Bitter Defeat To Swallow For Palace Fans Stateside
So here we are, a few days have passed following the narrow defeat to Liverpool and my mood is still off.
Palace played well. Aaron Wan-Bissaka showed why he is one of the best right backs in the league. Our back line was strong once again in the face of a very talented opposition.
I just cannot get over Monday afternoons defeat.
We all can agree that Liverpool should and will contend with Manchester City for the Premier League title. They may even challenge for a spot in the Champions League final, just as they did last year. Their front three attackers are the best of any team in any league.
And yet, our beloved Palace matched them for much of the game. Liverpool definitely had the occasional break but I cannot remember a single threatening shot that Wayne Hennessey had to make an extraordinary effort to save. I would argue that the two best scoring chances belonged to Andros Townsend and his curler off of the crossbar and Luka Milivojevic’s free kick that was turned round the post by Alisson.
Two moments doomed Palace, both involved Mohamed Salah.
All pundits agree that the red card for Wan-Bissaka was justly given and Roy Hodgson said as much in his post match press conference. There is not much to argue there, AWB tried his best to catch up to a free running Salah but in the end could not get a touch on the ball and sent the Egyptian flying with the very slightest touch. The red card was immediately shown and Liverpool could essentially coast for the final twenty minutes of the game.
The decision that I cannot get out of my head was the soft penalty call. After seeing the replay countless times I have yet to be able to see where that is a clear and obvious penalty. I may be speaking through Palace lenses but I really just do not understand. Salah is too good to be looking for penalties in the box. He is too great of a goal scorer to flop after a slight touch to coerce a penalty call.
Salah’s flop cost Palace points.
Plain and simple. Yes, there are 36 games left to be played but this one will sting for a while. The great thing about being a fan is that we can dwell on decisions such as these and complain and moan about referees and those that go for and against our team. The players can do no such thing. They have a game to play on Sunday against Watford that have yet to drop points in the first two matches of the season. I am very confident in Hodgson’s ability to motivate the squad and look for them to bounce back at an old foe. Vicarage Road is never an easy place to pick up points. If Palace are to have the season that they are capable of then points must be won.
There were positives from the Liverpool loss.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – What a wonder of a player he has turned out to be. Even with the red card, he was without a doubt our man of the match. Him not being on the pitch will hurt on Sunday but we have a more than capable reserve in the always steady Joel Ward.
Wayne Hennessey – Again was steady between the posts. Nothing alarming was sent his way but the one that sticks out the most to me was his charge out on Salah early in the second half. The Hennessey of old makes a mess of that.
Max Meyer – Made his Palace debut and looked formidable in the middle. I can see him sooner rather than later taking James McArthur’s spot. This will allow Jimmy to turn into a super-sub roles that Palace are desperately lacking late in games.
There were also negatives.
As I said last week, Jeffrey Schlupp disappears from time to time and on Monday he did that for the entire game. If he is to start each week, he needs to pick up his performances and become more of a force down the left side.
The Liverpool centre-backs had their way with both Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benkete. Aside from a few nice moments towards the end of the game, Wilf had a very un-Wilf-like match. There are times where having him up front hurts Palace and Monday was one of those days. An attacking winger, terrorising Liverpool’s full-backs, was needed and Palace lacked that dimension.
Lastly, the Holmesdale Fanatics were missed in my opinion. It was not the same Selhurst that came through my television from 4,000 miles away. Being that far away, I am not as dialed in to the totality of the situation at hand, but something needs to be done. While I do not agree that season ticket holders that have had their tickets behind the goal be uprooted and moved just to please the Fanatics, the club and the fans need to work something out and hopefully they do so quickly.
We move forward.
Enough rambling from this American for one day. Sunday is another day and I will be up at 8am to cheer on the club I love so dear.
UP THE PALACE!!!