Crystal Palace 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0
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.
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