Palace 2-1 Bristol City
Crystal Palace made it nine points from nine from their last three home games thanks to goals from Glenn Murray and Stephen Dobbie. This victory sent Ian Holloway’s men seven points clear of sixth placed Middlesbrough and nine points clear of seventh placed Brighton. Meanwhile, this loss sent Bristol City crashing to the foot of the table after Peterborough handed out a 5-1 pasting to Millwall just a few miles down the road at The Den.
Millwall getting spanked by Peterborough was just one strange result on an evening made up of many. Both Hull and Watford continued their good form with victories, however, Leicester and Cardiff both lost to Charlton and Brighton respectively. There is no doubt that the Clowns did us a massive favour but it the Weed beating Cardiff can be seen in two different lights, depending on our aspirations. Do we want to reel in Cardiff or pull further clear of the chasing pack? I never want Brighton to win, however, I think that we have more chance of catching Cardiff than not making the play-offs this season so I am happy that the redbirds lost (but I am never happy when Brighton win).
“Well it weren’t as good as Saturday, was it?” was Holloway’s opening to the post match presser. Without ever really getting out of second gear we brushed City aside with the score line flattering the Robins greatly. Even before Murray had volleyed home a raking 50 yard pass from the masked Mile Jedinak, Murray had shot straight at Heaton when either side would have done, Jazz Richards had had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside (denying him his first professional goal), Zaha was denied a goal by a heroic last ditch block and Yannick Bolasie, amidst a cacophony of boos from the bitter shitheads (that’s what Bristol Rovers call them) in the away end, had rattled the crossbar with an outrageous bicycle kick effort. It’s probably a good job that it didn’t go in as his celebration would have probably caused a riot.
Murray’s goal, his twenty-eighth of the season was just superb. He is fouled just inside the Bristol City half, he immediately spins off and runs fifty yards towards the far post where Jediank finds him with the perfect ball. On Twitter I stated that the finish from the country’s leading scorer was Van Persie-esque. This was not the only time that Murray’s name was mentioned in the same sentence of modern European greats. In the post match press conference Glenn was asked if he knew that “only a certain Lionel Messi had scored more goals than him?” After laughing for perhaps the longest period of time that he has ever laughed in his life... “Yeah, that’s nice” was his typically understated response.
Our second goal seemed to be an answer to a challenge from the gaffer. After the defeat of Middlesbrough on the weekend Holloway was singing the praises of Dobbie once more yet called him out for not scoring any goals, yet. What was the on loan Brighton mans response? To beautifully curl a free kick into the top corner, putting the game to bed in the process. Have we ever scored this many direct free kicks in a season?
Kevin Phillips then went close with an amazing volley from twenty five yards yet City were once again saved by the frame of the goal. Without really ever getting going we could have easily been 5-0 up. This bodes well for the rest of this season.
There was time left for Parr to score the best own goal in a Palace match since Anthony Gardner’s in the Portsmouth game at Selhurst in 2010. To be fair on the Norwegian, which I am admittedly often not, it was probably more Speroni’s fault for not being more authoritative in his six yard box.
After battering Middlesbrough on the weekend many of us were expecting us to put City to the sword. I was amongst the worst of them, tweeting a 6-0 prediction at Steve Parish and sticking £5 on Murray to score a hattrick. In reality, this is a very good result as Bristol City are in a purple patch of form (as purple as it gets for them this season) and Sean O’Driscoll has got them playing again. All except one player it would seem.
Albert Adomah. Mr Side Step himself was, excuse my French, fucking awful! After running his mouth in the press (“going to Palace would be a side step in my career”) you can forgive me for thinking that he was going to be able to back up his mouth on the field. Not the case. As it turned out he spent the night in one man’s pocket...
Man of the Match: Jazz Richards
A great performance from the man on loan from Swansea. I have already said that there is a lot of Nathaniel Clyne about him and I do not think that it is a coincidence that our results have taken a turn for the better since he has come into the club.
Unfortunately, he has had to prove himself after the soft goal that he gave away at Watford, clearing down the line when he should have humped the ball into touch. However, this is all that he has done wrong in a Palace shirt.
He had a small Q&A in the matchday programme and mentioned that he had never scored a professional goal. Shame on you Mr Linesman, shame on you. If you had wrongly ruled out a Glenn Murray goal it wouldn’t have been so significant. After all, Glenn is more potent than Cristiano Ronaldo so he will score again. To wrongly rule out what would be a first professional goal is just terrible. I hope that you are running the line in Hartlepool on the weekend (no offence Jeff Stelling).
Aside from more Peter Ramage love (quite literally every word of every song was being moulded to fit his name for a period in the second half) I am absolutely loving the “Scoring Goals for Palace” chant for Glenn Murray. I was a little sceptical of it first. I was hoping for something a little more original. Now that everyone is singing it, I couldn’t be more wrong. The way it echoes around our old stadium is spine tingling and long may it continue!
Sheffield Wednesday up next. Another team fighting down at the bottom of the table. This game is key as an automatic promotion aspirations can only be achieved by winning a few more games away from Selhurst. The only criticism to be found of Glenn Murray is that he is not scoring away from home as often as he perhaps should be. A win at Hillsborough could give us the confidence and belief required to really kick on and get out of this division the easy way.