Eagles Fall To Fifth Loss In Succession As Benteke Sees Red

Yet another poor performance against a Villa side who took the points that they so desprately needed making the restart one to forget for the Eagles with the season threatening to end with a long losing streak.


12th July 2020


Aston Villa 2-0 Crystal Palace


Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6HE


Behind closed doors


REFEREE – Martin Atkinson

ASSISTANTS – Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis, Peter Bankes (fourth official)

VAR – Jonathan Moss, Peter Kirkup (assistant)



Bookings – Tyrone Mings (26), Wilfried Zaha (26), Mamadou Sahko (26), Cheikhou Kouyate (53), Luka Milivojevic (66)

Sent off – Christian Benteke (90)


Trezeguet (45, 59)


Vicente Guaita


We all know we are safe for a another season in the Premier League and while we were up against a side battling for their lives, this was a terrible performance to make it five defeats on the spin. There is a real possibility of Palace ending the season losing eight in a row with the games left to play. It is so disappointing considering the position they had worked hard to get themselves into and this poor run of form ruins all of that.

These are professional players and should want to put in a performance for their club even if there is nothing left to play for. This run is inexcusable, only the Chelsea game provided something for fans to cheer. It feels hard to complain about a season that we have been safe with games to play but the frustration is more about where we go from here – be happy with a 14th place finish in the Premier League season? There is nothing wrong with wanting more than that.


Early goal from Mamadou Sakho was disallowed as the Frenchman missed the header with the ball hitting the back of net after connecting with his shoulder. Dubious decision at best. Second big call was the award of a penalty for Villa after Jack Grealish went down in the box after what the referee deemed a foul which was overruled, and rightly so.


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 a much improved performance and approach against Chelsea, hopes were raised for the game against Villa. However, it only proved to be a false hope. The goal by Mamadou Sakho in the early minutes should have stood. Clearly it went in off his shoulder and VAR again in the official’s interpretation was found severely wanting. Yet this should not deflect from reflecting on a poor performance and result against a Villa team that are almost certain to be relegated.

In reality we looked like the team heading for the trap door. Misplaced passes, lack of intensity and untidy challenges ensured Villa didn’t have to work too hard to gain the points. An ‘already on the beach display’ by well paid professionals who have a duty to our supporters to be…. professional!

From a longer term perspective immediately after the Leicester game I identified two key questions in my review which require urgent answers. This is what I wrote:

‘Firstly, do we now cash in on Zaha and allow him a deserved opportunity to play for a club competing for honours? His form for whatever reasons has been inconsistent during most of this season. Secondly, do we finally say a ‘thank you’ to Hodgson for ensuring Premier League safety over the past 3 seasons and begin the search for a new manager? He would leave with head held high for giving us not only stability in arguably the toughest league in World football but fond memories for supporters of wins at City, Arsenal, Newcastle, Wolves and United. Unfortunately, we have not seen the same performances and/or results at home.’

This latest poor display and result only confirmed those views. Inconsistent and underwhelming performances apart, teams ending one season in poor form often carry it on into the following one. That in itself should set alarm bells ringing to the owners. Ultimately, some honest assessment and decisions required by owners, manager and players alike. Action not inertia please.”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (8) – Couple of really good saves to prevent the damage being worse than it was.

2 JOEL WARD (6) – Decent enough game down the right but again let himself down with distribution more than anything. It was his flick at the near post that set up the first goal for the hosts.

6 SCOTT DANN (6) – Gave away a couple of fouls in dangerous positions but was pretty solid otherwise.

12 MAMADOU SAKHO (6 – BOOKED!) – Did the simple things for the most part. Unlucky to have a goal scrubbed off by VAR for apparant handball which was in fact the shoulder.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – Worked up and down the left tirelessly all afternoon with little reward. Involved in the penalty award that was rightly overruled.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6 – BOOKED!) – Just like the rest of the midfield, could not get a grip in central areas of the pitch. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 65 minutes who was one player that put his foot on the ball and looked up but always found himself too close to the back line.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6 – BOOKED!) – Poor game from the captain with loose passes, fouls and a booking. Replaced by 7 MAX MEYER (6) on 75 minutes providing some fresh legs and looked bright in the time he was on.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – Looked tired and ended up with an injury which meant that he did not return for the second half. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 45 minutes who you expected to provided some added steel in the midfield but went missing too often.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7 – BOOKED!) – Caught up in a bust up which was much ado about nothing. Took some tough challenges and showed some glimpses but could not find a clear sight of goal.

9 JORDAN AYEW (6) – Full of running but struggled to create anything of note. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) on 65 minutes who managed a couple of good crosses in his short runout but you have to expect the winger to be going at the full back more than he did.

17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7 – RED CARD!) – Double chance ended up being well saved and kept working hard but was tightly marked throughout the game. Got into the right positions on several occassions and was guilty of taking one off the head of Scott Dann who was in a far better position for a header on goal. Regardless, that is the end of his season after stupidly receiving a red card after the final whistle.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 34 Martin Kelly, 35 Sam Woods, 39 Tyrick Mitchell, 40 Brandon Pierrick


29 Reina, 15 Konsa, 30 Hause, 40 Mings, 3 Taylor, 7 McGinn, 6 Douglas Luiz, 14 Hourihane, 17 Trezeguet, 20 Samatta, 10 Grealish

Substitutes – 8 Lansbury, 11 Nakamba (replaced Hourihane on 80 minutes), 18 Targett (replaced Neil Taylor on 37 minutes), 21 El Ghazi (replaced Trezeguet on 88 minutes), 23 Jota, 24 Guilbert, 25 Nyland, 27 El Mohamady, 39 Davis (replaced Samatta on 80 minutes)


ROY HODGSON “We put ourselves on the back foot going into half time. When the second goal went in we gave ourselves a mountain to climb, and quite frankly I never thought we looked like climbing that mountain today. It’s inexcusable, basically, that’s the bottom line. There was a lot of niggling going on, we’re close enough to be aware of that, but the thing is that is part and parcel of the game we play, it is quite often present in a lot of football matches. And you must not allow it to provoke you into doing something that is going to stop you playing for the rest of the season.

Christian Benteke just came back into the team, is playing his fifth or sixth game in a row, which of course he wasn’t doing before football was halted, and it was a great opportunity for him to finish the season by getting these games under his belt, and now he’s going to miss them.He’s unhappy about that, of course, as we are, but unfortunately I can’t excuse it, no matter how provoked he may have been, no matter what might have been said. You know that when you kick out at an opponent, and the referee sees it, you get sent off. That has been happening in football for as long as I can remember. All Christian can do, I guess, is apologise to his team-mates and accept his punishment.”

DEAN SMITH“It has felt a while since I had a big smile! It’s really big. It’s the first leg of a semi-final, and we’ve managed to win that, and we’ve got a second leg at Everton. It was a good performance and I think we deserved it today; we were worthy winners. It gives everybody a big lift. Our performances since lockdown has been really good, that’s our second clean sheet, defensively we’ve been better, and now we’ve scored some goals, which we needed to do, and created some chances.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Trezeguet (8.5) while the the most shots were from Christian Benteke (7). The most tackles were by Joel Ward (5) while Wilfried Zaha (6) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 6.88 – 6.46
  • Total shots: 12 – 8
  • Shots on target: 9 – 5
  • Possession: 45.5% – 54.5%
  • Pass success: 74 – 79
  • Dribbles: 7 – 16
  • Aerials won: 19 – 18
  • Tackles: 10 – 14
  • Corners: 5 – 1
  • Dispossessed: 9 – 8


Palace are 14th in the Premier League with 42 points from 35 games, a point behind Newcastle United in 13th and 6 points ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion in 15th.


16/07/2020 Manchester United (h – 8.15pm)

20/07/2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers (a – 8.15pm)

26/07/2020 Tottenham Hotspur (h – 4pm)


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