Abject Performance Gives Eagles Just What They Deserved


18th August 2019


Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4SU




David Coote took charge of the match along with assistants Daniel Cook and Harry Lennard. The fourth official was John Brooks. The VAR was Martin Atkinson who was assisted by Stephen Child.


Bookings for John Lundstram, George Baldock, James McCarthy and Luke Freeman.


John Lundstram (47)


Vicente Guaita for a couple of very good stops to keep the Eagles in the game.


An abysmal abject performance from the Eagles against a hard working newly promoted side chasing everything from start to finish. In fact, their approach to the game put Palace second best throughout in a game where the experience gained from six seasons in the Premier League should have shone through. We were crying out for some creativity which was sorely lacking and an issue that must be addressed, and quickly. All that this result showed to fans is that there is a long hard season ahead if this is the kind of fight and passion this group of players intend to show.


Not involved much other than a quick check on a possible handball in the area after an shot from the hosts. It was not clear if there was a referal to the VAR for the wild challenge on James McCarthy which incensed the Irishman.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“The only positive from our display was the away kit! We lacked purpose and creativity in possession. United had a game plan; defended in numbers when required, reduced our space in the final third, first to any loose ball and intent on breaking the game up with ‘team’ fouls. The most concerning issue for me was the perceived lack of urgency as a team unit. The old adage is win the personal battles first. Ultimately we were second best and in truth lacklustre. Early signs of a long season ahead?”


13 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – A couple of very good saves to keep Palace in the game, got a hand to the ball during the build up to the goal but no support from his teammates who should have been following in.

2 JOEL WARD (6) – Caught out for the goal which will be remembered more than his overall showing in this game but it is not his fault that we need better full backs, both sides.

6 SCOTT DANN (7) – Stood up well in the face of adversity considering the former captain had been pinpointed by many as a weak link at the back. Used all his experience with his positioning against a side that snatched at their efforts.

34 MARTIN KELLY (6) – Did not do an awful lot wrong but contributed to the goal by being pulled across the back line. Was not particularly stretched during the game, forcing the hosts into efforts from distance.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (5) – Once again, the achilles heel in defence with an absolute howler which almost led to the hosts taking the lead before Guaita bailed him out with a good save. A liability for much of last season, started the same this campaign.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – Could not prevent the visiting midfield being overrun even with his usual hard working performance. Replaced by 21 CONNOR WICKHAM (5) on 82 minutes who had little impact up front even with the large amount of injury time played.

7 MAX MEYER (5) – Struggled out wide again, other than a few fleeting glimpses of the German in the first half, the game passed him by. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 70 minutes who made a welcome return from injury. Involved a fair bit as he tried to push the side forward to no avail.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6) – Found it tough against a dogged opposition midfield bouyed by a noisy home crowd. Started to lose his patience as the game wore on and was lucky not to receive a booking for his troubles.

10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) – Similar story, worked hard but no end product, received a boot to the face for his troubles. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6 – BOOKED!) on 70 minutes who showed more fight than anyone else after being on the end of a tough challenge, a reaction you would expect from someone who has just returned from a double leg fracture.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – Targetted by the opposition but showed more in the first half before completely disappearing in the second, partially down to the side not using him enough and his inability to find the ball at his feet.

17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7) – Good first half but like Zaha, hardly had a touch in the second half, but we never played to his strengths during the game. Weighed in with defensive duty when required but looked frustrated by the end.


8 Cheikhou Kouyate, 9 Jordan Ayew, 13, Wayne Hennessey, 24 Gary Cahill


1 Henderson, 6 Basham, 12 Egan, 5 O’Connell, 2 Baldock, 7 Lundstram, 16 Norwood, 4 Fleck (8 Freeman 29), 3 Stevens, 17 McGoldrick (15 Jagielka 89), 11 Robinson (9 McBurnie 56)

Subs not used: 10 Sharp, 23 Osborn, 25 Moore, 27 Besic


ROY HODGSON“I did not think we were good enough. In the first half we looked okay, but in the second when they scored we were nowhere near good enough. Sometimes people do not play well, they are not robots or chess pieces. We hardly had a strike at goal in the second half and that is inadmissible, the quality of the players we have is far better than we showed.”

CHRIS WILDER“We wanted a special atmosphere and we certainly got that and the players rose to the occasion. We have that enthusiasm, if anyone comes here they have to do a lot of good things to get a result but I thought we were good and we nicked a tight game – it was a great effort from everybody to gain the three points. We have to play quicker and be a bit more streetwise but the players got up to the speed of the game and it was a proper Sheffield United performance. The players give me everything day in day out and they have given me two honest performances from two games. We are underdogs and we do have to have that siege mentality.”


The Who Scored man of the match was John Lundstram (8.2) while the most shots were from Jack O’Connell (3). The most tackles were made by Joel Ward (6) while Enda Stevens (3) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 7.00 – 6.59
  • Total shots: 15 – 6
  • Shots on target: 3 – 4
  • Possession: 42.6% – 57.4%
  • Pass success: 78% – 79%
  • Dribbles: 6 – 7
  • Aerials won: 23 – 27
  • Tackles: 21 – 24
  • Corners: 8 – 4
  • Dispossessed: 11 – 12


After two games, Palace are 14th in the Premier League with one point, level with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 13th and Chelsea in 15th.


24/08/2019 Manchester United (a)

27/08/2019 Colchester United (h)

31/08/2019 Aston Villa (h)


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