Crystal Palace Sees Off Southampton

Crystal Palace beat Southampton 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, their first win against the Saints since the inception of the English Premier League, as well as their first back-to-back home win since April 2014.  A first half goal from Yohan Cabaye and excellent goalkeeping from Wayne Hennessey secured the three points for Alan Pardew’s men following a dominant performance.  The win moves the Eagle’s into sixth place.

The Saints arrived at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon set up for the counter attack.  Although London was cloudy and windy, the home team was certainly not affected by the weather.  The Eagles accumulated five corners within the first 20 minutes and forced the visitors’ keeper into a succession of saves early on.  Paulo Gazzaniga had to turn Cabaye’s volley out for a corner in the 23rd minute before having to keep out Connor Wickham’s header from the resulting corner kick.

At the other end, Sadio Mane did well to find Shane Long with a delightful pass in the 23rd minute, but the striker could not keep his shot on target.  Eight minutes later, the Saints finally managed to test the Palace goal, however a wondrous save from Hennessey would deny Steven Davis.  Both teams are known for their crosses and set-pieces, and there was bound to be a goal resulting from one or the other, and in the 37th minute, a Yannick Bolasie cross set up Cabaye for a close range finish, handing Palace a 1-0 lead going into the interval.

End-to-end action compensated for a one-sided opening half and it was a much better performance from Ronald Koeman’s team in the second period, especially following the introductions of Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle.  The best chances of the match were created in the final minutes but a stunning exhibition of goalkeeping ensured that no goals were scored.  Gazzaniga displayed excellent shot-stopping ability to keep out volleys from both Wickham and Bolasi, while Hennessey had to make a match-winning save in the 93rd minute to deny Shane Long an equaliser.

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; McArthur, Cabaye; Zaha, Puncheon, Bolasie; Wickham. Subs: McCarthy, Mariappa, Kelly, Lee, Mutch, Chamakh, Campbell. Coached by: Alan Pardew.

Southampton: Gazzaniga; Soares, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Wanyama, Yoshida, Romeu; Davis, Long, Mane. Subs: Davis, Clasie, Tadic, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Pelle, Juanmi. Coached by: Ronald Koeman.

Venue: Selhurst Park