After the lack of attacking intent in the draw with Brighton, the Eagles improved in this area to see off newly promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage and seal a third league win of the season.
24th October 2020
Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace
Craven Cottage, Stevenage Road, Fulham, London SW6 6HH
Behind closed doors
REFEREE – Graham Scott
ASSISTANTS – Derek Eaton, Timothy Wood, Dean Whitestone (fourth official)
VAR – Jarrad Gillet, Peter Kirkup (assistant)
BOOKINGS – Vicente Guaita (90+6)
RED CARD – Aboubakar Kamara (88)
Jairo Riedewald (8), Wilfried Zaha (64), Tom Cairney (90+5)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
After the fall out last weekend where there was very little attacking intent, Palace addressed the situation by putting up better statistics which included 14 shots with 10 on target in a game where they should perhaps have won by a bigger margin. There were several decent individual performances along with sensible changes during the second half to see the game out and take all three points. Roy Hodgson will see this very much as job done with the hope that this talented group of players are allowed to show a little more than they have done in recent weeks.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
A referral for what was deemed a trip on Tom Cairney in the penalty area was made but nothing given. Towards the end of the game, a booking for Aboubakar Kamara went for a referral and referee Graham Scott was asked to take a look at the pitchside monitor after the strikers high challenge on Eberechi Eze. The booking was upgraded to a red card and rightly so.
“I went into the game with false hope, convincing myself that on paper this was a game we needed to win. We started brightly and for large spells I thought we looked like we were in control. Unfortunately, for all the pass, pass, pass, there is never that defence splitting finale. It is all very safe, it is boring, predictable and lacking enough imagination to ever cause an established Premier League defence problems. I do not think Palace are anything special if I am being completely honest.
I said in response to the pre-match questions you asked, I felt you were one dimensional with your reliance of Zaha and that is what I saw again today. Very organised, very deep and just hope Zaha could provide some magic which he did because he is a very good player. That being said, I would rather have one very good player who is a match winner than eleven shit ones. You just will not win games if you do not keep clean sheets. You will not win games if you do not score goals. We do neither, so imagine my shock that we only have one point going into November.” – FULHAM FOCUS
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.
“Following the attritional performance against Brighton last Sunday, it was a relief to see the team transform from only 1one shot on target to the joint most shots on target (ten) under Hodgson as manager! Although as happens in most games, we conceded the lion’s share of possession to the opposition, yesterday proved it is what a team does when it has the ball. With about 35% possession, the team broke at pace with the necessary cut and thrust required to create good goal scoring opportunities. Fulham never looked comfortable defending against such tactics.
Defensively, even with three changes due to injuries, we remained compact and organised allowing Fulham few clear sights of goal. It would therefore disappoint Guaita and his fellow defenders not to keep a clean sheet conceding a solitary goal as last week in the dying embers of the game. However, there were lots of positives to draw from the game. The return of Clyne for his first start at this level for 17 months among them. In a truly all round solid team display, there were stand out performances by Zaha, Townsend and Riedewald.
Going forward, let’s hope our players continue with a more progressive and higher tempo approach when in possession. That in itself brings out all the obvious attacking qualities and talents in our team whilst not compromising our abilities defensively. If all fit and available, Hodgson certainly has some selection decisions to make over the coming weeks. If he settles on a central midfield axis of Riedewald and McArthur then four positions are up for grabs between Eze, Batshuayi, Benteke, Zaha, Schlupp, Townsend and Ayew. For a change, it is a nice attacking selection headache to have and will at least ensure some good impact options from the bench.
Finally, let’s enjoy being in the top third of the league table and continue that count down of ten wins as soon as possible. Up the Palace!”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6 – BOOKED!) – Did not have a lot to do, if we are being harsh he should perhaps have done better for the goal. Picking up bookings for time wasting like no-ones business.
17 NATHANIEL CLYNE (7) – Surprise second debut for the club so soon after signing a short team deal and did well considering the lack of game time he has had. Replaced by 3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) on 72 minutes for a good run out from the bench after returning from injury.
6 SCOTT DANN (7) – Back into the starting line-up after the injury to Cahill last weekend and slotted in as if he had not missed any games. Always reliable when called upon.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – The midfielder turned centre back continues to impress in his new role but was thrust back into midfield late in the game.
39 TYRICK MITCHELL (7) – Managing to hold off van Aanholt returning to the starting line up and full value for his place too.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (8 – GOAL!) – Excellent performance once again from the Dutchman who provides a touch of class to the midfield, and a first goal for the club to boot. Replaced by 12 MAMADOU SAKHO (6) on 85 minutes due to injury.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7 – CAPTAIN!) – Another different midfield for this game with the Serbian taking the armband back and complementing Riedewald in the centre of the pitch. Had one effort from a free kick to get back on the scoresheet but the ball flew just over the bar.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (8) – Terrific performance from the wide man whose deliveries were on point and surprisingly came out on top in the tackles count.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7) – Energetic as ever in the midfield getting up and down the pitch to support both the attack and the full backs. Replaced by 25 EBERECHI EZE (6) on 76 minutes who showed some nice touches but was raked down the back of the ankle for his troubles which saw the opposition go down to ten men.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (9 – ASSIST! GOAL!) – After a quiet last couple of games, he was back to his best capping a superb showing with a goal and an assist. Perhaps Hodgson’s comments in the media last week worked!
23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (8 – ASSIST!) – As good a lone striker performance as you could expect by providing an assist and unlucky not to have got himself on the scoresheet. Is linking up well with the rest of the team and will only be a matter of time before he gets his first goal in his second spell at the club.
19 Stephen Henderson, 7 Max Meyer, 12 Mamadou Sakho, 20 Christian Benteke, 34 Martin Kelly
1 Areola, 34 Aina, 16 Adarabioyo, 13 Ream, 33 Robinson, 29 Zambo Anguissa, 18 Lemina, 10 Cairney, 15 Loftus-Cheek, 9 Mitrovic, 19 Lookman
SUBSTITUTES – 12 Rodak, 4 Odoi, 14 De Cordova-Reid (for Loftus-Cheek on 74 minutes), 20 Le Marchand, 21 Reed (for Lamina on 79 minutes), 23 Bryan, 47 Kamara (for Zambo Anguissa on 66 minutes)
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “Zaha reminds us that when he is on top of his game he is a very hard player to stop. He is an excellent player and that is what he is capable of doing. He deserves all the praise he is going to get. If ever I sound mildly critical he thinks I am picking on him, but every press conference I go to he is the only player they want to talk to me about.”
SCOTT PARKER – “We were playing against a team who are happy without the ball at times. It became very difficult for us. We need to learn from how this game panned out. We had a dominance but at times in the final third we lacked shots and a dynamic. We hit the post twice but that’s how I saw today.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Wilfried Zaha (9.1) while the the most shots were from Ademola Lookman (6). The most tackles were by Andros Townsed (9) while Wilfried Zaha (6) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.39 – 7.00
- Total shots: 15 – 12
- Shots on target: 3 – 10
- Possession: 65.7% – 34.3%
- Pass success: 89% – 79%
- Passes: 612 – 331
- Dribbles: 12 – 10
- Aerials won: 7 – 5
- Tackles: 19 – 21
- Fouls: 11 – 11
- Corners: 4 – 4
- Saves: 8 – 2
- Dispossessed: 13 – 15
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace move on to 10 points from 6 games and a mid-table position once all the week six games have been completed.
30/10/2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) – Premier League (8pm kick off – BT Sport Box Office)
07/11/2020 Leeds United (h) – Premier League (3pm)
21/11/2020 Burnley (a) – Premier League (3pm)