Following the exertions of Monday evening, the Eagles once again found themselves lucky to survive a defeat by sneaking a draw after plenty of hard work and defensive stubborness against a Fulham side fighting for their lives.
28th February 2021
Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
Referee – Anthony Taylor
Assistants – Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn, Tim Robinson (fourth official)
VAR – Peter Bankes, Andy Halliday (assistant)
BOOKINGS – Luka Milivojevic (55), Antonee Robinson (83)
RED CARD – none
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
A clean sheet and another point to the tally which is about all you can say about this performance. It was one where Palace were lucky to take a point after offering very little going forward, but was a very solid defensive showing against a side fighting for their lives. It is as if Hodgson and Lewington do not trust the attacking talent at their disposal with the way the team was set up for this game. Having said that, the injury record this season is the worst in the Premier League which has meant similar selections over a period of games, never ideal during a condensed season such as this one.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
Nothing of note
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.
“Pragmatism versus style is the conundrum teams aspiring to establish themselves in the top flight face on a annual basis. High xG statistics or the ‘smash and grab baby’ tactics uttered by Joel Ward after the late late win last Monday at The Amex? I guess in reality, most Palace supporters would like the best of both worlds. Easy on the eye football, lots of goal scoring opportunities created and yet with a resilience to win games ‘ugly’ when required.
Although Hodgson has ensured Premier League stability, one thing is for sure that kind of expansive approach will not happen under his stewardship. Consequently the owners face a big decision this summer. Fulham came into the game today full of confidence with recent good form. A much different team to the one we faced at Craven Cottage earlier this season. It was a game they had definitely targeted to win in their attempt to escape relegation.
Although Fulham worked hard to create chances and for all their possession, in reality, Guaita was actually employed on only a very few occasions. We were set up to keep a clean sheet but offered very little threat to Fulham’s defence. A combination of Fulham pressing and hunting in packs to regain possession and our lacklustre slow buildup of attacks contributed to an underwhelming back foot performance. Eze often looked lost in the free role behind Benteke our sole striker. He looks much more effective in an interchangeable role with Zaha. Under the radar maybe but we miss the pace and drive of Schlupp from deep central areas. We look particularly pedestrian in possession in that key area of the pitch. In summary, like Monday, a solid defensive performance with a mention in dispatches again to Cahill. He is back to his reliable best.
One further thought, how many of us last Sunday would have bitten a hand off for gaining 4 points from the then forthcoming games against Brighton and Fulham? Me for one! Up the Palace.”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – Palace have the Spaniard to thank for a point as he made one brilliant save in the second half to preserve the clean sheet, the first since the win against Wolves.
2 JOEL WARD (7) – Became the Palace player with the most Premier League appearances taking him past Zaha and marked it with another good performance.
24 GARY CAHILL (7 – TEB MAN OF THE MATCH!) – Led by example at the back by throwing himself at everything and making a number blocks and tackles.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Often seen berating those in front of him while doing a more than capable job at the back.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7) – Back in the side and hardly put a foot wrong.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (7) – Played well alongside the captain with whom he is building a good partnership thanks to a run of games.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7 – CAPTAIN! BOOKED!) – A solid game from the skipper in the middle of the park and along with his customary yellow card, he was very vocal particularly to the referee.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) – Busy game for the winger who linked up well with Ward behind him throughout. The one player that looked most likely to create something.
25 EBERECHI EZE (6) – Quiet game from the former QPR man in what seemed a free role but appear to struggle without Zaha in the team which takes the attention away from him. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 79 minutes to strengthen the midfield for the remaining minutes.
9 JORDAN AYEW (6) – Made the usual nuisance of himself but looked leggy after such a good game on Monday.
20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7) – Worked hard but too often found himself isolated from the rest of the team. Never really given any support.
1 Jack Butland, 6 Scott Dann, 14 Jean-Philippe Mateta, 23 Michy Batshuayi, 27 Tyrick Mitchell, 34 Martin Kelly, 38 Reece Hannam
1 Areola, 2 Tete, 5 Anderson, 16 Tosin, 34 Aina, 29 Zambo Anguissa, 21 Reed, 14 De Cordova-Reid, 15 Loftus-Cheek, 19 Lookman, 27 Maja
SUBSTITUTES – 9 Mitrovic (replaced Anguissa on 73 mins), 13 Ream, 17 Cavaleiro (replaced De Cordova-Reid on 66 mins), 18 Lemina, 23 Bryan, 25 Onomah, 30 Kongolo, 31 Fabri, 33 Robinson (replaced Aina on 46 mins)
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON –“I’m very satisfied. Fulham are playing very well and are a good team. We knew we would be under pressure for large parts of the game. People have to work very hard and defensively, I can’t compliment them enough. We were under pressure for a lot of the time. I still think we can do more with the ball sometimes than we do but that’s dependent on the opposition as well. They don’t give you a lot of time on the ball but the way we dug in is very commendable. I can’t praise the players enough for the work rate. We have a lot of players to come back into the team. These players need a rest too.”
SCOTT PARKER – “There were some big chances today. In the first half we didn’t really assert ourselves and lacked a threat. We changed that at half time. It was probably always going to be a 1-0 game and we did everything in our power to win it. Defensively we were very good. It’s a point and in the Premier League it’s a point gained. We move on.””
The Who Scored man of the match was Luka Milivojevic (7.9) while the most shots were from Joachim Andersen (5). The most tackles were by Luka Milivojevic (7) while Josh Maja (3) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.89 – 6.86
- Total shots: 3 – 16
- Shots on target: 0 – 4
- Possession: 40.8% – 59.2%
- Pass success: 77% – 83%
- Passes: 359 – 525
- Dribbles: 8 – 16
- Aerials won: 18 – 18
- Tackles: 21 – 17
- Fouls: 10 – 14
- Corners: 1 – 3
- Saves: 4 – 1
- Dispossessed: 9 – 13
POSITION IN THE TABLE
At the final whistle, Palace were 13th in the Premier League with 33 points from 26 games played, a point behind Wolves in 12th and 3 points ahead of Southampton in 14th. Just 12 more games to go…
03/02/2021 Manchester United (h) – Premier League (8.15pm)
07/03/2021 Tottenham Hotspur (a) – Premier League (7.15pm)
13/03/2021 West Bromwich Albion (h) – Premier League (3pm)