After the early setback, Palace did well to get something from a game that could have gone away from them at different stages but it was a real bonus to see another academy graduate make a full debut.
1st January 2020
Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace
Carrow Road, Norwich NR1 3JE
REFEREE – Jonathan Moss
ASSISTANTS – Marc Perry, Eddie Smart, Andy Woolmer (fourth official)
VAR – Jarred Gillet, Richard West (assistant)
Christoph Zimmermann (42), Max Aarons (74), Grant Hanley (76), Marco Stiepermann (83), Alexander Tettey (89)
Todd Cantwell (4), Connor Wickham (85)
The final game of what has seemed like a long festive period and while many will have seen this as a good three points to take, it is rarely that straight-forward. The opposition are battling for their lives and needed a win from this game and the early goal gave them all the encouragement they needed. However, a banged up Palace side fought back and found a winner from a player that has missed a ridiculous amount of football. This was a tired performance but one where the players dug in and got something out of it. A midfield battle that saw us struggle to contain their midfield star Emiliano Buendia (our One To Watch in our preview article!) Taking 5 points from the four games has been a decent return as we head into an FA Cup tie that is expected to feature a number of fringe and academy players – some of these players look like they need a well deserved rest.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
One referral for a possible red card for Luka Milivojevic and of course the equaliser which was initially ruled out for offside and rightly given after the check which overruled Jon Moss, thankfully. Still takes far too long though.
BOB’S POINT OF VIEW
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.
“After being on the wrong side of VAR at St Mary’s last Saturday, the technology quite rightly rectified an error to give us a well deserved point at Carrow Road. One lapse of defensive concentration gave Norwich an early lead and from then on they defended deep relying mainly on counter attacks for the remainder of the game. Although we had good spells of possession, we lacked an incisive edge in the final third. Consequently we created very little and their keeper was rarely called upon to deal with any real threat. At times we do appear reluctant to shoot when in decent positions in the box. Roy effectively adjusted our tactics including substitutions when required during the second half to ensure we stayed in the game until the equaliser by a relieved looking Wickham in the latter stages. After the equaliser there was only going to be one winner but we were left with too little time to gain all three points.
Three games in a short festive period has been a tough challenge with so little real squad depth due to injuries to rotate players as all the other teams have done. So all credit to the mental toughness and resolve of our players to gain a respectable five points from two away and one home game in the past seven days. Cup tie apart this weekend, there is an opportunity to rest key players and some more time for injured players to recover for the business end of the season. However, this does not mean that we do not require at least three additions in the current transfer window. Our owners need to act quickly and with purpose fully backing Roy and our squad with essential fresh faces and legs. Honourable mentions to Tomkins who didn’t put a foot wrong and Wilf who was a constant attacking threat culminating with the assist for our equaliser.”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Was not called into action an awful lot but what he did have to do, he continued to do well.
34 MARTIN KELLY (6) – One of a few players playing with a knock and was caught out on a couple of occasions. As he is not an out and out full back, we struggle pushing forward down that side. Replaced by 40 BRANDON PIERRICK (6) on 83 minutes who was a real bright light in the short time he was on the pitch. Had some good touches and looked to take on the opposition with the ball. Look forward to seeing more opportunities for the young Brixton born lad.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (7) – What would we do without this guy at the moment? Another towering performance from the former Hammer who really must be considered for an international call up on this form.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (6) – Looked like a hamstring injury which forced him off at the break but was fine alongside Tomkins until then. Replaced by 8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6) on 46 minutes who slotted in to an unfamiliar position and performed admirably once again.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) – Good game again at left back, showed he is more than comfortable on the ball and acclimatising well to the position.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6) – Looked to struggle to get a hold of the midfield at times but seemed to relish the battle in the middle of the park.
22 JAMES MCCARTHY (7) – Like this guy a lot but like Luka, struggled to control the midfield particularly in the first half. It has been a while since we have had a player that got into the faces of the opposition and the Irishman does just that.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – One of his quieter games but certainly no lack of effort.
7 MAX MEYER (6) – Surprised to see him substituted as he looked like he was getting more of the ball the more the Eagles increased possession in the second half. Replaced by 21 CONNOR WICKHAM (7 – GOAL!) on 60 minutes who got himself in just the right position to tuck the ball home – a great moment for the former Ipswich striker after his injury problems.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7 – ASSIST!) – Frustrated the home crowd throughout and was targeted once again for some tough treatment but he came through in the end by setting up the equaliser. Even more impressive to find out that he was not expected to play until declaring himself fit.
9 JORDAN AYEW (7) – One of the players of the season so far with his hard work and attitude on the pitch. Proving very difficult to get the ball off at times which he used again to good effect.
13 Wayne Hennessey, 35 Sam Woods, 37 Nya Kirby, 41 James Daly
1 Krul, 2 Aarons, 6 Zimmermann, 5 Hanley, 3 Byram, 27 Tettey, 8 Vrancic, 17 Buendia, 23 McLean, 14 Cantwell, 22 Pukki
Substitutes – 11 Hernandez (replaced Cantwell on 78 minutes), 12 Lewis, 18 Stiepermann (replaced Pukki on 83 minutes), 19 Trybull, 24 Amadou, 33 McGovern, 35 Idah (replaced Tettey on 90)
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “It was very close for the goal. You think it might be offside and with the technology you see someone has stuck a foot out, leaned forward and the margins are fine. We took chances in the end with 4-2-4 and got our reward, the boldness of the move paid off. Connor Wickham has been unlucky with injuries – injury after injury, and he has not been available in my time at the club. It was nice he could play again and I am looking forward to seeing him playing on Sunday.”
DANIEL FARKE – “I’m not sure that Wickham was onside when the ball left Zaha’s foot – if you can guarantee that, we accept the decision, if not, then it’s tricky. It feels tough. It’s difficult to score against Palace, they are so well-structured and balanced, we got the first goal but missed chances – the second goal would have decided the game. Conceding an equaliser so late, it feels like a loss. It will be a long road and a sensation for us to stay in this league but we won’t give up.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Emiliano Buendia (9.3) who also made the most tackles (9) and most dribbles (6). The most shots were from Todd Cantwell (4).
- Team rating: 6.82 – 6.53
- Total shots: 15 – 12
- Shots on target: 4 – 3
- Possession: 40.9% – 59.1%
- Pass success: 81% – 81%
- Dribbles: 8 – 8
- Aerials won: 16 – 17
- Tackles: 31 – 17
- Corners: 2 – 5
- Dispossessed: 9 – 21
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 9th in the Premier League with 28 points from 21 games, a point ahead of Arsenal in 10th and a point behind Sheffield United in 8th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
05/01/2020 Derby County (h)
11/01/2020 Arsenal (h)
18/01/2020 Manchester City (a)