English Premier League 2021-22

Crystal Palace 2

  • Zaha 2'
  • J Ayew 65'

Southampton 2

  • Ward-Prowse 32'
  • Broja 36'

    Intro & Team News

    Intro and Team News

    IBO Reporter - Spot51

    |With Romeu and Salisu back from suspension it was the strikers giving Ralph sleepless nights before this one. Che was going to be out for weeks and Adam Armstrong and The Albanian had both limped off at The Library and were “being assessed”.

    History suggests Saints usually win at Palace and often keep a clean sheet at their gaff. However, our current away form was shite: lost 15 of our last 19 and failed to score in the second half of the last seven. Palace have moved on. Roy Hodgson did a decent job keeping Palace up but they were awfully dull. Getting rid of the useless Cahill and having Viera get them to play expansive modern football has been well appreciated by their Ultras. They have yet to achieve consistency but this season but on their day have achieved some notable wins.

    |As feared, Adam did not make this one but Broja did and was paired up-front with Tella. Youth and speed should cause concern for the Palace defence. Romeu and Salisu were restored to their usual berths but the left field selection (at wide right) was Will Smallbone. Both he and Tella have been out for ages with ACL injuries so to see them both starting was a rare treat. Apparently Redmond was making his 250th appearance.

    Palace were pretty much at full strength. McArthur was the only outfield player missing but an injury to their keeper enabled a rare outing for the lesser spotted Jack Butland. Twitchers everywhere were phoning their mates.

    Embed from Getty Images

    That's how you take a free-kick. JWP scored a cracker of a goal

    Crystal Palace

    • 1 Butland
    • 2 Ward
    • 5 Tomkins - Booked 73' (Andersen 81')
    • 6 Guéhi - Booked 25'
    • 3 Mitchell
    • 23 Gallagher
    • 12 Hughes
    • 8 Kouyaté (Benteke 64')
    • 9 J Ayew (Olise 75')
    • 22 Édouard
    • 11 Zaha


    • 4 Milivojevic
    • 7 Olise
    • 10 Eze
    • 13 Guaita
    • 15 Schlupp
    • 16 Andersen
    • 17 Clyne
    • 20 Benteke
    • 44 Riedewald

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    • 13 Caballero - Booked 90'
    • 21 Livramento - Booked 67'
    • 4 Lyanco - Booked 88'
    • 22 Salisu - Booked 84'
    • 2 Walker-Peters
    • 20 Smallbone (Djenepo 70')
    • 8 Ward-Prowse
    • 6 Romeu
    • 11 Redmond
    • 23 Tella (Walcott 82')
    • 18 Broja (Long 70')


    • 7 Long
    • 15 Perraud
    • 19 Djenepo
    • 24 Elyounoussi
    • 27 Diallo
    • 32 Walcott
    • 35 Bednarek
    • 41 Lewis
    • 43 Valery

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    Match Report
    Embed from Getty Images

    James Ward-Prowse is back! His first goal scored from a free-kick this season

    Match Report

    IBO Reporter : Spot51

    |This game was on BT so I volunteered to report on it. Frannie was their pitch-side pundit and Messrs Dempsey and Spackman were doing the commentary. After a shite performance in the black kit at Arsenal it was good to see the Saints in yellow tonight. Our referee was Simon Hooper and bookies were offering odds on when JWP would get Zaha sent off.

    Redmond kicked off and Saints moved up field with purpose. Romeu strode forward and took a pot which cleared the bar. Our passing was looking good until Alfa was caught in possession by Will Hughes. Palace worked the ball to Edouard who found Zaha to his left. With our full-backs AWOL the winger ran at Lyanco, cut inside and smashed a low drive inside Willy’s near post: 2nd minute, 1-0 Palace. Who wrote this script FFS?

    Our players were clearly rattled and were grateful when Willy came to clear a Palace corner. When Saints got forward, we had to endure the Salisu long throw routine which gifted the ball to Palace and saw Ayew galloping forward until upended by Lyanco. Saints defended Gallagher’s FK but Palace came back and Tomkins forced a save from Caballero.

    Palace were moving the ball well and, to begin with, seemed to have no trouble playing through our press. Then on 13m, KWP got a clear run at Tomkins who brought him down. JWP’s free kick led to Smallbone setting up Broja who forced Butland into his first save.

    Tino was under orders to kick Zaha whenever possible and was pulled up for his first attempt. Nothing came of that and swept forward, Broja carrying the ball and finding Will in the middle. His lack of match-practice showed as he had more time but elected to hit it first time with his swinger and got a predictable result. Palace fans bayed in derision.

    Our midfield were struggling to get on top of Palace and Hughes in particular was a problem. Nonetheless, Saints were getting a foothold in the game and Redmond and Tino engineered a move down our right which gained us a corner. Edouard headed this clear but the ball reached Alfa who, again, sent it over Butland’s bar.

    On 23m Palace should have extended their lead. Zaha opened us up and found Edouard. He should have scored but, thankfully, dragged his shot beyond the far post. Lucky but at least we were still in the game and Will won us another corner. Edouard again headed this clear and Zaha was on his bike and away. Fortunately we had KWP as our long-stop and he closed in and won the ball with a peach of a tackle.

    Broja’s direct running was bothering Palace and Tella’s runs were creating space for The Albanian to exploit. Guehi stuck out a leg as he flew past earning him the first card of the game. Next Redmond drove into their box and Palace were glad to hack the ball into touch. This led to another Salisu long throw and this was also shite. At last, we appeared to be getting on top and Guehi was penalised again for a handball. Palace cleared this but Saints soon won the ball back. Smallbone and Tella carried it forward where Broja drove past Hughes who kicked him and over he went. This was in prime JWP country and there was no doubt about what would be happening next.

    JWP admitted later that he’d practiced scoring against Jack on England duty but it had been a while since he’d pulled one off. Anyhow, up strode the captain, trademark leap as the ball went up over the wall then down into the top corner. Butland did well to lay a glove on it but there was no stopping it. Just past the half-hour and Saints were 1-1. Fantastic goal at any level of the game, that.

    Saints looked a different prospect now and Palace were suddenly chasing shadows. Like Broja, Gallagher is another Chelsea loanee who has been getting rave reviews but, on 36m, he was smothered by our press and the ball broke to Broja. The Albanian took it a few paces before looking up and fancying his chances. He let fly from distance and the ball arrowed into Butland’s bottom right corner and we were 2-1 up. It was another really good goal from the Saints too!

    Palace continued to be pushed back. JWP had a shot blocked, then a Broja cross was headed away. Redmond and KWP then set up JWP but, with a moving ball, he missed the target. A Mitchell foul on Tella gave JWP another chance to cross but Palace got this away. Palace eventually got forward and Romeu fouled Gallagher on their right. He got up to swing in the cross and Palace’s big men were not pleased to see him put the ball straight into touch. At this moment, the camera showed a close up of Viera, head buried in his hands.

    With 2 added minutes signalled Tomkins conceded another corner. The initial cross was cleared but Saints won the ball back. The attack was ended by the linesman’s flag. There was still time for Broja to skin Tomkins again before the half-time whistle sounded. Given that awful start, 2-1 up at half-time was more than decent.

    Frannie was chuffed but the interviewer kept steering him to how Saints never keep a lead. They showed a graphic illustrating that Saints had dropped 700 points (or something like that) during the last calendar year: load of bollocks thought I.

    As expected, Palace started the second half like a house on fire. Viera is a powerful man and they were clearly intimidated by whatever he had told them. Saints were obliged to defend and it was good to see Smallbone doing his bit. Lyanco was by-passed but Salisu and Caballero were on hand to clear up.

    Tino drove down our right forcing Butland to come for his cross. Zaha looked appalled at having to track back but fear of Viera kept him doing it. It was an even game now and on 58m Willy was required to turn Edouard’s shot behind. Saints got the corner away.

    Tella played in Redmond who was flagged offside. Then Redmond was clattered clearing the ball. Tella needed some treatment before he was able to continue then, on 64m, Palace replaced Kouyate with Benteke and switched to 4-4-2.

    In their next attack, Edouard played a 1-2 with Benteke before hitting a shot which Willy deflected wide with his foot, Sadly for Saints, Ayew was coming in from the right and drove the ball home from a tight angle. 2-2 Bugger! Worse still, the replay showed the ball had hit Edouard’s arm in the build up so that VAR would have ruled out the goal if his shot had gone in. By saving it, Willy allowed Ayew to score instead so the handball was irrelevant. If only McCarthy had been fit: he’d have let the first shot in and Saints might have won. FFS!

    Tino was booked (for kicking Zaha) in due course Hughes swung in the free kick but Saints got it away. When Tino then skinned Zaha and was brought down the Ref kept his cards in his pocket. Twat! Before the free kick could be taken Ralph hooked Broja and Will bringing on Djnepo and Long instead. Long ambled into the box and JWP curled the ball right to him. Sadly his header was straight at Butland.

    Saints continued to get forward and won 2 quick corners. Following the second, Palace hoofed the ball away but Saints came again. The ball was played to Tella who went past Tomkins only to be hacked down. The yellow card was richly deserved. JWP’s free kick was headed clear by Benteke. Whilst he had been brought on for his offensive capabilities, the Belgian proved a useful defensive asset for Palace too. On 75m, Olise replaced Ayew and took up station on the right wing. This looked like an attempt to keep KWP in his own half.

    Saints looked to be having the better of things now but without creating any clear chances. A Redmond shot, another JWP corner and Djnepo shooting wide never troubled Butland. With under 10m left, Tomkins was replaced by Andersen and Tella by Walcott.

    Ward won a corner off Redmond but Long headed this away. It was good to see Saints still pressing hard in the dying minutes, forcing Butland to kick for touch. But players were tiring and JWP in particular began giving the ball away. Lyanco was carded for a needless foul on halfway which allowed Palace to attack again but Mitchell overhit his forward pass which rolled harmlessly out of play.

    Five added minutes were shown just as Palace began another attack. First Ward hit a wicked cross which Willy did well to tip away. The ball was recycled and returned to Ward but this time he fired high over the crossbar. At the other end, Theo and Redmond created a decent opportunity for Djnepo but he seemed unable to sort his feet out in time to shoot.

    Salisu conceded a late corner which Olise obligingly curled out of play. This allowed Saints to have the final attack which, like the first, ended with Romeu outing the ball into the crowd. The dying minutes were taken up when Benteke bashed Lyanco in the chops and he needed thew medics on. There were only seconds left when he returned to the pitch, just in time to hear the final whistle. 2-2 seemed a fair result, Both sides had had their chances but neither had done enough to take all the points.

    Indeed, that was a very good game and neutrals were richly entertained. I guess my only gripe would be our inability to score routine goals. We used to regularly go to Palace and bring home 3 points. Admittedly, Viera’s side are harder to beat than Roy’s Palace sides but they also have the knack of creating and taking chances. They got two tonight. Yet we had to produce a pair of “worldies” just to come away with a point. You don’t get too many goals as good as those in a season so how about a few more headed goals by centre-halves and tap ins from our forwards?

    Man of the Match

    Given the fears we had beforehand, Broja and Tella were great as a front two. Broja led the line and scored a cracker but it was Tella who stood out. His willingness to lead the press was key to us wresting the game back from a piss-poor start. Sadly Ralph brought them both off, presumably so they’d be ready for the Brentford game. Would we have won this game if Broja and Tella had stayed on? Maybe – anyhow, Nathan the Younger is my MoM.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Broja scored an absolute belter of a goal from fully 30 yards out. Butland had no chance

    Match Statistics


    • Referee: Simon Hooper
    • Assistants: Dan Robathan, Derek Eaton
    • Fourth official: Robert Jones
    • VAR: John Brooks
    • Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes

    • Attendance: 22,861

    Crystal Palace

    • 60% Possession
    • 9 Shots
    • 6 Shots on Target
    • 2 Goals
    • 4 Corners
    • 16 Fouls


    • 40% Possession
    • 15 Shots
    • 4 Shots on Target
    • 2 Goals
    • 6 Corners
    • 20 Fouls

    Embed from Getty Images

    We need to see more of this sort of thing

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