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Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

On Saturday 6th of November Palace hosted their first home game of the month in a Premier League game against Wolverhampton. The club and everyone associated with them were still on a huge high after the shock 2-0 away win against Manchester City in game week 10. I couldn’t watch the whole game but from the parts I did see and highlights we played very well and definitely deserved the win, just gutted I wasn’t there to witness the away atmosphere! Once again star boy Conor on the score sheet, he was rewarded with an England under 21 call up for the upcoming fixtures, arguably he deserved more than a youth call up, but the time will come for him soon enough! Joel Ward picked up the October player of the month for the first time as voted for by the Palace fans, its well-deserved after a consistent run of great performances. It was also a great month for the academy as the new facilities were opened, very exciting times ahead for the club! Wolves were also going into this game off the back of a 2-1 victory over Everton and had a relatively good few weeks with results.

Vieira made a single change to the line-up bringing in Benteke to play upfront in replace of Ayew.

The game was a 3pm kick off, before the game began there was a minute silence to remember those that lost their lives fighting for our country. There was an early chance for Palace to get a goal, as a corner was whipped in by Gallagher finding Benteke in the centre, but his header went straight over the bar. Although Edouard was playing out of position on the wing rather then up top, he started the game very strong and created some chances, he always looked very comfortable on the ball and can drive at players taking some of the pressure off of Zaha. He was involved in an attempt but his shot from the centre of the box was simple enough for the keeper to save, although he did spill the ball, but Conor just wasn’t quick enough so caught the man instead of the ball. Once again Conor was like a whippet the whole game, chasing down balls, closing down players, he has been so impressive under Vieira! There were quite a lot of fouls awarded throughout the game particularly in the centre of the pitch, so the game couldn’t find the flow this ref was much better than the one in our last home game, but maybe could’ve let the game play on a bit more to build momentum. Andersen needs some recognition, the diagonal balls he was playing up to Wilf and Tyrick were absolutely stunning, inch perfect, the centre back pairing we have now excites me a lot because they are so attacking minded! Wolves only had one real chance in the first half, as a free kick was whipped in finding Conor Coady in the box, but his header was easily caught by Guaita. During the first half Mitchell was directly in front of us, when we were in the attacking phases of the game, he seemed a bit hesitant to make the forward runs like he normally would, I’m not entirely sure why because you would think coming out of a great game against Manchester City would have his confidence high.

The first half was pretty uneventful, and Palace weren’t playing to the standards they had been in previous games, Vieira needed to give a good team talk to wake them up a bit.

The second half began and there were no chances. 3 consecutive corners were awarded to Wolves, it was a bit of a heart in mouth moment but of course the defenders did well to handle the pressure and get the ball out of the danger area. There was a penalty shout from Zaha as he drove his way into the box, he felt he was bought down, but the tackle was well timed so got the ball and nothing was awarded. Zaha was once again involved, he switched wings with Edouard to put a different player under pressure, at the end of his run he played the ball into Benteke who was able to spin and get his shot off, but it was weak and easy for the keeper to collect. Palace looked so much better in this second half, playing like we had been, creating chance after chance, the crowd was getting louder to try to encourage them, but we really needed a goal and soon! Yet another chance fell to Benteke from a fantastic Gallagher corner, but his header was straight at the keeper, really should be doing better there! Edouard’s direct running and a great ball down the wing from Gallagher caused problems for the Wolves defence, his cross into Benteke was defeated up out of the reach of the keeper, the effort to clear the ball fell to McArthur who did brilliantly well to play the ball through the player and to Zaha who was coming in to the near post; his first touch finish found the back of the net at the far post! Fantastic play there from Palace, but the celebration was cut short as the flag was up on the far side. VAR intervened and after a few minutes of nervous waiting as the lines were being drawn, the goal was given, and the second celebration began! It was tight but you can clearly see he was onside, and Palace were deservedly 1-0 up in the 61st minute, Zaha on the scoresheet for 2 consecutive games! There was some immediate drama up the other end of the pitch, a foul was committed by October POTM Ward and the referee pointed to the spot, every Palace player and fan was confused because you could obviously see from the glass marks the contact was made outside the box, thankfully VAR stepped in again and instead awarded Wolves a free kick on the edge of the area. Nothing came from this as Jiménez was eventually caught offside. Palace continued to play some lovely football, once chance was created as Mitchell was in some space down the wing, he played the ball in the box to Edouard who was able to charge towards the goal line and get an initial shot off this came back out to him and his second shot went right through everyone, Gallagher wasn’t able to get the crucial touch to put it into the back of the net. We really needed a second goal to secure the 3 points and not risk another late heartbreak. We didn’t have to wait too long for this... in the 78th minute Benteke won a free kick in our attacking half, this was whipped in by Mitchell, the initial ball was headed out of the box by a wolves defender but was picked up by Gallagher, he was able to run directly at the defenders to get in the box and ultimately got his shot off, it took a deflection but found its way into the back of the net! It was on target so went down as a Gallagher goal, again another player with consecutive goals (he’s doing absolute wonders for my fantasy team), and this was his first at home! “Sign him up” rang around Selhurst Park, if Steve Parish only makes one signing next summer it has to be him on a permanent deal, he will have a big price tag from Chelsea but he will definitely be worth it as he is proving! 2-0 up with just over 12 minutes to go. Vieira made 2 substitutions taking off McArthur and Edouard (who had both had great games), for Olise and Schlupp. Wolves got a free kick just outside the box, the shot was kept out by a great low save from the keeper. There was a late chance for Palace to get a third as the substituted linked ups before Olise played the ball back to Zaha, his first touch was poor and ended up slipping over, and Benteke was unable to get a shot on target. The final sub was made for us as Benteke went off for the replacement of Ayew for the final 2 minutes and extra time. There was a lengthy injury in stoppage time on Andersen as he got a blow to the head, all precautions were taken and thankfully he was fine to see the game out. After some time wasting in the corner, the final whistle was blown, our 3rd win of the season and we finally left with all 3 deserved points!

Not one player had a bad game, and they should be proud of the performance especially in the second half, it’s so nice to see us not just sit back and play boring football even when winning. Conor picked up yet another MOTM award for his performance. We’re still unbeaten at home and another clean sheet for the defence! Both Andersen and Guehi received international call ups for their countries, like Conor, Marc’s was for the under 21 team, but he too has received praise from the England first team manager, so shouldn’t be too long! As I am writing this, we are sitting in 9th in the Premier League table, granted there are some games to be played today but it’s nice to see us pushing into the second half of the table! Now November has arrived it was absolutely freezing when walking to the car, the adrenaline must have been keeping me warm during the game!

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 59.7% possession, Wolves had 40.3%

• Palace had a total of 13 shots with 6 on target.

• Wolves had 4 shots with 2 on target.

We now have an international break (I will be at Wembley next Friday for the England game so look out for the post next week), but Palace will be back in 2 weeks for the Burnley away fixture.

Thank for reading

Ellie Xx

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