Palace 0-1 Everton
Alan Pardew lost his 100% record as Crystal Palace manager as a second minute Romalu Lukaku goal was good enough for all three points for Everton.
Damien Delaney was sleeping and allowed Steven Naismith to get to the byline and cut back across goal. Julian Speroni managed to block the cross but his parry went straight into the Belgium striker and bounced fortuitously into the back of the net.
The Crystal Palace response was instant and piled on constant pressure on the visitors goal but several goal mouth scrambles failed to produce an equaliser. Unfortunately for the Eagles that was as close as the would come in the full 90 minutes.
We really do love to end visiting teams' winless runs. Aston Villa came a few weeks back and won their first game since 1997 and now Everton have turned up and done the same. This is not a new thing either and these are just two of the latest examples. From now on, if a team comes to Selhurst on the back of a shocking run, I will bet on them and hope that I can jinx them.
In typically frustrating fashion we allowed a team completely devoid of confidence to get their noses in front and desperately hold on. I like my hair and I don't want to be pulling it out!
Against Sitting Deep
The Whoscored.com forecast said that it would be 'Extremely Likely" that if Everton took the lead, Palace would make a comeback and that it would be "Very Likely" that Everton would dominate possession. We had 55% of the possession. It was also considered "likely" that Everton would score through individual skill as they often do and we often concede goals to individual skill. The goal was anything but a display of individual skill. This goes some way to showing how unusual yesterday's game was and perhaps shows the positive impact that Alan Pardew is having on the team.
"Positive" might be a strange thing to say considering that it was off the back of a 1-0 defeat but, as frustrating as it was, it wasn't that bad of a performance. We kept the ball well, we put pressure on the Everton back line in response to the goal and we never gave in and were good enough for at least a point.
The problem was that we were presented with another team sitting at Selhurst Park. Aston Villa and Sunderland both came to Selhurst this season and did the same thing and came away with the points. Breaking a team down is new for us and something that we did not have to contend with last season. Every team came to Selhurst with the three points in mind and came at us. This gave us the opportunity to hit on the counter attack, like we would away from Selhurst, and this plays into our hands.
The two 3-2 wins at Goodison Park in recent months saw Everton flood forward against us and we tore them apart down the flanks. Baines and Coleman barely crossed the halfway line this time and it presented two lines of players for us to carve through and we are simply not adept at doing this yet.
Alan Pardew has made his first mistake as Crystal Palace manager. Not signing Mutch, I like the signing and can easily write off yesterday's performance as he has only been at the club a couple of days and it would have been extremely unusual for him to turn it on straight away.
The mistake I think that he made was bringing Mutch on for the injured Marouane Chamakh. It was very early in the game and to immediately throw him in to such a pivotal role in everything that we do is probably no the best idea.
Further, on the back of the fact that it was already pretty obvious that Everton were set up to defend we should have bought on Wilfried Zaha as he is one of few players that possesses the genuinely ability to open teams up with a moment of magic. Jason Puncheon could have slotted in the middle as he did away at Burnley and, with Gayle, those three might have had a shot at getting the much needed goal.
I can see why he bought Mutch on. There was a chance that he could have pulled out that dream debut and he can be forgiven for thinking that with the momentum that is with us at the moment. Unfortunately it did not work out.
Man of the Match: James McArthur
It was a close run thing between James and Joe Ledley but the Scotsman just pipped it for me. He's tireless box to box performance should not have seen him on a losing side.
200 Games - Flying High Magazine
This match was my 200th competitive Crystal Palace game in a row. Sadly it did not end in victory but it was a day that felt extremely Palace to me.
Starting off the day with breakfast with the old man, onto a couple of drinks with friends and then selling Flying High Magazine (in the pouring rain), followed by a frustrating defeat, morbid post match drinks before a nightcap in the Cherry Trees that was full of optimistic talk for next weeks match.
If I went to Palace for the results I would have stopped going along time ago!
I would like to thank everyone that supported us and purchased Flying High Magazine. I was eager to get involved with the magazine this season to help Bridders and Eskith build on the first 4 issues from the 13/14 season. In truth I merely throw in a few ideas that Bridders and Eskith bring to life and thought that issue 6 was the best issue yet so props to them on the magazine.
If you missed us at the game you can buy the magazine on line here or just look out for me at Leicester next week where I should have a few issues left to sell.
Pre match I was concerned with the amount of people that just assumed that we were going to turn up and win. Over confidence always tends to end badly at Palace.
Everton did the perfect thing. Scored early and practically killed 90% of the crowd.
There were short periods of noise but in truth, I heard the away fans on a consistent basis for the first time in a long time at Selhurst Park.
Up Next: Leicester Away
A much bigger game than this. A win here puts us so far ahead of Leicester in terms of points that we are then only looking for 2 more teams to finish below us to secure another season in this division.
Come on you Palace.