Amid a multitude of different weather conditions at Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson had his captain to thank for securing a valuable three points against his former employers.
13th March 2020
Crystal Palace 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
Referee – Simon Hooper
Assistants – Mark Scholes, Derek Eaton
Fourth official – Graham Scott
VAR – Mike Dean, Harry Lennard (assistant)
BOOKINGS – Darnell Furlong (36), Eberechi Eze (53), Patrick van Aanholt (90), Gary Cahill (90)
RED CARD – none
Luka Milivojevic (37 pen)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
The marker for the season is ten wins and this results sees the Eagles reach this milestone by the middle of March which contrary to how fans have felt about the season is a decent return with plenty of football still to be played. A win is a win against a team scrapping for their lives but we were expecting a little more from the opposition in view of their predicament with Palace just doing enough to take victory.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
A couple of reviews in the game but the most important led to the winning goal after a handball in box.
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.
“A scrappy game between two teams who both knew from the start that the first goal would probably gain all thee points. Three consecutive clean sheets at home, making it six gained so far this season compared to five in total last season, ensured five points from our last three fixtures at Selhurst.
In truth, West Brom rarely threatened and one shot on target accurately reflected their potential goalscoring potency. To be fair though our defence marshalled well by Cahill kept any attacks at arms length. Milivojevic played his part providing an additional defensive screen with Riedewald. It meant West Brom often had to resort to direct long balls which Kouyate and Cahill easily dealt with both inside and outside our penalty box.
Our own attacks were sporadic and often broke down with a misplaced pass in the final third. Zaha is obviously finding his way back to full fitness. Whilst Eze, like Zaha, is no longer a surprise package to the opposition and is often forced into less dangerous areas of the pitch. It is something Eze will have to learn to deal with at the top level but undoubtedly he has an abundance of talent to succeed.
In summary, it is reassuring to gain ten wins by mid-March which almost certainly guarantees another season in the top flight. Results with style remains the challenge going forward as a club but I am sure most supporters (and owners) are satisfied to be facing a ninth consecutive season in the Premier League. Let us now enjoy a three week break until our next game at Everton.
Up the Palace!”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – Rarely trouble throughout the game and just needed to do the simple things.
2 JOEL WARD (6) – Struggled for much of this one oddly which perhaps suggests he needs a rest when Clyne is back fit.
24 GARY CAHILL (7 – BOOKED!) – Solid in the centre with a performance full of experience.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Very vocal in the backline, one great challenge in the box summed up his game.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6 – BOOKED!) – Like Ward, he found it difficult to get going and on another day could well have given away a penalty.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (7) – No fuss for the Dutchman who seemed to enjoy the battle in the midfield.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8 – CAPTAIN!) – Worked hard in the middle and ended up being the match winner by taking his chance from the spot. Just before the penalty award, he had a good effort on goal from distance which was tipped over.
25 EBERECHI EZE (7 – BOOKED!) – Once again, some glimpses but not quite enough to exert his talent onto the game. One really good effort ended in a tame effort on goal which could have been a really special goal. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 74 minutes who struggled to get into the game.
9 JORDAN AYEW (7) – Another busy performance from the Ghanaian but no end product. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 84 minutes who had very little time to create anything.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – First start since returning from injury and the conversation will be all about his choice not to knee before kick-off rather than his performance, but he was dealt with pretty well by the opposition for the most part.
20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (8) – Another good game from the big man who knows he should have been on the score sheet after being put through by Zaha. Linked up well throughout and his form his keeping out Batshuayi and preventing Mateta from more game time.
1 Jack Butland, 6 Scott Dann,14 Jean-Philippe Mateta, 21 Connor Wickham, 23 Michy Batshuayi, 34 Martin Kelly, 38 Reece Hannam
1 Johnstone, 2 Furlong, 27 O’Shea, 5 Bartley, 14 Townsend, 35 Yokuslu, 10 Phillips, 18 Gallagher, 30 Maitland-Niles, 12 Pereira, 17 Diagne
SUBSTITUTES – 4 Robson-Kanu (replaced Pereira on 63 mins), 6 Ajayi, 7 Robinson, 8 Livermore, 11 Diangana, 22 Peltier, 23 Snodgrass (replaced Phillips on 71 mins), 25 Button, 29 Grant
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON –“I put it down as a very good, solid win against a team who ask a lot of you. If you don’t plug the gaps or compete as you need to, you pay the price. We didn’t because we did those things particularly well.
Every game is different. West Brom are using the players they have got at their disposal very well. We knew this would be a tough test. It’s one of those games where you don’t get a lot of praise for drawing or winning. Those points for me are very valuable.
There are 38 games a year and each one of them is very important. It’s watched by millions of people all over the world so I don’t think it’s acceptable for a player to not give everything. Every manager in this league would fear the words ‘complacency’ or ‘safe’. We are not safe. We will only be safe when the number of points we have in front is greater than the number of games we have left and points to gain from them.
Every season is going to be decided in May. If we are in the league in May and above three teams in May then that’s what I’m looking for. We do have a margin to them so it takes the knife from the throat to some extent. We know we have nine more matches and we need nine more performances.”
SAM ALLARDYCE – “You don’t fear the worst when you out-play the opposition and arrive in their area twice as many times. We had twice as many crosses and twice as many shots. That shows what our problems have been. We ended up losing to a penalty. I have no complaints about the penalty.
Everything about what we’re doing now – we’re defending superbly well and our football leading up to the final third is excellent. Our balls into the box maybe could be better but they are coming and the chances are there. We need more responsibility to not only score, but to hit the target. When you keep missing the target, that is the most disappointing thing for me.
There are 27 points available and 20 needed. We can only really afford to drop seven points. It’s a massive mountain to climb for us. Everybody knows that.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Luka Milivojevic (7.9) while the most shots were from Christian Benteke (3). The most tackles were by Luka Milivojevic, Darnell Furlong and Dara O’Shea (4) while Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha (3) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.88 – 6.45
- Total shots: 6 – 12
- Shots on target: 4 – 0
- Possession: 43.8% – 56.2%
- Pass success: 67% – 77%
- Passes: 319 – 399
- Dribbles: 10 – 8
- Aerials won: 27 – 27
- Tackles: 19 – 19
- Fouls: 16 – 15
- Corners: 3 – 2
- Saves: 1 – 3
- Dispossessed: 12 – 9
POSITION IN THE TABLE
At the full time whistle, Palace were 11th in the Premier League with 37 points from 29 games played, a point behind Arsenal in 10th and a point ahead of Leeds United in 12th.
03/04/2021 Everton (a) – Premier League (3pm)
10/04/2021 Chelsea (h) – Premier League (3pm)
17/04/2021 Southampton (a) – Premier League (3pm)