Crystal Palace 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0

Date: Saturday 13th March 2021 Behind Closed Doors
Competition: Premier League
Palace:
4.9
Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, van Aanholt, Zaha, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Eze (Schlupp, 74), Benteke, Ayew (Townsend, 84)
Unused subs: Butland, Dann, Mateta, Wickham, Batshuayi, Kelly, Hannam
WBA:
4.5
Johnstone 6.9, Furlong 4.2, O'Shea 6.3, Bartley 6.3, Townsend 6.7, Yokuslu 7.2, Pereira 3.8 (Robson-Kanu, 63 4.2), Gallagher 5.3, Maitland-Niles 4.9, Phillips 4.9 (Snodgrass, 65 4.2), Diagne 4.3
Unused subs: Button, Ajayi, Robinson, Livermore, Diangana, Peltier, Grant
Manager: Sam Allardyce 3.7
Scorers: Milivojevic (39)
Referee: Simon Hooper 6.3
Attendance: 0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 25

Brendan Clegg:

I honestly thought we’d get something today.

No complaints with the starting lineup. Performances have been good enough for players to keep the shirt.

And Allardyce’s reward was an opening half an hour where I felt we bossed it. The fairly obvious problem was we didn’t score during that period despite some slick passing and well engineered opportunities. I thought Gallagher blew the best chance, firstly by missing bite 1 to leather it from 8 yards on his left foot but then touching it poorly off his right allowing the keeper to gather.

Palace were a threat, carrying more attacking players than you’d expect from an Uncle Roy team, but we managed that well by doubling up and tactically fouling.

But we gifted them a nailed-on penalty that was obvious in real-time and unnecessary. How it was missed and went to VAR was just prolonged agony. Dispatched as it was we had a mountain to climb, and although we huffed until halftime the quality and decision making was lacking.

I thought Allardyce would change it after the break and expected a striker and a system change to 4-4-2. Instead Pereira and Maitland-Niles switched to get MP central. Apart from a scare and a great save from SJ in the first minute it was more of the same.

We were on top and created decent chances. Gallagher fluffed a great chance from 12 yards by not making decent contact, Phillips connected poorly with a volley and Diagne failed to get on the end of some decent crosses.

On 70 Allardyce changed it but I felt he weakened us and slowed us down. First HRK for MP who’d been mixed but was influencing things centrally, then Snodgrass for Phillips. I really thought Robinson or Grady would be better options for pace, trickery and movement would have been better options and I’d probably have sacrificed Gallagher instead for a player with more guile as we needed 2 goals.

Instead it petered out for us and I think the way the subs gave us no oomph really changed perspectives I’ve read online of the performance with players getting stick. In my opinion that’s a bit harsh. They were the better team for most of the match against some really good and experienced EPL players but they just lacked that composure to take chances and their manager got his subs wrong.

With our season over and a 3 week gap before our next game (total madness, and combined with VAR and in-season handball rule interpretation changes there are fair questions about the legitimacy of this campaign) it’s time to plan for next season. Just get whatever decisions done and put certainty in place.

  • SJ - 7 Great save kept us in it but a quiet day otherwise.
  • Furlong - 6 Don’t kill a young inexperienced player who kept dangerous wingers largely quiet for a silly mistake. Decent otherwise and will get better.
  • O’Shea - 7 can be proud again. Great will, decent passing, good aggression.
  • Bartley - 8 One lapse gave Benteke a chance but immense overall. Gave it everything.
  • Townsend - 7 Another performance at his maximum. So brave going forward and leaves it all in the pitch.
  • Yokusulu - 8 I’d go as far as to say the best DCM I’ve seen in my lifetime for us. I’m sure we’ve got no chance of keeping him.
  • Phillips - 7 One poor attempt aside he battled, kept things alive, got us up the pitch and covered defensively so well.
  • Gallagher - 6 In truth just a fitter, quicker, younger Andy Johnson. Runs like an animal but the composure isn’t there and I’m afraid he’s a bit of a cheat/diver when he should just stay up.
  • Maitland-Niles - 6 So much excellent work and effort undone by carelessness with the final ball but his pace makes a difference.
  • Pereira - 5 Frustrating but still created things. I think he’s about 20 games from putting it together at this level. It will happen.
  • Diagne - 5 It’s not happened. He’s like Fortune was. Makes us better and gets us up the pitch but ultimately not prolific enough.
  • HRK - 5 Thought he did what he does well with clever running and spinning off but offered no threat.
  • Snodgrass- 5 Just not one for him. Couldn’t find that space to create anything and was too leggy to cover counters against some quick players.