- Date – 2nd February 2019
- Venue – Selhurst Park
- Attendance – 25,355
- Referee – Michael Oliver
- Cards – Wan-Bissaka, Ayew, Babel, Marchand, Odoi
- Goals – Milivojevic (25 pen), Schlupp (87)
- STAR EAGLE – Jeffrey Schlupp (8.0)
It was not a vintage performance, more a professional one with plenty of positives and most of all, a very good and welcome three points. Suddenly the realisation is clear for all to see that we have options even when missing a couple of key players. It is hard to argue much about this performance or the changes made. This has become a solid squad of players with options, particularly up front as was witnessed in this game, and the rest of the season suddenly looks a little brighter.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6.5) – The Spaniard was rarely tested but it is an odd feeling having trust in a goalkeeper again who does the basics well, quick on his feet and is visibly vocal.
29 AARON WAN-BISSAKA (7.3 – BOOKED!) – It is difficult to continually find the words to describe the performances that this young man is putting in week after week but he has to be on the fringes of a full international call up before the season is out.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (7.4) – Suffered a head injury that would have forced many a player off the pitch and down the tunnel, but not our centre back. Up he got to get on with the game, nose full of cotton wool. After a couple of recent below par performances, this was back up to the levels we have enjoyed from him.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (7.4) – A terrific game from the Frenchman, one brilliant challenge got the team surging forward which culminated in the killer second goal. Great chance to score himself before that but failed to make a proper connection on the ball.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7.0) – Benefitted from a solid midfield in front of him and more support but struggled without the option of Zaha to feed the ball to. Signs are that he is on the way back after a poor run of form.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8.0 – GOAL!) – The captain stepped up once again and scored from the spot to get the Eagles on their way. Kept the midfield ticking against a tricky opposition who enjoyed more of the possession.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.9) – Enjoyed playing a more central role due to a couple of absences. Real captain material as he was seen organising and talking to players around him throughout the game.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (8.0 – GOAL!) – Has become a very underrated performer under Hodgson and while it is clear the manager favours the former Leicester man, this was an excellent showing from the pacey midfielder. Replaced by 26 BAKARY SAKO (6.0) on 91 minutes to provide some much needed fresh legs and see out the game, a welcome return for the winger.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7.2) – Excellent cross to find Benteke at the far post who was unlucky with his spectacular effort. Worked hard once again up and down the pitch, supported the back line at every opportunity.
14 JORDAN AYEW (6.9 – BOOKED!) – One of the best games in a Palace shirt for the Ghana international, unlucky with a chance at the near post after some good footwork. Linked up well as a pair alongside Benteke. Replaced by 23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6.6) on 82 minutes for a brief cameo but it was more than that after good feet found himself space for an effort on goal which was parried only for Schlupp to finish. Looked lively.
17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7.0) – A welcome start for the big Belgian as well as seeing the side line-up with a striking partnership that worked very well together. Unlucky with an overhead kick and always involved in build up play and flick ons. Signs that we might see him back to his best before the season is out. Replaced by 7 MAX MEYER (6.6) on 72 minutes in a surprising change which was clearly to combat an overrun midfield but at the expense of a presence up front. Regardless, the German got involved quickly and was involved in the build up to the crucial second goal.
Unused substitutes – 13 Wayne Hennesey, 6 Scott Dann, 34 Martin Kelly, 44 Jairo Reidewald
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
ROY HODGSON: “We were not under pressure but these are anxious times – if we had more points on the board, points that we deserved, it would be less problematic. Every point is so valuable and if you’re in the lead you can’t stop playing and worry about the final whistle. In the second half we played well – first half I have to give Fulham credit, they were very good and we were fortunate. It was a strange penalty, I can’t understand what has gone through the defender’s head. We look more dangerous from corners – there are positives for us. Michy Batshuayi did so well to create the second goal. We will need these players who came on.”
CLAUDIO RANIERI: “The service to Mitrovic was not good enough – we spoke a lot about crosses, crosses, crosses. I tried to do something – I put another striker on but it wasn’t good. The first half was good until the penalty, we had the match in our hands but they deserved to win in the second half, they were better than us. We were controlling the match but the penalty changed the match. We were in trouble from the beginning but we will continue to be positive. It’s important to be optimistic.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Jeffrey Schlupp (8.0) who also had the most shots (4). The most tackles were made by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and James McArthur (5) while the most dribbles were from Tom Cairney (3).
- Team rating: 7.04 – 6.39
- Total shots: 17 – 8
- Shots on target: 6 – 0
- Possession: 37.4% – 62.6%
- Pass success: 76% – 86%
- Dribbles: 5 – 11
- Aerials won: 20 – 20
- Tackles: 25 – 16
- Corners: 11 – 1
- Dispossessed: 12 – 20
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 14th in the Premier League with 26 points from 25 games, one point behind Brighton & Hove Albion in 13t and two points ahead of Newcastle United in 15th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 09/02/2019 West Ham United (h)
- 17/02/2019 Doncaster Rovers (a)
- 23/02/2019 Leicester City (h)