- Date – 15th December 2018
- Venue – Selhurst Park
- Attendance – 24,738
- Referee – Michael Oliver
- Cards – McArthur, Guaita, Pereira
- Goals – Milivojevic (39)
- STAR EAGLE – Luka Milivojevic (8.3)
A big three points from a scrappy game in poor conditions at Selhurst Park and nobody can claim this side has no fight or passion. As the game went on, it was clear that the points were up for grabs and the Eagles did just enough to secure them. The weight on the shoulders of not winning without Wilfried Zaha is lifted and it is two home wins in succession. There is still plenty of hard work to go but this was a difficult fixture on paper even if the opposition were poor on the day.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7.0) – A surprise inclusion but Wayne Hennessey had been struggling with back spasms all week and had not been able to train but this was a good debut for the Spaniard. Showed he is agile, mobile and good with his feet and while he was caught out at one point, he made a great save low down to secure the points. Question is, will the Welshman get his place back?
29 AARON WAN-BISSAKA (7.4) – Needs no second invitation for a tackle which he relishes particularly in the splippery conditions. Got forward into space regularly to support the attack in the absence of much width.
34 MARTIN KELLY (8.0) – Did more than just step in for the absent Tomkins, was a rock at the heart of the defence and proved more than just a reliable back up. Could easily push for a start after this performance.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (7.3) – A couple of nervy moments from the Frenchman on the ball but he dealt with most that came his way sufficiently.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6.3) – Not one of his better games, struggled to get forward and create problems like he normally does but still played a part in achieving a clean sheet.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (8.0) – Another excellent game from the Senegal international and he was missed when he went off injured which invited pressure in the latter stages of the game. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6.5) on 65 minutes who looked rather erratic in his short time on the pitch, found it difficult to do the simple things.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8.3) – Came up with the winning goal which would have graced any game but it gave the hosts the boost they needed before the break. The captain lead by example with plenty of tackles and always looked to pick the pass every chance he got.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.4) – In what was a difficult game to get a hold of, the Scotsman continued to work up and down the pitch and was always involved in one way or another.
7 MAX MEYER (6.8) – Good on the ball and was driving forward whenever he was in possession, had a good effort on goal shortly after Palace took the lead. The German is really settling into the side and kept exerting himself on the proceedings. Replaced by 42 JASON PUNCHEON (6.0) on 90 minutes for some much needed fresh legs to see out the game.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6.6) – Just like McArthur, kept on working up and down the pitch trying to create something. Worked the line up front but not being a natural striker, was not quite able to make the run off the defender to get clear.
14 JORDAN AYEW (6.4) – No lack of effort, just the application. Clearly low on confidence as was proven with a tame effort towards goal when you just wanted him to put his laces through it. Replaced by 9 ALEXANDER SORLOTH (6.2) on 78 minutes who put himself around, hassled the back line as much as possible and created a couple of opportunities.
Unused substitutes – 1 Julian Speroni, 2 Joel Ward, 6 Scott Dann, 21 Connor Wickham
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID (courtesy of BBC Sport)
ROY HODGSON: “In the first half I thought we were very good. We lost Cheikhou Kouyate in the second half and when he had come off it handed the ascendancy to Leicester. We then had to make certain we worked hard and ground out the victory. We did not concede that many chances – the one we did that I thought they would score we had a stroke of fortune. Martin Kelly deserves a special mention. To come in with not many games behind him and play like he did, he deserves an enormous pat on the back.”
CLAUDE PUEL: “We did not start the game with the right intensity. We had a poor first half, it was not enough. We came back in the second half with a good intensity and quality. We had three or four chances to come back into the game. We deserved to come back but it is a big disappointment because we need the points. We were unlucky at the end but we lost three points.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Luka Milivojevic (8.3) while Wilfred Ndidi (4) had the most shots. The most tackles were made by Cheikhou Kouyate (8) as Harry Maguire and Rachid Ghezzal (3) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.94 – 6.43
- Total shots: 8 – 12
- Shots on target: 1 – 2
- Possession: 43.3% – 56.7%
- Pass success: 74% – 78%
- Dribbles: 9 – 8
- Aerials won: 17 – 21
- Tackles: 25 – 26
- Corners: 4 – 4
- Dispossessed: 19 – 14
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 15th in the Premier League with 15 points from 17 games, a point ahead of Cardiff City in 16th and a point behind Newcastle United in 14th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 22/12/2018 Manchester City (a)
- 26/12/2018 Cardiff City (h)
- 30/12/2018 Chelsea (h)