Palace 0-3 Man City
There will be no repeat of last season’s FA Cup heroics from Crystal Palace as Manchester City comfortably advanced to the 5th round in the South London rain and hail. Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané and Yaya Touré scored the goals that sent Sam Allardyce’s team packing, with a goal at the end of each half highlighting once more the inability of Palace to concentrate for more than 40 minutes at a time.
While City dominated the game, in the ten minute period that the hosts found themselves on top, they can feel aggrieved at the decision of referee Mike Jones to not show Touré a second yellow card thirty minutes in. The number forty-two had only moments earlier been booked for a lunge before he took out Jordon Mutch, who had just raced past him on the wing. Now, getting roasted by Mutch should be a bookable offence in itself, but the fashion in which he bundled over the bit-part Palace player was the definition of a yellow card. Jones, instead, bottled the decision and allowed City to continue with their full complement of players.
James Tomkins forced Willy Caballero into a smart save and some excellent deliveries into the box from free kicks from Andros Townsend (yes, I was shocked as well) could have resulted in headed goals, but luck deceived the Eagles again. Once the ten minute period of attacking was over for Palace, City showed them exactly how it should be done in front of goal.
'It never rains, but it pours', came to mind when new signing Jeffrey Schlupp hobbled down the side of the Main Stand fifteen minutes before the end of the match. Rumours suggest that he could be out for as much as twelve weeks with the hamstring injury that he has sustained. With the Patrick van Aanholt deal mysteriously still to be completed, we could be back to square one as far as a left back is concerned.
I feel like that we have said this a few times since returning to the Premier League, but Monday is arguably the biggest day for Crystal Palace FC since their return. If at least two more faces, arguably more, are not added to the team – we are doomed. Because let’s face it, Hennessey, Campbell, Mutch, Lee, Sako, Kelly and the rest of the Championship fodder that pads out our squad are not going to save our injury ravaged team.
While I am in a full flow moaning session – 13,979 in attendance? Congratulations on the £25 a ticket decision.
Up Next: Bournemouth
It is approaching ‘do or die’ territory for Palace now. We must take a minimum of four points from the next two matches. Going to Bournemouth and losing comfortably should be unimaginable, but I cannot shake the feeling that this is what is going to happen. I dread to think how much alcohol I will have burned through by the time my train gets into Waterloo at 1:04 am, if we do get beat by two or more.
Hopefully, Wilfried Zaha will return and produce a match-winning display and help to turn our season around.
Come on you Palace!