Palace 4-3 Burnley
For the third time in four games, Palace came from behind to claim maximum points and extend their unbeaten run to seven games, winning four in a row. Zaha grabbed his second brace in a week and Murray continued his fine goalscoring form not long after Delaney had put the Eagles ahead for the first time in the game, with his first goal for the club.
Palace hadn’t come from two nil down to win at Selhurst Park since 1969 prior to the Cardiff game and now we repeat the feat just fourteen days later. As soon as Paterson hooked Burnley into a two-goal advantage it was obvious that we were not going to have to wait another 43 years to reverse a two-nil deficit. Everyone just knew that we were going to come back and win. SE25 has been infected with belief.
The way we went about getting back into the game was a joy to behold. The first goal sees Moritz thread an outrageous pass from just inside the Palace half in behind Trippier and Zaha flew past the highly rated Burnley right back to slot home four minutes before the break. The vision and the execution of the pass from Moritz was Brazilian. I have no other way to describe it. The run from Zaha was perfect and the pace that he showed was Bolt-esque. Trippier is no slouch and can really shift. The fact that Zaha made up ground and then soared past him shows just how rapid he is.
The second goal should tell Eddie Howe everything that he needs to know about his defensive problems. 2-1 away from home against a team with the pace of Bolasie and Zaha on the break, Burnley inexplicably threw all but one defender forward for a corner! The ball is cleared, Moritz charges clear and finds Zaha with another sumptuous pass and Wilf beats the man and crashes the ball between Lee Grant’s legs to level proceedings.
Then comes Damien Delaney’s deflected strike, brought about by some great work by Joniesta down the right flank, before Parr and Moxey combined to shred through the right-hand side of the Burnley defence with the latter laying a goal on a plate for Glenn Murray who had ghosted in between the two Burnley centre-backs.
Of course, it was not all hunky-dory as we conceded three goals, all of which were avoidable. Delaney, for the second game running, was at fault for one, Blake, Ramage and Moxey could have all done better for the other two, however, our true Kevin Keegan type tactics, we will simply score more than you, is paying off at the moment. With Gabbidon and McCarthy soon to be in the mix, better defending will come and then we could blow this division away... and quite frankly, after the first four games of the season, I cannot believe that I am saying that with the utmost sincerity!
The player’s heads appear to be in a good place as well. Aston Davey, one of the loud mob in the Arthur Wait, spoke to Owen Garvan after the game and asked him “Is the changing room absolutely buzzing at the moment?” Garvan’s response was “No, we are disappointed that we conceded three goals.” That is exactly the kind of response I want to hear. Let’s not just be content with getting the points, let’s win them well.
Despite Howe’s post-match comment “at two nil up and in control of the game”, Burnley were never in the game yesterday. Even at 2-0, there was only going to be one team winning this match. We are utterly dominant at the moment, a kind of dominance that I have never seen in my sixteen years of going to watch Palace games. Even under Bruce when we won eight games in a row we did not control games like we are this season.
We are playing exactly the kind of football that the fans want to come and see.
On fans, this kind of game was exactly what the doctor ordered in front of a packed Selhurst Park, Family Day crowd. If fans, adults and kids alike, are not chomping at the bit to get back down to Selhurst again this season then I would be amazed. I honestly hope that we will never see a Saturday crowd of under 13k, like we did against Cardiff, ever again. An epic win like this can only help this cause. Kids, what you want for Christmas is a half season ticket. Go and ask your parents immediately.
Man of the Match: Andre Moritz
I am not sure if this is the obvious choice or not. There are certainly arguments for other players and I will run through these before I get onto the superb display from Andre.
Wilf Zaha. I am sure that there are plenty of people who would give the award to the wonderkid, however, despite scoring two goals, I don’t think he had that good of a game. I am, of course, judging this on my expectations of Wilf. Every other team in the Championship would love to have even a below-par Zaha in their team. I am not saying that he had a bad game, he clearly did not. I just believe that he was not at his best, which means I can’t adorn with the highly important to the world, RedNBlueArmy Man of the Match award.
Glenn Murray. So much of the hard work that he puts in goes unnoticed. He is so much more than the goals he scores. His constant hassling of defenders keeps the unsettled and his hold up play is second to none, allowing us to get the ball into wide positions where no team can live with us. His movement for the goal was like poetry in motion, baffling the centre-backs, and the finish was nonchalant. He will score 20 goals this season if he stays fit, plain and simple.
Mile Jedinak. What else can I say about him? The man is an absolute beast and he dominated the centre of the park again. He does it week in week out and his importance to this fantastic attacking unit cannot be underestimated.
Andre Moritz. What a performance. His pass for the first Zaha goal alone is enough to make him the man of the match. Factor in that he played a part in everything that Palace did well and it is clear why he is man of the match. His passing, movement, vision, skill and strength make him the complete attacking midfielder and I believe that yesterday was just the start of great things to come from the Brazilian.
As expected, another cracking atmosphere. There is nothing better that a packed Selhurst Park and the noise that we can generate with the extra six thousand fans in the stands is amazing. Just thinking about the whole stadium singing the Pride of South London after the second goal brings the goosebumps back.
For the entire ninety minutes, there was a little girl in the Arthur Wait who stood and danced along to everything that was sung. She was clearly enthralled by the atmosphere and will be talking to her mates in school about it come Monday. Kids stories can be infectious for other kids and they will want to experience what she experienced on Saturday. It’s not just the result on the pitch that matters, it is also what happens in the stands that will make people want to come back over and over again.
There is a whole generation of kids out there looking for a football team to support. Let’s make them Red n Blue.
They need no introduction. Millwall are visiting Selhurst a week on Saturday. Let’s remind them that South London is ours by beating them and (other results permitting) going top of the league in the process.
E I E I E I O! Up the football league we go...