Man City 5-0 Palace
Despite a spirited first-half performance, Crystal Palace ended up on the end of a 5-0 thrashing against league leaders Manchester City. Ruben Loftus-Cheek struck the post and missed a gilt-edged chance before the hosts breached the Eagles’ defence, and Roy Hodgson's men were made to pay for failing to find the net in a 7th Premier League game in a row.
Leroy Sane, who was excellent, opened the scoring in the 44th minute before City run riot in the second half. Raheem Sterling (2), Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph would complete the rout.
It’s the hope that kills you
I was quite content when I woke up on Saturday morning. I had long written off the fixture as a heavy defeat and had put money on Manchester City -3, meaning that City would win with Palace having a 3-0 head start. I don’t go to Palace for the results, I never have. I was going to spend the day with some of my best friends and the inevitable annual Etihad thrashing would be gallows humour material.
Then we turned up in the first 44 minutes and gave City a game and my mood was ruined.
Loftus-Cheek’s strike could have hit the inside of the post and gone in and City may still have destroyed us. I know that. But, then again, we could have been galvanised by the goal and held out for a miracle result.
When the team came out in the second half, broken by the Sane goal and a mere shadow of the team that held their own in the first forty-five minutes, anger bubbled up inside me.
At the end of the game, captain for the day Scott Dann tried to walk straight off without so much as a glance to the, admittedly terrible, travelling support. Wayne Hennessey pushes Dann towards the away fans, and the other players sheepishly make it halfway before stopping. A handful (Punch, RLC, Townsend, Sako and Hennessey) make it all the way over.
To make things worse, I watch Brighton against Newcastle and the togetherness of their squad makes me sick yet nostalgic for the first season that we returned to the Premier League.
I was convinced that nothing that could happen football wise this weekend would piss me off. I was wrong.
The Christian Benteke Injury is Disastrous for Steve Parish’s Image
Early reports suggest that Benteke is out for 4-8 weeks, leaving Palace without just Freddie Ladapo – who has only played 38 games in the football league, scoring just 6 league goals.
After the Burnley game, when Parish took to Twitter to try and shout down some Palace fans, in response to:
“All it takes it one particular striker to get injured and that’s where things will really get fun!”
“What if he doesn’t? What if the sun does in fact come up tomorrow?”
The Tweet hasn’t aged well and this has not escaped the vultures, especially in a week that Niasse and Tosun scored notable goals and Fraizer Campbell, who Parish said that we should have kept, also scored for Hull.
If the injury is on the lower side of the four weeks, then it is not too disastrous. He’ll miss two games in United and Chelsea that sandwich an international break and we’d likely lose with or without him.
If he is not back for Newcastle away and West Ham at home – then might already be beyond hope.
If, and it is a big "if" at this point, we still have zero points after the West Ham game – people will be questioning if Parish’s position in untenable on a major scale.
Man of the Match: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The poor kid didn’t deserve to be on the end of this result, apologising to the away fans with hand gestures at the end. Andros Townsend runs him a close second. More for his tireless effort off the ball across the 90 minutes than the ability that he displayed on the ball.
Up Next: Bromley
The team will play a ‘behind closed doors’ friendly against Bromley in the week. Personally, I do not see the benefit of this. If we trounce them, well that is to be expected. Anything else and the confidence might be shot even more.
I think we need to baton down the hatches and wait for the return of Wilfried Zaha and ‘hope’ that he can produce infinite amounts of magic.
Come on you Palace!