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Crystal Palace vs Brentford 23/24

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Saturday 30th December 2023, Crystal Palace hosted Brentford at Selhurst Park for a Premier League fixture in a 3pm kick off in their final game of 2023.

Palace came into the game off the back of a 2-1 loss away to Chelsea, once again despite a good performance was denied a point late on following a penalty. Granted the Eagles didn’t have the strongest game, but neither did Chelsea so a point would’ve been deserved.

This week’s visitors were Thomas Frank’s Brentford. Coming into the game Brentford were just one place above Palace in the table, sitting in 14th with 19 points. Much like Palace, Brentford too had a tough recent run losing their last four to Wolves, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Brighton so a lot hung in the balance for this game.

Roy Hodgson named an unchanged starting 11 for their final game of the year, after he was seemingly pleased with their midweek performance. A win today would see Palace finally climb the league table.

Before kick off there was a minute applause to remember everyone involved with Palace who sadly passed away this year.

Crystal Palace end their run of losses in their final game of 2023 with a 3-1 victory over Brentford.

Brentford struck first, earning the lead just two minutes into the game. A flick on from Mathias Jensen released Mads Roerslev down the wing, the number 30 then crossed the ball into the box where Keane Lewis-Potter was waiting to finish into the back of the net.

A lengthy VAR check confirmed the goal giving the traveling fans a dream start.

Fortunately for the Palace faithful the Brentford lead didn’t last long (12 minutes to be exact) with Palace looking dangerous one again through Michael Olise. Just three days after finding the back of the net at Stamford Bridge, the young winger was back on the scoresheet.

Starting off the attack himself, Olise switched the ball over to Jordan Ayew. The number 10 returned the favour picking out the Frenchman at the back post, where he finished into the net on the volley with the outside of his boot.

With both sides coming into the game needing to pick up points the tempo in the early stages matched the urgency from the sides. An array of chances came from both teams with Lewis-Potter and Ayew coming closest for the respective teams.

The tempo did eventually calm, allowing Palace to use it to their advantage. Some beautiful build up play from the Eagles ended with an excellent link-up play from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Ebere Eze on the edge of the box. The latter took the ball his stride past his defender and found the back of the net, taking his side into the break ahead!

Things almost went from bad to worse for the visitors, after a horrendous back pass from Ethan Pinnock had his keeper Mark Flekken back tracking to prevent an own goal.

On the half time whistle Palace were greeted with applause – something they haven’t had for a while!

The momentum continued into the second half for the home side enjoying strong spurts early on. Olise was quickly released down the wing but his shot was straight into the hands of Flekken.

Brentford had one of few chances with Christian Nørgaard producing one easy for Dean Henderson to keep out. The visitors didn’t enjoy much of the ball with Palace’s pressure doing its job.

To start the Eagles on a counterattack, Marc Guéhi won the ball back in midfield before playing it into Olise. The number 7 exceptionally danced past multiple in sky blue setting himself up to find the bottom left corner of the net earning his second of the afternoon and extending their lead!

Palace looked like the hunger that had been missing the past few games had returned and they were eager for goals. Next to have a chance at goal was Eze. Mateta and Olise linked up to get round the Brentford defence near their goal, the ball eventually fell to Eze but his shot was straight down the throat of Flekken keeping the score at 3-1.

A late series of chances for Brentford saw Neal Maupay’s long-range strike be denied by the woodwork, followed by his looping effort being clawed away by a fantastic save from Henderson, and Yoane Wissa shot from six yards bounce over the bar.

With the encouragement of Roy Hodgson and Ray Lewington Palace didn’t sit back and instead hunted for a fourth. Olise’s free kick was met at the back post by Joachim Andersen whose back post header went just wide of the post.

Despite being denied the chances of extending their lead, the final whistle was met with an eruption of Selhurst Park as a strong performance was finally rewarded as they ended 2023 in style!

WE FINALLY WON! I must admit I was a bit scared after we conceded so early, but a well-deserved win after an exceptional performance from the boys as they showed good determination to fight back. Michael Olise is going from strength to strength which is wonderful to see. Very happy to see Ebere Eze on the scoresheet after a tough few games for him and I thought everyone had impressive games. With that being said I do still believe Roy’s time with us has come to an end and we still need a replacement ASAP, hopefully we can get rid of him after a high.

Palace’s next game is at home to Everton on Thursday 4th of January in the FA Cup as they hopefully progress on the road to Wembley!

Thank you for reading and a Happy New Year!

Ellie Xx


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