Palace Matchzone

Crystal Palace 1 Aston Villa 0: Dominant display ends in controversy


Jordan Ayew’s second half strike sealed all three points over an Aston Villa side who were left frustrated after their late goal was ruled out.

Ayew found the net on 73 minutes after Jeffery Schlupp played in the Ghanaian forward who went past Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish to curl in his second goal of the season.

Palace were dealt a late scare when Henri Lansbury fired the ball past Vincente Guiata into the bottom corner but it was disallowed as Kevin Friend had already stopped play after Jack Grealish’s tumble on the edge of the area.

Replays showed a slight nudge from Wilfried Zaha and possible contact from Gary Cahill as Grealish lost balance but Friend’s decision stood.

The call was contentious and caused chaos in the away end at Selhurst Park after the final whistle but Palace would have felt hard done by if the goal stood due to dominance throughout the match.

Palace had 22 shots on goal and 13 corners throughout the game, even before Trézéguet was sent off on 55 minutes for a second bookable offence with a late tackle on Wilfried Zaha.

Cheikhou Kouyate had a number of good chances to score. The first came on 39 minutes as he shot wide after a Luka Milivojevic cross found the Senegalese in the centre of the box.

Kouyate’s next chance came on 49 minutes as Ward put in a cross towards the midfielder who headed wide. He wasted another opportunity minutes later when Ayew pulled ball back but Kouyate was unable to convert as he shot wide again.

Luka Milivojevic’s long range shot in the 58th minute was heading for the top corner but his effort forced Tom Heaton to make a fantastic save, on of many throghout the afternoon.

Palace were able to see out the game with a second clean sheet of the season despite the late scare from Lansbury.

Man of the Match: Jordan Ayew – Following his permanent move from Swansea this summer, Ayew has hit the ground running for Palace after scoring in consecutive games. The Ghanaian’s work rate in this match was exceptional again as he worked the channels and put pressure on Villa’s defence. He managed to work an opening from a difficult position for the goal and his finish was the sign of a player with confidence. If he continues his fine form, it will be difficult to see either Christian Benteke or Conor Wickham having any chance of reclaiming the shirt from Ayew.

Reaction: Things are looking very good for Palace as we occupy 4th position with 7 points from 4 games so far this season. This is a drastic improvement on the beginning of the last two seasons which we started very slowly.

Although we eventually secured the three points against Villa, the late disallowed goal should come as a warning for us to be more clinical as it could have easily been 2 points squandered. We had similar situations last season at home, i.e. Cardiff, where we were completely dominant in the game, but only came away with one point. It is encouraging that were are creating chances, but if we are to learn from history and reach security this season, we need more goals.

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