In what was a very open game, Palace went behind twice in the first half thanks to poor defending but put in an exciting second half display to take all three points from a Villa side that had no answer to the hosts fighting spirit.
16th May 2021
Crystal Palace 3-2 Aston Villa
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
Referee: David Coote. Assistants: Nick Hopton, James Mainwaring. Fourth official: Robert Jones. VAR: Paul Tierney. Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday
BOOKINGS – John McGinn (50), Joel Ward (73), Cheikhou Kouyate (82), Kortney Hause (88), Wilfried Zaha (90)
RED CARD – none
John McGinn (17), Christian Benteke (32), Anwar El Ghazi (34), Wilfried Zaha (76), Tyrick Mitchell (84)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
A disappointing first half made us all think we had see it all before but a rousing second half performance secured all three points in one of the most satisfying come from behind wins in recent seasons. There have been claims that these players are ‘on the beach’, more so with a number out of contract in the summer and no decision confirmed publicly on the management, but the fighting spirit was evident along with a touch of class.
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.
“Much of the pre-match social media noise centred on why Roy Hodgson had selected two goalkeepers on the bench – just wish our team had started the game as lively as the fans debate! It took us to go a goal down for our players to wake up. The performance probably summed up our season in a nutshell. A microcosm of being capable of creating good goal scoring opportunities but our defending for a combination of factors has been shocking.
Injuries, a rarely settled back four, lack of pace, concentration, and ageing legs all probably contributing to a very poor goal difference. Looking ahead this issue needs addressing urgently or it will lead inevitably to a relegation battle next season whoever is appointed to replace Hodgson.
In the immediate future, it will be great to see our fans return to the Coliseum again on Wednesday against Arsenal. Let’s hope even a 25% capacity generates our usual 12th man loud support. I for one am looking forward to being part of a match day experience again. Overall a well deserved win especially due to our excellent second half showing. A special mention in performance dispatches for Eberechi Eze who was regularly involved in our best moments going forward.
Overall though, my man of the match goes to Christian Benteke. His performances of late reflect a player back to or near to his very best.”
1 JACK BUTLAND (6) – Good to see him get some game time and while he had no chance with either, made three decent saves to contribute to the victory.
2 JOEL WARD (BOOKED! – 6) – Got pulled across the backline for the second goal leaving the goalscorer free to shoot on goal. Seemed to struggle and received a booking for his troubles.
24 GARY CAHILL(CAPTAIN! – 7) – Back in the side in an all action performance. It was his challenge which set the team on their way for the winning goals. He did manage a couple of chances himself which he failed to take.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (BOOKED! – 7) – Received a booking which was only his fourth of the season and when you consider he has been playing centre back for much of that, proves how disciplined he is. Switched to midfield for the final 15 minutes Made the joint most tackles in the game.
27 TYRICK MITCHELL (ASSIST! GOAL! TEB MOM! – 8) – First assist and first goal for the club and a very popular match winner even if his effort was unconventional.
22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) – Back in the starting line up after injury in a new midfield partnership than we have seen of late, which took time to gel. Replaced by 5 JAMES TOMKINS (6) on 73 minutes which saw Kouyate move midfield, but good to see arguably our best central defender back playing again.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (8) – Another busy performance from the winger who was up and down the pitch all game and played his part in the win.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7) – Slotted in alongside McCarthy and took time settle down which may have contributed to an overall poor first half, but was regularly involved as the game swung to the hosts favour. Made the joint most tackles in the game.
25 EBERECHI EZE (8) – Slow start but grew as the game went on and became a major influence. Continued to excite and had a great effort come back off the crossbar. Made the most shots in the game.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (GOAL! BOOKED! – 8) – Another player that started slowly but exerted his influence as the minutes ticked by and the visitors had no answer to him. Scored his 11th goal of the season which his best return in the Premier League and made the most dribbles in the game.
20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (GOAL! – 8) – A striker bang in form and picked up his 9th goal of the season.
6 Scott Dann, 9 Jordan Ayew, 13 Wayne Hennessey. 14 Jean-Philippe Mateta, 23 Michy Batshuayi, 31 Vicente Guaita, 34 Martin Kelly, 44 Jairo Riedewald
26 Martinez, 27El Mohamady, 4 Konsa, 30 Hause, 18 Targett, 6 Douglas Luiz, 41 Ramsay, 15 Traore, 7 McGinn, 7 El Ghazi, 11 Watkins
SUBSTITUTES – 3 Taylor, 9 Wesley (replaced El Ghazi on 88 mins), 10 Grealish (replaced Traore on 64 mins), 12 Steer, 19 Nakamba, 20 Barkley, 22 Engels, 39 Davis (replaced Ramsey on 85 mins), 60 Chukwuemeka
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “I thought we’d come into the game a bit better. In the second half that was the Palace that I’ve seen in the last four years – that never say die spirit. We accept we’ll never roll teams over and we have to work hard to get a result and we did that today. The players deserve an awful amount of credit. Wilfried and Eberechi are quality players, they are players that could improve quite a few Premier League teams. We need them more than a Manchester City or Manchester United would need them. We saw Wilfried as he is today, he was chasing everything down, very dangerous going forward and scored a goal.
“Mitchell is not one who makes his presence felt on the training field by screaming and shouting but he does his job very well. We’ve always known we have a good left-back in the club in Tyrick Mitchell. It was fitting in the changing room I mentioned him but he was speaking to the media, when he came back the players and staff burst into spontaneous applause and the smile on his face is something that will remain in my mind. It’s a day he’ll look back on in 15-20 years time and think was I really that good.”
“It would have been a rocking Selhurst Park witnessing that performance. It would have been a sight to behold so let’s hope we can encourage those fans who are here on Wednesday night to make noise. We have to reproduce what we did in the second half and give them something to enjoy.”
DEAN SMITH – “I thought we looked a really good team first half today. We were unfortunate not to go in more than a goal to the good. They counter-pressed us better in the second half and we lacked the intensity we had in the first half. They were aggressive and we never really dealt with the ball as well as we did in the first half. It became more of a scrappy game and we’re frustrated with the goals they did score.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Tyrick Mitchell (8.2) while the most shots were from Eberechi Eze (7). The most tackles were by Cheikhou Kouyate and Jeffrey Sclupp (5) while Wilfried Zaha (4) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 7.11 – 6.53
- Total shots: 23 – 17
- Shots on target: 8 – 5
- Possession: 46.8% – 53.2%
- Pass success: 75% – 78%
- Passes: 316 – 376
- Dribbles: 9 – 1
- Aerials won: 16 – 13
- Tackles: 15 – 10
- Fouls: 23 – 13
- Corners: 7 – 7
- Saves: 3 – 5
- Dispossessed: 8 – 8
POSITION IN THE TABLE
At the final whistle, Palace were 13th in the Premier League with 44 points from 36 games played, a point behind Wolves in 12th and a point ahead of Southampton in 14th.
19/05/2021 Arsenal (h) – Premier League (7pm)
23/05/2021 Liverpool (a) – Premier League (4pm)