|Yellow Cards||Defour 42′, Bardsley 83′, Taylor 85′|
|Sako 21′||Goal Scorers|
The Expat Eagle’s Verdict
Crystal Palace secured their 6th win of the season to lift them up to 12th in the Premier League as we continued our progress up the table.
The game was interesting because it saw Palace not make a substitute, something that I don’t remember happening for a very long time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we failed to bring on a substitute in a competitive game. My records are not in any way complete but I would say it was back in the day when there was only one substitute because usually everyone makes one token substitute even if it is in the last few minutes-
The game also saw the continuing re-emergence of Bakary Sako and Martin Kelly, two of the players who little more than a month ago fans wanted to be sold or released to make space for new signings.
Of course, they were not the only players to be singled out but it is interesting how 2 or 3 decent games can erase months of mediocre performances in some fans minds. Are we really that fickle?
Three things stood out for me yesterday during our win over Burnley. The first was how Sako seems to be turning in to the type of striker that Palace has been missing for many years. A forward player who has pace, strength, is a handful for defenders and has a decent strike on him.
The second was the desire and determination that Kelly showed in having a shot, chasing after the rebound, winning the ball and having another shot which let to the third thing, that Christian Benteke needs to be dropped from the team when we have someone else to select.
The second shot by Kelly in that passage of play eventually fell to Benteke via a van Aanholt shot. Benteke was standing by the right-hand side post about 5 yards from goal and as the ball came his way instead of swinging his left foot at the ball to score a fairly easy chance he decided to try and flick it with his right. Nick Pope in the Burnley goal had a fairly easy catch.
This typified Benteke’s day. He didn’t play badly but the 5 good chances he had we all poor efforts for a striker of his stature. Granted, he had two good headers go just over the bar but it was his lack of conviction with the ball at his feet in front of goal which says to me he is devoid of confidence and should be taken out of the team.
Every ex-striker turned pundit will tell you that when you are low on confidence and need a goal you need to go back to the simple things and trying to flick a ball instead of putting your laces through it isn’t doing that. Maybe that is the problem, he isn’t short on confidence and maybe he thinks he is better than he really is?
That aside Benteke will be credited with an assist for Sako’s goal, which is a joke really. Sako received the ball about 35 yards from goal on the left-hand side of the pitch and had so much work to do before the ball crossed the line that for anyone to be credited with an assist for that makes a mockery of the statistics.
Time will tell if Sako and Kelly’s run of form is a temporary thing or something more permanent, maybe they are playing for new contracts as theirs expire in the summer? Whatever the case, as things stand, we don’t have anyone else to turn to.
As the saying goes, form is temporary but class lasts forever.
Verdict: It’s getting boring but it was another good team performance but a threadbare squad.
|Crystal Palace (442)||7.27||Burnley (451)||6.52|
|N’Koudou (Hendrick 63′)
Wells (Gudmundsson 85′)
Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.
|Ball Possession %
Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.