It was the battle of the two older managers in the Premier League on Saturday, and it was Roy Hodgson that came out on top but it was a young Eagle that shone the brightest.
7th November 2020
Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
REFEREE – Chris Kavanagh
ASSISTANTS – Dan Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis, David Coote (fourth official)
VAR – Mike Dean, Ian Hussin (assistant)
BOOKINGS – Liam Cooper (49), Mateusz Klich (77)
RED CARD – none
Scott Dann (12), Eberechi Eze (22), Patrick Bamford (27), Helder Costa (42 – own goal), Jordan Ayew (70)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
Four goals scored at home and the only disappointment was that fans were not inside Selhurst Park to witness it. An entertaining game ending in a convincing win for the hosts would have seen the old place bouncing after a solid team performance, which left very little for anyone to complain about heading into the second international break of the season.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
An equaliser by Patrick Bamford shortly after Scott Dann gave Palace the lead was wiped out after the review adjudged the Leeds striker to be in an offside position.
Just before the break, an Andros Townsend cross looks to have hit Luke Ayling on the arm but the check says no. Would have been harsh but we know what kind of decisions VAR have been making.
One final review late in the game after a coming together between Bamford and Palace substitute James McCarthy but no penalty awarded.
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.
“As fans, we all have different opinions about the starting line up and use of substitutions. However, I am not sure many could argue too much on either front with the decisions Hodgson made for this victory. It was arguably our strongest bench since promotion in 2013 with an array of options available to suit different situations during the game. Tactically, the front four of Eze, Zaha, Townsend and Ayew interchanged positions fluently during open play especially during the first half regularly creating problems for the Leeds defence.
Much of our attacking threat came down the left flank. Van Aanholt made well timed runs from deep into the final third adding to the frequency of goal scoring opportunities by linking up well with Eze and Zaha. Although a VAR offside decision went in our favour, we were good value for our lead at half time. We played more on the counter attack during the second half allowing Leeds less space than we had afforded them during the first 45 minutes. Even with only approximately 35% possession during the game, we always looked likely to score and it was no surprise to add a fourth to seal an excellent win.
To their credit, Leeds contributed to an open entertaining game which could have easily seen more goals at either end. However, it was a well deserved victory which was more easy on the eye than some wins we have seen at Selhurst over the past few seasons. The only disappointment was that our fans were not at the ground to witness a fine win and be loud and proud. Performance wise, a very good team display with Riedewald, Zaha and PVA the stand outs but my overall man of the match goes to Eze. Like Zaha, he gives our attack another edge and he capped a fine performance with a goal from a free kick out of the very top drawer.
With 13 points on the board from 8 games and an almost fully fit squad to choose from, we go into the international break in good shape. Up the Palace!”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Only question mark in this game was some of his distribution but it did not hugely impact the performance.
17 NATHANIEL CLYNE (7) – His best game since returning to the club and starting to look comfortable in his surroundings once again considering how much football he has missed.
6 SCOTT DANN (CAPTAIN – 8 – GOAL!) – The captain rolled back the years with an excellent headed goal and a good defensive display.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Forming a very unlikely centre back partnership with Dann, dealing with much of what came their way throughout the afternoon.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7) – It was his cross that was deflected into the back of the next for Palace’s third right before the break which would have change both half time team talks.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (7) – The whole of the Palace staff stood up and applauded the Dutchman when he left the pitch which is all you need to know about his performance. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 77 minutes to see out the remainder of the game.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Big miss in recent weeks and proved his worth by slotting back into the midfield complementing Riedewald perfectly.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) – Continuing his good start to the season and providing plenty for the opposition to be concerned about when the ball is at his feet. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 71 minutes to provide some much needed energy to help ensure the result was sealed.
25 EBERECHI EZE (9 – ASSIST! GOAL! TEB MAN OF THE MATCH!) – Huge contribution with an assist and grabbing his first Premier League goal with a brilliant free kick. More signs that he is well on his way to becoming a real star.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7 – ASSIST!) – There are real signs that we no longer have to rely on this man as much as we have in the past, and that may lift quite a weight off his shoulders. Regardless, he played his part in this result with an assist and
9 JORDAN AYEW (8 – GOAL!) – Another hard working performance and was rewarded with a well deserved goal. Replaced by 20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6) on 85 minutes who had no time for forge any chances for himself.
1 Jack Butland, 12 Mamdou Sakho, 24 Gary Cahill, 23 Michy Batshuayi
1 Meslier, 2 Ayling, 5 Koch, 6 Cooper, 10 Alioski, 15 Dallas, 17 Costa, 21 Struijk, 22 Harrison, 43 Klich, 9 Bamford
SUBSTITUTES – 13 Casilla, 24 Davis, 49 Carey, 47 Jenkins, 7 Poveda-Ocampo, 11 Roberts (replaced Struijk on 71 minutes), 18 Raphinha (replaced Costa on 45 minutes)
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “I cannot comment on how fascinating it was but it was a highly competitive game. We played well and it was good value for our victory. It was a good win against a team that has started so well and has a style of play which is different to what we are used to seeing. In terms of our attacking play, we were excellent. The game plan every week… you try to make your players as well prepared as they possibly can be. So of course I am very happy with that but the game plan depends on one thing – the players you put on the field. It is their quality. You win games because the players on the field play so well. I thought his Eze’s whole performance was very good. You could not fault him in any way. The goal for me was the icing on the cake. We are not the highest scoring team in the league – we never have been and perhaps never will be but it it is important to score more than the opposition.”
MARCO BIELSA – “It is not only two games, it has been four games where we have conceded four goals. We are receiving a lot of goals. What else did you ask? It was a fair defeat. It could have been by a shorter distance, the goals of Palace arrived when we looked like getting back into the game. I never discuss a referee’s decision. Despite all the goals we are conceding, Meslier has been performing to a high level.”
SCOTT DANN – “It was a tough game. We started well and got ourselves in front. Even at 2-1 they weren’t going to give in and would go to the end. We had to see it out and probably could have scored a few more goals but a good performance. I was out with an injury for a long time so it is nice to contribute and get on the score sheet. I have seen Ebe and Andros practising dead balls most days, it’s good to see the work they put in come through on the weekend – it was a good strike. The win is massive because the league is close. A lot of people are picking up points. If you lose a couple on the bounce you can drop a few places so it was nice to get back to winning ways.”
PATRICK BAMFORD – “I don’t understand the rule. You can’t score with your arm. It doesn’t make sense. It’s happened with me today but I’ve seen it on numerous occasions. It’s ruining football. You want to see goals. To have it ruled out for something like that is daft. Even the referee couldn’t make sense of it. When the players and the officials can’t make sense of it… does it make sense?”
The Who Scored man of the match was EBERECHI EZE (9.1) while the the most shots were from PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (3). The most tackles were by EBERECHI EZE (5) while JORDAN AYEW and JACK HARRISON (3) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 7.02 – 6.17
- Total shots: 10 – 9
- Shots on target: 6 – 3
- Possession: 35.3% – 64.7%
- Pass success: 73% – 82%
- Passes: 322 – 585
- Dribbles: 8 – 6
- Aerials won: 13 – 14
- Tackles: 13 – 24
- Fouls: 9 – 16
- Corners: 3 – 6
- Saves: 2 – 3
- Dispossessed: 14 – 7
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are on 13 points from 8 games played and this result propelled them up to 6th at the final whistle but will likely drop outside the top ten once the round of fixtures are over.
21/11/2020 Burnley (a) – Premier League (3pm)
28/11/2020 Newcastle United (h) – Premier League (3pm)
05/12/2020 West Bromwich Albion (a) – Premier League (3pm)