Villa 0-0 Palace
Alan Pardew looked on from the stands as two Premier League teams put on a very un Premier League display. The soon to be new Crystal Palace manager could be forgiven for thinking "what the hell have I done" as the Eagles could not even muster up a shot on target. However, a more shrewd man may have been thinking "if there are teams as bad as Villa in this division then it should be pretty easy to keep Palace up."
Between them the two teams only managed to create one real goalscoring chance a piece. Yannick Bolasie really should have scored after running half the length of the field unchallenged only to strike the crossbar with his effort. Alan Hutton at the other end found himself unmarked at the back stick after some suspect defending from Palace but found Julian Speroni in inspired form from close range.
Other than that there was a lot of huff and puff from Villa and a lot of poorly executed counter attacks from the visitors as they played out to an inevitable goalless finish. All this on a day that a record amount of goals was scored on New Years Day in the division since it took on its Premier League name.
Pardew should be unveiled officially tomorrow, or maybe they are just waiting until after the Dover game just incase of an upset, and he certainly has his work cut out for him.
Two clean sheets away from home within a few days of each other is not to be sniffed at. Sure they have come against supposedly lesser opposition but I will take it. In the main we defender extremely well in this match with both Delaney and Dann looking very solid in the middle. If we are going to continue to struggle to score goals then we need to be solid at the back and I feel good about where we are at the moment in a defensive sense, now that Warnock has gone.
Atmosphere: Holte End The 12th Man Banner
This was definitely the worst atmosphere I have seen since, well, Aston Villa way last season. At the time I put it down to the fact that the game took place on Boxing Day. I guess I was wrong. Now I don't want to bash Aston Villa. It must be tough to support them. It was not overly long ago that they were challenging at the right end of the table and not that much time before that they won the European Cup. It must be very hard to get psyched about finishing 15th every season. But less than 30,000 in attendance and a constant barrage of abuse every time that Brad Guzan passed the ball short from goal kicks is pretty shoddy.
Across half of the Holte End there is a banner that reads "Holte End the 12th Man". Across a half empty Holte End from which I could almost hear every New Years Day fart from the home fans. It's an embarrassing and factually inaccurate statement at this moment in time.
This is not to say that we were any better. The reason I could almost hear those farts is because we were almost equally as quiet. All of the reputation that we created last season is currently falling rapidly down the shitter.
Man of the Match: Julian Speroni
Is the reason that we came away with a point. It was only one save but it was an excellent one. Hutton really should scored but Jules stood up well to keep the full back out.
Up Next: Dover Athletic
I cannot explain to you how excited I am for this match. A new ground, a non league team, a proper FA Cup third round tie. Now, lets avoid the embarrassment of a defeat and get back amongst the goals.
Come on you Palace!