- DATE – 21st April 2019
- VENUE – Emirates Stadium
- CROWD – 59,929
- OFFICIAL – Jonathan Moss
- CARDS – Mavropanos, Ozil, Guendouzi, Ward, Mustafi
- GOALS – Benteke (17), Ozil (47), Zaha (61), McArthur (69), Aubameyang (77)
- STAR EAGLE – Christian Benteke (8.4)
What a way to secure mathematical safety and a seventh successive season in the Premier League. A proper away performance up there with the one at the Etihad. Great to see Benteke back among the goals and Zaha doing what he does best but this was another real team effort. All this without our first choice centre back pairing but Dann and Kelly have really put in a shift since losing Sakho and Tomkins to injury but add to that having a goalkeeper that can be relied upon for the most part. Tactics were spot on and Roy deserves credit for that along with the players that executed them perfectly. We can all raise a glass (or two) to another special result regardless of what has gone before, we have been waiting for this result to come since 1994 after all! We are safe and looking up rather than down – Up the Palace!
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6.7) – The Spaniard will be unhappy to have been beaten for the first goal but made several good saves to keep Palace in with a chance of the three points.
29 AARON WAN-BISSAKA (7.3) – Lucky to get away with a handball in the first half but you make you own luck. This was just another fine performance to add to the many under his belt already. Perhaps fans would be more concerned losing him over Zaha in the summer.
6 SCOTT DANN (7.4 – ASSIST!) – A real threat in the opposition penalty area just like he always used to be but his job was at the back and alongside Kelly, together they have formed a reliable partneship in the heart of the defence.
34 MARTIN KELLY (6.6) – It would be just as easy to copy and paste what has been said above for Dann, defended stoutly to the point where fans are almost not missing Sakho and Tomkins as much as feared.
2 JOEL WARD (6.4 – BOOKED!) – Bold decision to drop Patrick van Aanholt but we have said for a while now how much he has struggled and Ward stepped in to provide some defensive stability, certainly did not look out of sorts. Unlucky with a touch that contributed to the second goal.
7 MAX MEYER (6.7) – Some good touches and worked well with Zaha who seems to find more space when the German is in the line up. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6.1) on 80 minutes who kept the pressure on the hosts in his short cameo.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8.1 – ASSIST!) – Stepped up once again with a perfect free kick onto the head of Benteke to give Palace the lead. Plenty of effort in a busy midfield to give the attacking players the opportunity to do their thing.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7.6 – GOAL!) – Quick reactions got himself on the scoresheet after a flick from Dann, deserved reward for the Scot who drove up and down the pitch all afternoon.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7.0) – Provided the midfield with more height in what was a solid showing from the Senegalese midfielder.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7.8 – GOAL!) – Lively throughout, quick off the mark to get behind the defence and scored his goal in what was arguably his best performance of the season.
17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (8.4 – GOAL! ASSIST!) – Won the free kick and scored from the free kick by finding space between the centre backs in what was an all round terrific display. Replaced by 14 JORDAN AYEW (6.4) on 78 minutes who took Benteke’s lead by hassling the back line for the duration of his time on the pitch.
Unused substitutes – 13 Wayne Hennessey, 3 Patrick van Aanholt, 44 Jairo Reidewald, 26 Bakary Sako, 23 Michy Batshuayi
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
ROY HODGSON – “It was a very satisfying performance. If you are going to get a result here you are going to have to give a really good performance. The defending has to be top notch and you have to be certain that when you get the space your two front players do what ours did today.”
UNAI EMERY – “It is a big frustration, it was a big opportunity but we can say we had a big opportunity in the matches before today and we took a lot of points in a lot of key moments that give us the opportunity to be now, in our way, with the possibility to achieve our targets. Our first target is to get to the Champions League through the Premier League or Europa League. It’s in our hands, we can continue winning and being in the top four.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Christian Benteke (8.4) while five players shared the most shots (3) – Alexandre Lacazette, Scott Dann, Cheikhou Kouyate, James McArthur and Christian Benteke. The most tackles were made my Cheikhou Kouyate (4) as Alexandre Lacazette (4) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.63 – 7.11
- Total shots: 12 – 16
- Shots on target: 5 – 7
- Possession: 72.8% – 27.2%
- Pass success: 89% – 67%
- Dribbles: 19 – 7
- Aerials won: 10 – 14
- Tackles: 15 – 25
- Corners: 8 – 3
- Dispossessed: 18 – 10
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 12th in the Premier League with 42 points from 35 games, a point behind West Ham United in 11th and a point ahead of Newcastle United and Burnley in 13th and 14th respectively. More importantly, the Eagles are now 11 points above Cardiff City in 18th who have just three games left to play which means a seventh successive campaign in the top division is now secure for Palace.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 27/04/2019 Everton (h)
- 04/05/2019 Cardiff City (a)
- 12/05/2019 Bournemouth (h)