Palace See Off Villa To Remain Unbeaten In The League At Selhurst

The Eagles start to correct poor home form with a win over newly promoted Villa to make it seven points from the opening four games of the season going into the first international break of the season.


31st August 2019


Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU




Kevin Friend was the referee with assistants Scott Ledger and Andrew Garratt while Tom Neild was the fourth official. Andrew Madley was the VAR, assisted by Andy Halliday.


Douglas Luiz (16), Neil Taylor (34), Frederic Guilbert (41), Trezeguet (43, 53 – red card), Luka Milivojevic (57), Cheikhou Kouyate (70), Jack Grealish (95)


Jordan Ayew (73)


Jordan Ayew, the winner of our post match Twitter poll


A win at home and a striker scoring in consecutive Premier League matches is something that has been missing from Palace for a while. In truth, to score just one from the amount of chances created is somewhat disappointing as the much publicised controversey at the death almost changed the outcome. This was a very professional performance and it only needed to one goal in the end to secure another three points as the Eagles remain unbeaten at Selhurst Park this season, and yet to concede a goal – wonders will never cease! A very welcome start to new season ahead of the international break.


Officially, there are no reports of VAR being used in the this game but while in the ground it seemed as if the decision right at the end had been referred (we presume that it was). This is the biggest problem, no-one seems to know as it is never clear let alone whether it is being used as we all expected it to be.


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 game on Saturday and the season so far reminded me of what a highly regarded former Palace coach once shared with me. Take a look at a team’s goals against column in each individual game. If it’s predominantly ‘0’ or ‘1’ then ultimately the team will have a half-decent season. A statistic worth reflecting upon for any supporter.

The team controlled the pace and shape of the game for long spells. A tactical set-up which ensured security at the back whilst still creating enough goal scoring opportunities to have won the game more comfortably. Ayew was a revelation again, full of energy and mobility plus adding a genuine goal scoring threat to his game.

Cahill, as at Old Trafford last week, marshalled our defence with authority. McArthur was a non-stop human dynamo constantly regaining possession in key areas of the pitch. Everyone played their respective part in another genuine all round team performance. Onwards to 8 more wins as soon as possible!”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – One early save to make but did not have an awful lot else to do other than to stay on his toes while watching on. Had a crucial role in the build up to the goal with a quick release of the ball to set Palace on the attack.

2 JOEL WARD (7) – Took a studs up challenge which contributed to the visitors going down to ten men but played his part in preserving a second successive home clean sheet. Who needs a new right-back?

34 MARTIN KELLY (7) – Blossoming partnership at the back was interupted by an injury late on which will hopefully not be serious enough to keep him sidelined beyond the international break. Replaced by 12 MAMADOU SAKHO (6) on 79 minutes in a welcome return for the Frenchman after a lengthy lay off. Called into action sooner than expected .

24 GARY CAHILL (7) – Two consecutive league wins and a thoroughly professional rearguard action in both. No coincidence the former Chelsea man has played both games after making his debut at Old Trafford. Could prove to be a very valuable addition to the squad as he is using all his experience to organise the defence.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7) – A couple of wobbles but one player that is looking improved with the addition of Cahill at the back. Supported the attack well but should not have been turned so easily as he was at one point in the second half.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Put in a real shift as he usually does but kept finding the space in critical areas of the pitch when going forward. Had a great chance to score in the first half but effort went just over the bar.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7 – BOOKED!) – Added some much needed solidity in the midfield with both his tough tackling and height. Got into some great areas with a couple of very good chances falling his way.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8 – BOOKED!) – Solid game from the captain who was foiled by the keeper on a couple of occassions, carried a knock late in the game. Already building up bookings this season with his third in four games.

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7 – ASSIST!) – Many are critical of his inclusion in the starting line up but his role has been critical in the last two games. His pass to Ayew set up what turned out to be the winning goal. Seem to be targeted by the opposition as he found himself on the rough end of a few challenges, one of which saw him leave the pitch before the end of the game. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 84 minutes who provided some much needed fresh legs and something else to give the visiting defenders to think about as the minutes ticked down.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – Seeing him with a smile on his face is a joy to behold, even if it was after it took three players to stop him at one point in the second half. Becoming more and more of an influence as the weeks pass and this was his best showing so far this campaign. His trickery drew the foul which led to the sending off and ultimately contributed to the win.

9 JORDAN AYEW (8) – Very lively once again and worked hard as the lone striker. Got his goal with his perseverance which almost got him on the scoresheet more than once. Only criticism would be that he is not there in the box too to finish off those easy chances. First Palace stiker to score in consecutive games for some time. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6) on 86 minutes who had an effort from distance which almost sealed all three points but may have been wiser to be more conserative with the ball at that late stage.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 7 Max Meyer, 22 James McCarthy, 23 Victor Camarasa


1 Heaton, 24 Guilbert, 22 Engels, 40 Mings, 3 Taylor, 7 McGinn, 6 Luiz (14 Hourihane 71), 10 Grealish, 23 Jota (39 Davis 59), 9 Wesley (8 Lansbury 85), 17 Trezeguet. Substitutes not used: 12 Steer, 15 Konsa, 21 El Ghazi, 27 El Mohamady


ROY HODGSON – “It’s unfortunate in some ways for us that it’s all going to centre around the controversy at the end. Lucky for us the referee had made his decision before the ball had gone in the net and that was to give the free-kick. I don’t think we need to apologise at all for the fact that we won the game.”

DEAN SMITH – “I’m not sure any of us know why the referee has given the decision. We’ve all looked at it back and nobody can see why he hasn’t given the goal.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Luka Milivojevic (7.7) while the most shots were from Cheikhou Kouyate (6). The most tackles were made by James McArthur and John McGinn (4) while the most dribbles were from Wilfried Zaha (3).

  • Team rating: 6.94 – 6.49
  • Total shots: 22 – 10
  • Shots on target: 5 – 2
  • Possession: 53.1% – 46.9%
  • Pass success: 84% – 83%
  • Dribbles: 5 – 9
  • Aerials won: 12 – 12
  • Tackles: 18 – 18
  • Corners: 13 – 2
  • Dispossessed: 10 – 17


Palace are 4th in the Premier League table with 7 points from 4 games, a point behind Leicester City in 3rd and level on points with Arsenal in 5th.


14/09/2019 Tottenham Hotspur (a)

21/09/2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)

28/09/2019 Norwich City (h)


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