Man Utd 2-0 Palace
A much changed Crystal Palace team fell to a first defeat in five games at Old Trafford. Goals in either half saw Manchester United cruise to a two goal victory, with the visitors failing to test David De Gea in the Red Devils’ goal.
Adrian Mariappa, Martin Kelly, Chung-Yong Lee, Bakary Sako and Emmanuel Adebayor all came into the starting line-up, but the big story was a first appearance of the season for four time Palace Player of the Year, Julian Speroni. The Argentine stopper moved to 386 appearances for the Club and with two appearances of levelling the all-time appearances record for a Crystal Palace goalkeeper – currently held by John Jackson on 388.
From the moment that Damien Delaney put through his own net in just the fourth minute of the match, it looked highly unlikely that the visitors would find a way back into the game. With the exception of Wilfried Zaha beating Manchester United players at will, it was left down to Speroni to keep Alan Pardew’s men in the match, making 8 saves on the night.
Ten minutes into the second half Darmian managed to find a way past the Palace legend, but his effort had to be in the top corner and aided by the post in order to find the net.
Bakary Sako: The Myth
His first touch is up there with Calvin Andrew’s, he would be in the same weight class as Jamie Pollock if he were a boxer and his famed left foot has completely deserted him – and without that left foot he is no better than a pub player.
It has since been cleared up that Yannick Bolasie was not actually calling Sako a “conman” in THAT Pape Souare Snapchat video – but it would have been apt is he was.
I’d like to think that he would go on and score in the FA Cup Semi Final on Sunday and everyone could come back and tell me how wrong I was about him, but we all know that the aforementioned Andrew is just as likely to score for Palace in the remainder of the season than Sako is.
17 Year Old Luke Dreher on the Bench
It was refreshing to see the youngster on the bench (espeically being the day before that it was announced that 10 youth team players were leaving the club) but I am a little disappointed that he did not get on to the pitch. With what was going on, he literally could not have been any worse than what we had. United were carving us open time and again, throwing on a keen youngster, who is not concerning himself with worrying about being injured for the Semi Final, might have given us some purchase in the match.
Man of the Match: Julian Speroni
I really don’t want to Wayne Hennessey bash anymore. I am tired of it. But just watching Speroni in action last night should silence all of the people that want to tell us that, at 36, he is past it. Nonsense. He is still the best option that we have between the sticks and Pardew should be concerning himself more with that as opposed to trying to pay lip service by telling us that he is determined to see Speroni take John Jackson’s record. He should already have that record and one needs to look no further than the video clip below to understand why:
Up Next: Watford
Please, please, please let it be our year.
Come on you Palace!