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Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton 23/24

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Sunday 3rd September 2023, Crystal Palace hosted Wolverhampton at Selhurst Park for a Premier League fixture as they hunted for their first home three points of the season.

Palace came into the game off the back of a tremendous 4-2 comeback in the Carabou Cup away to Plymouth Argyle in midweek. The win was thanks to strikers Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta, with the latter scoring his first hattrick in the final 30 minutes of the game. The tempo was hugely impacted by substitutes Jeffrey Schlupp, Ebere Eze and Jordan Ayew who all had goal involvement during their short time on the pitch meaning Palace will advance to the next round.

This week’s visitors were Gary O'Neil’s Wolverhampton. Much like Palace, Wolves too won their midweek cup game a much smoother 5-0 victory over Blackpool. The side from the midlands have had a rocky start to the season losing their opening two to Manchester United and Brighton, conceding a total of 5 goals. Though they did win their most recent League fixture 1-0 away at Everton, so we were in for a competitive game.

Roy Hodgson had a quiet end to the transfer window only signing Dean Henderson and Rob Holding. With the latter unavailable for selection, Hodgson opted for an unchanged line-up for the fourth consecutive league game. Henderson did appear on the bench but Sam Johnstone kept his position between the sticks.

Crystal Palace win their first home game of the season, beating Wolverhampton 3-2 featuring goals from Odsonne Edouard and Ebere Eze.

With pathetic fallacy once again coming into play, both teams began the game brightly on the sunny Selhurst Park pitch. Pedro Neto’s cross into the box forced a reactive block from Joachim Andersen putting the ball out for an early Wolves corner.

It was Ebere Eze who caused issues for Wolves down the left flank. Linking up with Odsonne Edouard the number 10 worked his way into the box before being brought down by João Gomes, only to be denied a penalty by the referee and VAR.

A positive from the home side all match was their high pressure, which nearly paid off when Jefferson Lerma pounced and won the ball back. The Eagle’s midfielder was unable to sort his feet in time for his own shot, but instead laid the ball off to Jordan Ayew shows shot into an empty net was blocked off the line.

These two chances, along with the Palace faithful’s behind them, gave the home side a lot of confidence and hunger to hunt down the opening goal although the first half was dry of goal scoring chances.

Much like the earlier chance Andersen was called to action once again to block a shot from Neto, after some quick passing from the visitors which was a common theme. This time the chance came from much closer proximity but the centre half got down well to protect Sam Johnstone’s goal.

The half ended with both teams having their first shots on target, with Edouard being denied from a tight angle and Johnstone tipping Neto’s deflected shot over the bar.

After a scrappy start to the second half, it was Palace who found the opener. Some lovely football was on display by the home side with Cheik Doucoure finding Tyrick Mitchell out wide in tons of space, the young fall back drove down the wing before delivering an inviting ball into the box where Edouard was waiting to finish beyond José Sá.

Palace’s lead only lasted nine minutes with substitute Hwang Hee-Chan being left in space at the front post during a Neto free kick. The Wolves winger was able to react first and flick the ball on past Johnstone bringing the scores back level.

Ayew once again showed his determination to win the ball back for the hosts after picking the pocket of Rayan Aït-Nouri following a loose touch, but the wingers subsequent shot was blocked by the palm of Sá.

The home side had by far the most control of the game, being unaffected by the equaliser, and with 12 minutes remaining deservedly retook the lead. An up field ball from Joel Ward found the path of Eze - via a backheel from newly introduced Jean-Philippe Mateta – the midfielder took the ball in his stride before precisely poking the ball into the far side of Sá’s goal, for his first goal of the season.

Palace’s doubts of needing a striker were put to bed with Palace’s third and final goal with the two forward players linking up. The move begun with some excellent hold-up play from Mateta, Edouard then played a magnificent one-two with the number 14 as he made room for himself and drove to find the net for the second time extending Palace’s lead.

Despite Palace continuing to provide attacking threat, with Eze forcing a near post save, it was Wolves who got the final goal through Matheus Cunha. It was only a consolation goal as the home side leave with a 3-2 victory on a sunny Sunday afternoon in south London.

From a dull first half to a five goal thrilling second half! I think overall Palace had a good performance with brief moments where quality lacked, but it’s nice to finally see the strikers scoring along with Ebere Eze quality shining through! Jean-Philippe Mateta made a huge impact when brought on with his backheel providing both final goals for us, hopefully it’s a sign of some strong performances coming up. I thought Cheick Doucouré once again had a strong performance too!

There is now an international break where some of our Eagles will be involved, including Ebere Eze, Marc Guehi and Sam Johnstone who were all called up for England! Palace will return on Saturday 16th September for an away fixture at Aston Villa, I will be attending so look out for that post!

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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