Palace 0-2 Man City
Crystal Palace five game win streak came to an end on Sunday as Manchester City capitalised on Liverpool's loss to Chelsea earlier in the day. With Palace already safe from the drop they usual intensity was missing from Pulis' men in the early stages and they were made to pay as early as the sixth minute as Edin Dzeko headed home a Yaya Toure cross.
The home side improved markedly after falling behind but a moment of Toure magic then made it 2-0 just before half time. The Ivorian took advantage of a fortunate bounce before curling the ball into the top corner with his left foot.
"46% of the possession"
The, now, Champions elect then sat behind the ball and allowed Palace to have the ball seeing the Eagles boast 46% of the possession, the most under Pulis and the highest since Fulham shocked the Selhurst Park with the 1-4 win back in October.
For all their extra possession the Eagles found it near on impossible to break down the City defence and only a Puncheon shot from range gave Joe Hart any trouble and Pellegrini's men strode to victory at a canter.
So did our season end with the full time whistle at Upton Park last week? We all feared that this would be the case and that we would roll over in the last three games and see the season end in a bit of a damp squib after such a fantastic April. I am pleased to report that we do not quite have our flip-flops on yet.
There was certainly an element of lacklustre-ness in the opening minutes and City took full advantage but after going behind we did gradually grow into the game.
"Yaya Toure was in immense form."
The first half did not get close to the levels that we have reached in recent weeks and there was always a sense that City had another gear to move into if need be. On top of this Yaya Toure was in immense form.
There have been a lot of Palace fans getting a bit irate with the response to his performance. Some Palace fans clapped his goal and, allegedly, he was also clapped from the field by the Palace fans in the corner by the tunnel.
"Is it right to clap an opposition player?"
Is it right to clap an opposition player? Well that's not for me to say. Personally I do not unless they are a former Palace player that I feel deserves the applause for their efforts when donning red n blue. Would I get mad at a Palace fan clapping a good performance from an opposition player, in these circumstances no. But I can certainly envisage scenarios where in which I would be annoyed.
To be fair to Toure, he was by far and away the best player on the pitch and probably the best player I have seen at Selhurst Park in years...and arguably he didn't even get out of second gear.
There should still be incentive for the players to want to win games. I am not saying that we did not want to win this match of course; we just came up against a better team.
As little as one more win this season could see our second highest finish ever in the top flight. That should be incentive enough for these players. To be talked about in the same sentence as greats such as Wright and Bright, Thomas and Salako should drive the boys on.
"Every little helps!"
Further, as one retailer says, every little helps! £1.2m per place in the Premier League is not to be sniffed out. One more win and results going our way could see us finish 9th and claim around £6.5m! The £1.2m per place plus extra revenue for finishing in the top half. Well, that’s how it looks to me anyway!
All in all, the difference between 11th and 9th pays for our record signing Dwight Gayle. Not bad going.
Puncheon the Palace fan?
After having it rammed down our throats that Punch is a boyhood Palace fan for the last few weeks the Palace programme pulled a marketing cock-up by informing us all that he was, in fact, an Arsenal fan and all because of Ian Wright no less!!
In his "Footballing Firsts" interview in the programme he says that Arsenal were the first club he supported. His first replica shirt? " It was an Arsenal one, their yellow away shi(r)t sponsored by JVC." I had to put the (r) in because they genuinely missed it out in the programme much to the delight of the thousands in attendance. Or maybe it was just deliberate and Puncheon was trolling Arsenal...
Sigh! The man is truly awful. Time and time again he favoured the big boys and booked Dann and Delaney unnecessarily. Joel Ward certainly deserved his yellow however, flattening James Milner with a crunching tackle.... Hopefully he'll do the same to Suarez next week and put him out of the World Cup.
Man of the Match: Mile Jedinak
No one else really came close. His usual busy self and with an 87% pass accuracy for once! If he can produce that sort of percentage every game then he really would be the complete midfielder!
What’s new? We still sing when we're losing.
"You got the money, We go the soul" read the banner at the front of block B of the Holmesdale and that is exactly how it played out in the end.
Up Next: Liverpool
Have they thrown the title away? They will have to have a go at us. This could work out one of two ways. They either run us over or we produce another stirling defensive display and we pick them off on the break.
I have no love for Liverpool fans so wouldn't mind putting an end to their season.
Come on you Palace.