Hud'field 0-2 Palace
Crystal Palace rose to the occasion in the crucial relegation battle at Huddersfield Town on Saturday. From the first minute to the last, the Eagles outfought the Terriers in every department to come away with a first win in since January 13th.
James Tomkins gave the visitors a deserved lead halfway through the first-half, prodding home at the second attempt after a Luka Milivojevic corner caused havoc in the windswept hosts’ area.
The second goal would come via the penalty spot won by Andros Townsend after a flowing counter-attack involving Wilfried Zaha, Patrick van Aanholt, James McArthur and finally Townsend. Milivojevic smashed home his sixth goal of the season from the spot and his eighth in total.
Tomkins had a shot cleared off the line, Lossl twice denied Yohan Cabaye as Palace looked to put the gloss on the scoreline of what was the perfect away performance.
Your Wingers, They Don’t Like Him
Another game, another performance from Aaron Wan-Bissaka that is way beyond what we should be expecting. Wan-Bissaka currently leads the Premier League in average tackles per game at 4.3 (although four games are too early to know if this average will hold), with the closest defender to him averaging 3 tackles per game. On top of the youngster’s keen slide tackling is a desire to get forward and he skinned his opposite full-back in this one on a few occasions and came within a whisker of providing an assist for McArthur, who headed just wide.
Tomkins said after the game: “His positional sense will come with experience.” It is right to point this out. He does follow the ball or the man on occasion, instead of holding his position, and this will see him caught out. Liverpool are one of the best at pulling players out of position and the visit of Klopp’s men to Selhurst after the international break will be a baptism of fire for Aaron, but he has passed everything else with flying colours so far and long may that last.
Having an academy product in the starting eleven again has also raised the spirits in the stands. To the tune of Rock the Casbah by The Clash, the travelling support would sing: “Your wingers they don’t like him… Wan-Bissaka, Wan-Bissask” at every opportunity we could get.
I am excited, you’re excited, we’re all excited. Keep it up, Aaron.
The Everywhere Tale of James McArthur
James McArthur ran 11.89km on Saturday, the most of anyone on the field. The sick Luka clocked up the second longest distance but was over a third a kilometre behind at 11.57km. The Scot covered more ground than the snow on the day.
It almost feels dirty not to give Jimmy man of the match. He was so key to the victory with his pressing high up the pitch which saw him clock up 4 tackles (3rd most in the game) and 6 interceptions (Most in the game and at least 2 more than anyone else). Huddersfield players must have been sick of the sight of him by full time.
Man of the Match: James Tomkins
My friend Nick and I were joking by the end that Tomkins owned the penalty area and that he treated everyone who came in it like a trespasser. The Palace number 5 simply dealt with all comers with fair aggression and won absolutely everything. It looked so easy for the former West Ham man that he could have just been out for a stroll in the park.
But for a clearance off the line, he could have ended the day with a brace and did not give a single Town player a sniff. His chances of winning Palace player of the season remain high at this point.
£10m. West Ham sold him to us for £10m. Someone needs to be sacked at West Ham.
Have Some Decorum
When we got to our seats on the day, there were already four big lads in our seats that were very pissed up (and more). We politely asked them to move, they shouted to squeeze in, and we did. They then proceeded in throwing elbows, trying to push people into the row in front and being all around aggressive because we had the cheek to want to stand in our own allotted seats.
I get it; the back is where the atmosphere is usually at and I’ve certainly moved up towards the back when I’ve had front row tickets. But, to behave in such an aggressive fashion towards a senior citizen and a woman is not on.
“Ain’t you ever been to an away game? People stand where they want you fat c***” screamed one of them at my friend.
This abuse and aggression continued for some time until a steward came and got involved. The stewards removed them from the row and asked us if we wanted them thrown out. “No, just take them to their own seats.”
At half-time, two of the blokes came back with the sole intention of starting a fight. Again, the stewards came back and asked us the same question. “No, just take them away.”
Fair play to the stewards, at the end of the game they came to us and asked if we wanted to be escorted away from the ground in case the guys followed us. Again, we politely declined.
However, the fact that the stewards of the opposition had to ask us if we want to be escorted away as protection form our own fans is a disgrace. The problem is, those four blokes would probably read this and get hard-ons instead of checking their own behaviour.
Yes, away days are rowdier, and people tend to drift from their own seats more, but take a look around when you do it. There are plenty of people that are happy for others to come into their row. Shit, we were until you started threatening us for no reason other than us wanting to stand in our own seats. If there are a senior citizen and a woman, move somewhere else and don’t be dickheads.
Finally, if you can’t handle it, don’t snort coke.
More props to Huddersfield. At the end of the game, they sold off all the leftover hot dogs and pies for £1. This worked out perfectly in the snow as the pies served both to curb my hunger and warm my hands.
Up Next: Liverpool
First, we need our players, I am looking at you Wilf, to come through a meaningless international break unscathed (I say meaningless as the Ivory Coast are not going to the World Cup, so they really do not need to be taking a freshly back from injury Wilf Zaha to the ends of the earth) and then we have free-scoring Liverpool to play.
Liverpool haven’t beaten us in both league games since we returned to the Premier League, so surely that means we will get at least a point? Isn’t that how football works?
Come on you Palace!