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Southampton vs Crystal Palace 22/23

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Saturday 15th April 2023 I travelled 83 miles down south to watch Crystal Palace away to Southampton. Unlike previous seasons we decided to travel down by train, which was surprisingly straightforward, we took the direct train from London Waterloo to Southampton central before getting a bus to the stadium. Everyone in Southampton were really helpful and the busses are a lot easier to access having lots more space compared to the ones in London, although they were blue which was very off-putting being a Londoner 😂. We sat in the same seat I had for the past two visits, behind the goal, so we had a good view especially of the left side of the pitch and was directly in the sun on what turned out to be a lovely hot day.

Palace came into this game off the back of an exceptional 5-1 win away at Leeds, it was the best I’ve seen many players play for a very long time, they looked like they were really enjoying their football again and I was gutted to be only watching from home! They went into the game in their trusty 12th place in the league with 33 points with back to back wins under Roy Hodgson!

In contrast Rubén Sellés’ Southampton were rock bottom of the table with 23 points having lost their last 2 games, although they did get a 3-3 draw at home to Tottenham a few game weeks back, but we can’t really be too surprised by that with Spurs’ current form!

The match was a must win for both teams with Palace looking to secure safety and Southampton looking to get crucial points to escape the bottom three.

Roy Hodgson still didn’t have Wilfried Zaha available for selection and opted for an unchanged line-up compared to the one that faced Leeds.

Ebere Eze’s second half brace saw Crystal Palace leave sunny Southampton with a third consecutive league win!

Crystal Palace started the game with the same confidence they left their last, Jordan Ayew’s cross was blocked but only into the path of Cheik Doucoure whose long shot effort went way over the bar.

Southampton had a near immediate chance to put themselves ahead. A James Ward-Prowse corner was played short to Theo Walcott before finding an on running Joe Aribo whose shot just like Doucoure’s went straight over the bar.

After an exceptional performance last time out against Leeds, Michael Olise did manage to put the ball in the net, after receiving a great chipped ball through the middle from Jordan Ayew he got round the keeper and placed the ball into an empty net only to be met by the assistants raised flag on the far side.

The Saints grew into the game as the half progressed with the ball majority being in their attacking half. Walcott in particular put the Eagles under a lot of pressure, a driving run down the wing finished with the Englishman blazing the ball wide of the post.

Overall clear cut chances lacked in the first half and sides went into the break level.

Palace once again came out from the break on top with Ebere Eze forcing a tactical foul after going on a solo run towards goal. His free kick was highly disappointing going wide of the goal and causing no threat for Southampton keeper Gavin Bazunu.

Moments later Eze was involved again on the attack. Spotting Ayew on the far side of the box he picked him out with an inch perfect floating ball, his goal scoring instinct kicked in as he continued his run towards the box, Ayew’s cross over the face of the goal was blocked by the Saints’ keeper but only into the path of Palace’s number 10 who was able to side foot the ball into an open net and put his team ahead!

The traveling Palace fans were great all afternoon, but this gave them something to cheer about, with ‘Eze’s on fire’ filling the away end.

Southampton didn’t pose enough threat to worry Palace and within just 14 minutes of the first goal Eze was causing issues again and out of nowhere had doubled the lead. The young Englishman smartly turned away from his two men creating space for himself, he saw the opportunity and went for goal himself, the brilliant low strike from 30 yards out was out of reach of the Southampton keeper seeing the ball bury in the bottom of the far side of the goal!

The intensity of the game increased with Southampton almost getting a goal back, Carlos Alcaraz had lots of space on the edge of the box trying to pick out the far side netting he was denied by the inside of the post.

The home side continued to hunt for a way back into the game, Alcaraz again with the closest chance with a close range volley going just over the bar. Armel Bella-Kotchap forced a good diving save from Sam Johnstone from a long shot effort.

Ebere Eze was close to a hattrick as the ball was played over the top by Will Hughes for him to run on too, the Palace midfielder was beaten by the Southampton goalkeeper who reacted well and got down quick to collect the ball.

The visitors once again looked dangerous on the counterattack with Southampton unable to contain the pace. Jordan Ayew put an effort just wide of the far post after the ball was well worked down the right with Michael Olise.

After winning a free kick on the edge of the box Olise took responsibility, he managed to whip it past the wall and the Southampton keeper but was met by the outside of the post.

The final whistle was met with boos from the remainder of the home fans and a huge cheer from the Palace fans who had seen their team win their third consecutive game in sunny Southampton!

Another great win for Palace as they inch closer to guaranteed safety! Eze looked like he was really enjoying the game taking on players and just looks really dangerous, with our upcoming fixtures it’s the perfect chance for him to flourish even more! Marc Guehi was taken off in stoppage time so hopefully that’s nothing serious it really wouldn’t be good to disrupt the momentum building within the team! It was my new PA Lilly’s first football game, and she predicted a 2-0 win and for Eze to score so she can definitely come again 😊!

Palace's next game is Everton at home on Saturday, so look out for that post!

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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