Swansea 1-1 Palace
Crystal Palace came from a goal behind to earn a point at the Liberty Stadium for the third season running thanks to a Scott Dann equaliser. Gylfi Sigurdsson had opened the scoring in the first half, scoring directly from a generously awarded free kick from referee Mike Dean, but the Palace number six scored for the second game running, his fifth of the season, halting a run of five straight defeats in the league.
At half time a Palace leveller seemed the most unlikely of circumstances. Swansea were in full control of possession and in control of the visitors’ previously feared counter attack. A sixth consecutive defeat looked on the cards – whatever Alan Pardew said at half time worked.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second half the Eagles dominated, with introduction of Marouane Chamakh into the fray causing havoc that could have seen Crystal Palace completely turn the game on its head. Palace would have to settle for just a point, with yet another goal from a set piece, but the signs were far more encouraging for the coming weeks.
Hiram Boateng’s Premier League Debut
First of all, congratulations to Hiram on his Premier League debut, but, secondly, I cannot believe that it has taken this long to come. Back in 2013 he made his debut for the first team in a FA Cup replay away at Stoke, when Palace were still in the Championship. This is what I had to say about his performance in that one:
This 17 year old strolled onto the pitch, in bright yellow boots, and looked like he had been bossing the midfield for years. He matched a hefty Stoke midfielder for strength, read the game as well as anyone could wish to at such a tender age and the range of passing that he displayed, with both feet, was nothing short of exceptional.
The biggest compliment that I can pay to Boateng, however, is that up until the 65th minute we were completely in control of the pace of the game. Once replaced, Stoke started to gain some traction in the midfield. The fact that he was so key in holding a Premier League midfield at bay, whilst managing to move us forward at the same time, is just astonishing.
After that performance, why it has taken 3 years and 22 days to get him a league debut (he did play against West Brom in the Cup 2 years ago) is beyond me. I know that we are have become a Premier League team since then and I know that is considerably harder to blood youth players in this league, but for someone that looked so natural in the position, he should have been given a chance sooner.
Anyone that was at the game, or anyone that was following it on Social Media, would have experienced the lift that his introduction gave everyone. The noise from the travelling support gained momentum and the influx of tweets about it on my timeline was constant. We are Palace and we love supporting love supporting our own. Hopefully we will get a chance to see some more of him this season, along with Sullay Kaikai.
And if only his shot had creeped in instead of missing by less than an inch – the scenes in the away end would have been special.
Man of the Match: Scott Dann
Defensively sound and scoring yet again! Where would we be without him?
Up Next: Watford
They’ve gone off the boil a bit but are not conceding many. 0-0 anyone?
Come on you Palace!