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Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest 23/24

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Saturday 7th October 2023, Crystal Palace hosted Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park for a Premier League fixture in a late kick off.

Crystal Palace came into this game off the back of a 1-0 victory over Manchester United. I was absolutely gutted not to be there (stupid train strikes) but I was cheering on from home, the goal was fantastic from Joachim Andersen and the result took them to 9th in the league.

This week’s visitors were Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest. The traveling side came into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Brentford, which included a second half red card for centre back Moussa Niakhaté meaning they were without him on their trip to South London.

Roy Hodgson was forced into three changes for this game as his squad was thin on numbers with multiple injuries adding to an already long list. These changes saw Nathaniel Clyne, Jaïro Riedewald and Odsonne Édouard come in to replace Joel Ward, Cheick Doucouré and Eberechi Eze who are all out with long term hamstring injuries. The lack of squad depth left an opening for academy players Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, Malcolm Ebiowei, David Ozoh, Ademola Ola-Adebomi, and Jadan Raymond to be named on the bench.

Before the match everyone in the stadium participated in a minutes applause in memory of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who tragically lost her life in Croydon a little over a week ago.

Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest cancel each other out and leave Selhurst Park sharing the points in a goalless draw.

The game got off to a slow start with both teams cancelling each other out. It was Nottingham Forest who got the first opportunity of the afternoon with Harry Toffolo forcing a diving save from Sam Johnstone; the full back’s shot came from outside the box following a corner that no player got on the end of.

Morgon Gibbs White had the next chance, which was arguably the best of the game. Receiving a long ball up-field the Forest winger made a run in behind the Palace defence and got to the ball first, his first time shot was on target and beat a backtracking Johnstone but was kept out by the far post.

Adding to Roy Hodgson’s already limited squad, in the first half he was forced into a substitution replacing an injured Jeffery Schlupp for Jesurun Rak-Sakyi.

Palace created a chance with Joachim Andersen sending an inviting ball into the box, but Jordan Ayew’s volley went high over the bar.

The introduction of Rak-Sakyi brought energy and creativity to the field for the home side, he did well against Forest’s wingback Toffolo always looking for a positive ball into the box. The young academy product almost found the opener after pouncing on a poor clearance, but his shot was blocked on route to goal.

The opener almost came for the away side just before halftime. Centre back Murillo was looking for the headlines that centre back Andersen earned last week with his wondergoal! He danced around the challenges of the Palace defence and was finally his right footed shot was denied by the hand of Johnstone keeping the scores level going into the break.

Good interceptions from both Rak-Sakyi and Mitchell started Palace on counter attacks.

The Eagle’s best chance of the game - and arguably the best from either side – came early in the second half. It started with some great work fro Mitchell down the left, he cut inside and found Odsonne Edouard. The striker took a few steps towards the box before picking out Jean-Philippe Mateta, he went for goal – with half the stadium thinking it went in - but his shot went just wide of the far post.

Defensively Palace had a strong performance with Andersen making a late block to earn a third consecutive league clean sheet; but as did Forest meaning neither team were able to take their chances and the game ended goalless.

I thought it was a pretty boring game to watch with small spurts of play that got the crowd excited. A positive is that they earned another clean sheet with some good defensive performances, though sometimes they played too slow out from the back and lacked the energy. Jesurun Rak-Sakyi took his chance and had a great game when he came on earning the deserved MOTM award, it would’ve been nice to see a few more academy players introduced. Overall, looking at how many players are currently out we can’t be too annoyed with a point, hopefully when the players return games like these will turn into 3 points.

There is now an international break where both Marc Guehi and Sam Johnstone will feature for England’s games, before Palace return on the 21st to face Newcastle away.

I will be attending both England games against Australia and Italy, so look out for them posts!

Before I end I’d just like to mention that I’m currently raising money for upcoming university trip to Miami in January, if you’d like to help the full story can be read here thank you in advance!

Thank you for reading!

Ellie Xx


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