Slick Palace Return To Action Continuing Where They Left Off

It was difficult to know what to expect after a three month enforced lay off but the Eagles returned to Premier League action and secured a fourth win in a row with a confident performance at struggling Bournemouth.


20th June 2020


Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace


Vitality Stadium, Dean Court, Kings Park, Bournemouth BH7 7AF


Behind closed doors


REFEREE – Stuart Attwell

ASSISTANTS – Constantine Hatzidakis, Simon Long, Tim Robinson (fourth official)

VAR – Simon Hooper, Derek Eaton (assistant)

Replacement official – Matthew Lee


Bookings – Jordan Ayew (44), Adam Smith (46), Lewis Cook (66), Joel Ward (70), Steve Cook (85)


Luka Milivojevic (12), Jordan Ayew (23)


Jordan Ayew


Nobody knew how this game was going to go after such a lengthy lay off but Palace picked up where they left off and produced a very slick performance to see off their struggling opponents. There were a number of very good individual performances but the most pleasing part was how the team as a whole linked up and played. Roy Hodgson rightly takes the plaudits along with the players, as when the gamplan works like it did against Bournemouth, Palace are a difficult side to beat. The forty point barrier has been broken and we can start to look up with eight games to go. The carrot of European qualification is being dangled tantalisingly which is more than enough to play for between now and the end of the season.


A relatively busy day for those at Stockley Park. The two main referrals was a challenge by Gary Cahill on Josh King which saw the Bournemouth forward leave the pitch. The other was an elbow into the throat of Cheikhou Kouyate by Lewis Cook. Neither were deemed red card offences.


Not sure about anyone else, but we prefer the option of no fake crowd noise. There is something quite unique about listening to the players on the pitch and bench talking their way through the game. Not quite sure on the reasons why music was played at half time with no fans in the ground, but they are a funny bunch down on the South Coast.


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.

“An impressive three points gained against Bournemouth securing our fourth consecutive win and clean sheet which is no mean feat at the top level. Full credit to the back room staff and players for ensuring such high fitness levels following a three month break and a truncated ‘pre-season’ preparation for the resumption of the season. We played the vast majority of the game at a higher tempo than Bournemouth who struggled to gain any momentum or creativity to trouble Vicente Guaita.

Ultimately we controlled the game from the first to the final whistle reflecting a typical Roy Hodgson tactical masterclass in shape and organisation. Two high quality goals sealed the result and our 11th win of the season so far. Gary Cahill as ever marshalled the defence with his usual composure and leadership in what was an all round excellent team performance.

Although BBC gave the man of the match award to Luka Milivojevic, I Am going for James McArthur for his all round contribution covering almost every blade of the Vitality grass. Now safety is assured, a tough set of games ahead to see whether we can finish in our highest top flight position since the Sir Steve years. We can always dream. Up the Palace!”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – One cross he came for and missed but had very little to do throughout the game other than distributing the ball.

2 JOEL WARD (7 – BOOKED!) – Stood up to the challenge well, very unlucky to receive a booking for what was a decent challenge.

6 SCOTT DANN (6) – The 33-year-old went quietly about his game with little fuss and making the most of his opportunity after dropping down the pecking order at the start of the season.

24 GARY CAHILL (7) – Solid display once again and proving to be one of the best free transfers ever made by the club.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (8 – ASSIST!) – After a busy week on Twitter for the Dutchman, he did not let that get in the way as he got back to business and played his part as Palace played much of their game down the left.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Received an elbow to the throat for his troubles but that did not prevent him from covering what seemed like every blade of grass.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8 – GOAL!) – Back in the starting line up and vindicated his selection with a brilliant free kick to give Palace the lead. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 65 minutes who was unlucky to return to the bench in the first place but slotted in and prevented the hosts from creating much of a threat through the middle.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (8) – In his 200th club appearance for the club, the Scotsman was another player that covered a ridiculous amount of ground for the cause. Was in the mix along with a number of others for our man of the match award. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 89 minutes who helped close out the game.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (8) – He may not contribute with as many goals or assists as many would prefer him to but he proved his worth to the team once again. Even though he was on the end of some more strong challenges it is great to see Wilf playing with a smile on his face.

9 JORDAN AYEW (8 – BOOKED! – GOAL!) – Another goal signalled another win for the Eagles, the club have not lost whenever the Ghanaian striker has scored this season. He is just one goal away from hitting double figures for the season.

17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7) – Does not have to score goals when he plays like this, proves to be an integral part of this formation. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 76 minutes to provide some much needed fresh legs.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 12 Mamadou Sakho, 7 Max Meyer, 36 Nikola Tavares, 39 Tyrick Mitchell, 40 Brandon Pierrick


12 Ramsdale, 17 Stacey, 3 S Cook, 5 Ake, 15 A Smith, 8 Lerma, 22 Wilson, 20 Brooks, 16 L Cook, 7 King, 13 Wilson

Substitutes – 1 Boruc, 4 Gosling, 6 Surman, 9 Solanke (replaced King on 49 minutes), 14 Danjuma Gornevald (replaced Wilson on 45 minutes), 19 Stanislas (replaced Brooks on 61 minutes), 21 Rico, 26 Kelly, 33 Mepham


ROY HODGSON – “I thought the first half was very good. We passed the ball well and I thought our defending was excellent throughout but I thought the game became a bit more bitty in the second half. To go in 2-0 up at half-time was a good reward for what was an excellent performance. The front three were excellent today. I think we have had a threat up front all season but the problem is we don’t score enough goals. We have just perhaps not taken them as well as we should do but today we did. We’ve had four wins in a row which is something I’ve never had in the Premier League with any of my clubs before and four clean sheets. That is very commendable but now that will be put to the test when we go to Liverpool on Wednesday.”

EDDIE HOWE – “We know now we have one game less to achieve our objective. The table is still so tight, the difference is so tight and we could look at back-to-back wins as being the difference for us. We have to believe that is going to happen but we have to play better than we did in the first half an hour in this game.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Jordan Ayew (8.0) while Jefferson Lerma had the most shots (3). The most tackles were by Cheikhou Kouyate (7) as Wilfried Zaha had the most dribbles (7).

  • Team rating: 6.32 – 7.05
  • Total shots: 12 – 7
  • Shots on target: 1 – 2
  • Possession: 58.7% – 41.3%
  • Pass success: 83% – 77%
  • Dribbles: 13 – 9
  • Aerials won: 19 – 23
  • Tackles: 18 – 26
  • Corners: 11 – 4
  • Dispossessed: 9 – 13


Palace are up to 9th in the Premier League with 42 points from 30 games played, level with Spurs in 8th and two points ahead of Arsenal in 10th.


24/06/2020 Liverpool (a – 8.15pm)

29/06/2020 Burnley (h – 8pm)

04/07/2020 Leicester City (a – 3pm)


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