Palace Kick Off New Year With All Three Points And Clean Sheet


2nd January 2021


Crystal Palace 2-0 Sheffield United


Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU


Behind closed doors


REFEREE – Stuart Attwell

ASSISTANTS – Marc Perry, Peter Kirkup


VAR – Andre Marriner, Richard West (assistant)


BOOKINGS – Jayden Bogle (45), Oliver Norwood (63), Eberechi Eze (67), John Fleck (89)

RED CARD – none


Jeffrey Schlupp (4), Eberechi Eze (45)


James McArthur


An early goal set the Eagles on their way for an opening win of the New Year but the game was lit up by a fantastic solo effort from Eberechi Eze which ended up sealing all three points. It was a good performance to secure the points against a struggling Sheffield United side which builds on the solid foundations laid in the home draw with Leicester. 


Nothing of note


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.

“I wonder how many of our supporters woke up this morning thinking Palace would have a banana skin moment and lose to a team which hadn’t won a game this season!?

 Main positives and thoughts from the game:

  • Starting on the front foot and scoring that all important first goal at this level within the first five minutes.
  • A goal out of the very top drawer by Eze – he is a real talent!
  • Excellent game management during the second half to ensure only our second clean sheet of the season. Guaita probably had his quietest game since making his Palace debut.
  • Even after two injuries to offensive players we had options from the bench.
  • A 2-0 win confirms that every player successfully completed their respective roles within the tactical set up.
  • There is a need to find a way of accommodating Eze with either Schlupp or Townsend in our starting line-up.
  • Mitchell gets better with experience in every game.
  • Tomkins when fit is a top class centre back.
  • Every player played their part but McArthur is my man of the match – he must have covered almost every blade of grass.
  • Four more wins required ASAP to guarantee another season in the top flight.

Happy New Year to all our supporters!


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Only called upon a couple of time throughout the games but ended up being simple stuff.

2 JOEL WARD (7) – Solid game stepping in for the injured Clyne, rarely looked in any trouble.

5 JAMES TOMKINS (7) – Caught out once in the first half but overall, did not have an awful lot to contend with doing the simple things well.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Still proving to be the in-form centre back at Palace with another decent showing in the heart of defence.

27 TYRICK MITCHELL (7) – Found himself the busier of the two full backs but justified his inclusion with another battling performance.

10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) – Full of running and energy linking up well with those around him. Had a great chance late in the game to get himself on the score sheet.Brilliant ball to Zaha which contributed to the opening goal.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (8 – ASSIST! TEB MAN OF THE MATCH!) – Back in the side and produced an excellent performance and one that we have come to expect from the Scottish Pirlo. Dispossessed the opposition on a number of occasions.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (CAPTAIN – 7) – Questionable starter cosidering the news that broke online the morning of the game but the captain had a quiet game which is a good game in his position as he went about his work sensibly, unlike his decision on how to see in the New Year! Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 90 minutes to provide some fresh legs and see out the game.

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7 – GOAL!) – Gave the Eagles the lead early on but succumbed to what looked a hamstring injury before the break. Replaced by 25 EBERECHI EZE (7 – GOAL! BOOKED!) on 40 minutes and it did not take him long to score a sublime solo effort to double the lead for Palace. Some nice touches through the second half and a booking to boot.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – Got at the opposition at every opportunity and played a key part in the opening goal. Created all sorts of problems.

20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7 – ASSIST!) – Played a key part in the opening goal and had plenty of decent touches throughout. Linked up well with Zaha and perhaps should have had a goal for himself in the first half but a muscle injury early in the second half ended his day. Replaced by 9 JORDAN AYEW (6) on 48 minutes who provided plenty of running but failed to create a clear-cut chance for himself but he did take the pressure off the defence on a number of occasions with some clever play to retain the ball.


1 Jack Butland, 2 Patrick van Aanholt, 6 Scott Dann, 2 Mamadou Sakho, 22 James McCarthy, 23 Michy Batshuayi


1 Ramsdale, 6 Basham, 12 Egan, 3 Stevens, 20 Bogle, 16 Norwood, 22 Ampadu, 4 Fleck, 23 Osborn, 17 McGoldrick, 11 Mousset

SUBSTITUTES – 2 Baldock, 13 Lowe, 21 Verrips, 24 Brewster (replaced Mousset on 61 mins), 29 Bryan, 32 Hackford (replaced Osborn on 81 mins)


ROY HODGSON – “I have seen some very good goals recently but they have been against us so that has been the problem. It was nice to see one for us for a change because a lot of the goals we have conceded, in particular against West Ham and Liverpool, were incredible finishes.”

HODGSON ON MILIVOJEVIC“We know he didn’t put the other team at risk because he tested negative. We weren’t concerned about breaching any Premier League protocols and therefore I think it was correct Luka played the game. It was a question of him in his household having his fellow Serb Mitrovic round to join them, so that is a clear breach of coronavirus rules. It doesn’t do the image of the club any good. We condemn it, we certainly apologise for it and I am sure Luka will as well. He must take full responsibility for that.”

CHRIS WILDER – “It was the perfect storm last season – players were at the top of their game and we had no injuries. Now injuries are hitting us quite hard… but we had enough on the pitch to get us a result. The result wasn’t decided when the team sheet came in. It was decided in fourth minute and the last 30 seconds of the first half. This club, over the past three, four years, is not used to losing games. It’s difficult, it’s a struggle, it’s ruthless and murders you at times with what you’re up against.”

EBERECHI EZE“I am always practicing, always training and improving in any way I can. I tried to take my opportunities when I get in that position. I believe in myself and back myself but there is lots of work to do to get the best of myself. I try my best to help the team and Wiflried Zaha too, he is a great player and I am working my hardest to help the team. He is a great player and he has loads of qualities that I can put in my game.”

JAMES TOMKINS – “It feels like it’s been a long time coming. Some games we’ve played well and got unlucky but we’ve had a few bad results. We knew it would be a battle, they’re fighting for their lives and we had to start brightly. We moved on from there and put it to bed before half-time. In the Premier League you can’t start slowly. We didn’t take many risks, it was a professional performance.”


The Who Scored man of the match was James McArthur (8.1) while the most shots were from Andros Towsend (3). The most tackles were by James McArthur (8) while Wilfried Zaha (4) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 7.05 – 6.31
  • Total shots: 9 – 6
  • Shots on target: 4 – 2
  • Possession: 44.7% – 55.3%
  • Pass success: 72% – 81%
  • Passes: 415 – 507
  • Dribbles: 10 – 7
  • Aerials won: 19 – 23
  • Tackles: 25 – 20
  • Fouls: 8 – 18
  • Corners: 3 – 5
  • Saves: 2 – 2
  • Dispossessed: 12 – 12


Palace have 22 points from 17 games which moved them up to 12th at the final whistle, a point behind Leeds in 11th and a point ahead of Wolves in 13th.


08/01/2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) – FA Cup (7.45pm – BT)

14/01/2021 Arsenal (a) – Premier League (8pm – Sky)

17/01/2021 Manchester City (a) – Premier League (7.15pm – Sky)


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like