- DATE – 27th February 2019
- VENUE – Selhurst Park
- CROWD – 25,754
- OFFICIAL – Martin Atkinson
- CARDS – Lukaku, Sanchez, Shaw, Zaha, Kelly
- GOALS – Lukaku (33, 52), Ward (66), Young (83)
- STAR EAGLE – Andros Townsend (7.5)
With the record against United weighing heavy around the neck of the hosts, there was a hope that with the list of injuries they had going into this match up, it was a real chance for the Eagles to turn the tide. Unfortunately, it was not to be and with two key injuries to the back line, the solid Palace defence looked a little less organised. The fact is, we showed too much respect and gave United too much space but with the backing of the always vociferous Selhurst crowd, United were forced onto the back foot and were looking vunerable until the killer third. Palace did not disappoint against one of big six, more frustration at another loss against this team knowing that there was a slightly better performance in them. Let’s face it, there are more important games to come this season with two more wins looking likely to be enough to secure safety.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
31 VICENTE GUAITA (5.2) – Only had one real save to make and was neither culpable for any of the three goals. Distribution continues to be a strength.
2 JOEL WARD (7.6 – GOAL!) – Clearly targetted by the opposition as he was by Leicester but stood up well and grabbed an excellent headed goal to give the Eagles some hope. One of three players that could have done better for the opening goal – why players show the opposition inside rather than down the line remains irritating.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (6.9) – Usually plays on the right side of the centre of defence but without Sakho he switched with Kelly and it seemed to take him a while to acclimatise. Sounds such a small thing but it is significant enough to disrupt what has been a reliable back line.
34 MARTIN KELLY (6.0 – BOOKED!) – Having been drafted in a few times this season, he has performed well and while this was not a poor performance, it was certainly not one of his better ones.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (5.9) – Struggled in the face of a side that were given too much space in midfield and looked to expose the full backs. Hard to argue that this has not been a good season for the Dutchman who perhaps needs more competition for his place. We know he is capable, but has been found wanting this season. Replaced by 8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6.1) on 83 minutes who had very little impact on the game as United scored their third the moment he came on.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.4) – Usual hard working performance from the Scot but Palace were crying out for a little more guile in the midfield. Replaced by 7 MAX MEYER (6.3) on 61 minutes who provided that touch of class and immediately linked up well with Zaha, an on field relationship that needs to be given time to blossom.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6.8) – A couple of off moments from the Serbian giving away two needless corners but he continued to battle in the midfield. Felt the backhand of Pogba on one occassion which was missed by the official but it is hard to imagine a Palace side without Luka in the middle.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7.5 – ASSIST!) – Much maligned with a certain German warming the bench but you get plenty of energy and pace from him and he worked an excellent assist for the goal. Was involved in all three goals conceded all in different ways but was not alone, proving he covered a lot of ground.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7.5) – Another terrific game from the winger, whipped in a couple of wicked crosses that just eluded on rushing players and forced a few efforts of his own, one of which he really should have taken.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6.8 – BOOKED!) – It is noticable that he has improved his game helping out the back line but should really have been more instrumental going forward. Not denying he had his moments, particuarly in build up to the goal although he had plenty of close attention to deal with throughout.
23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6.4) – Continued to be lively and show good touches, linked up well with Zaha and Townsend but could not work a clear cut opportunity after getting on the goal trail at Leicester. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (5.8) on 78 minutes who got involved straight away but was given little time and space by an opposition looking to shut the game down.
Unused substitutes – 13 Wayne Hennessey, 6 Scott Dann, 44 Jairo Riedewald, 14 Jordan Ayew
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
ROY HODGSON: “We made a few changes to try and get something from the game and, as so often happens against teams of this quality, they find a way of picking you off with a third goal. No doubt they’re playing very well. Their organisation and work-rate was good. They do have some very, very good players on top of that and they sometimes find a way to punish you.”
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER: “Lukaku has done loads of running up and down the line, right wing, left wing. He’s had a different role because of Marcus Rashford’s form. He got a chance up front. Two very good finishes, could have had another one as well earlier on, so I am very pleased. He is a quality finisher. It’s great to have him around the place, always happy, always working on his finishing.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Romelu Lukaku (8.1) who also had the most shots along with Andros Townsend (4). The most tackles were made by Ashley Young (5) while Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha (5) carried out the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.52 – 6.97
- Total shots: 17 – 13
- Shots on target: 2 – 4
- Possession: 45.3% 54.7%
- Pass success: 80% – 80%
- Dribbles: 14 – 6
- Aerials won: 16 – 24
- Tackles: 20 – 20
- Corners: 5 – 6
- Dispossessed: 13 – 11
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 14th in the Premier League with 30 points from 28 games, a point behind Newcastle United in 13th and level on points with Burnley in 15th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 02/03/2019 Burnley (a)
- 09/03/2019 Brighton & Hove Albion (h)
- 16/03/2019 Watford (a)