 Wayne Hennessey, 23 Pape Souare, 24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah, 44, Jairo Riedewald, 42 Jason Puncheon
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
“We looked dangerous on the counter and our defence was solid throughout. We really restricted their chances to a minimum so it wasn’t a surprise when we went in front but they scored a very good goal. It’s another point in our fight out of the relegation zone so we’re not too unhappy. I think when they see the video they’ll agree it was a penalty. As far as I’m concerned the referee has given it and you get on with it. It’s been going well with Benteke and Zaha the past few games, and he gives us a focal figure in our attack. It’s a different style to when Zaha and Townsend play together but all things considered a point away from home is another step in our building exercise. We’ve got to build our house brick by brick.” – Roy Hodgson courtesy of BBC Sport.
“I’m very proud of that performance. If any team was to get a winner it was us and the players have given me everything they had. We needed fresh legs to give us a spark and Ayew came on and got the goal and was lively. Obviously he’ll be disappointed not to start but you can see he has the right attitude. The fans are great with me, I’m always appreciative of that. Nothing has changed and I’m delighted we have the point but I’m not interested in the job full-time. It’s day by day and as soon as something changes they’ll let me know.” – Leon Britton courtesy of BBC Sport.
The Who Scored man of the match was Jordan Ayew (7.8) while Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend (3) had the most shots. Luka Milivojevic (5) made the most tackles and Wilfried Zaha (8) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.61 – 6.89
- Total shots: 7 – 13
- Shots on target: 2 – 5
- Possession: 64.2% – 35.8%
- Pass success: 85% – 76%
- Dribbles: 20 – 21
- Aerials won: 12 – 15
- Tackles: 17 – 21
- Corners: 6 – 3
- Dispossessed: 11 – 6
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace drop to 16th with 18 points from 19 games, level with Newcastle United in 15th and a point ahead of West Ham United in 17th with 17 points.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 28/12/2017 Arsenal (h)
- 31/12/2017 Manchester City (h)
- 02/01/2018 Southampton (a)