Premier league news Crystal Palace have not learned Liverpool lesson despite Brighton win Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - Talking points from Crystal Palace's win against bitter rivals Brighton, including why the result merely papers over some cracks, as well as big performances from Jordan Ayew and Gary Cahill
Breaking News ! Deserved moment for fans While it may not have been an ideal way to spend 95 minutes, two sparkling moments from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke ensured the Eagles were flying high come the end of the night. In a season that has been difficult at the best of times for fans, the win against Brighton went some way to lifting spirits among Palace fans. Criticism over recent weeks has been deserved of the team for some inept displays against Leeds and Burnley in particular, and the ongoing situation regarding contracts will be coming to a head before the end of the season. But for a brief moment at around 10pm on Monday night, none of that mattered. A desperately defended, hard-earned win against your rivals thanks to a 95th-minute volley - as Roy Hodgson said after the game, "I suppose if I was going to sleep and dreaming of how I'd like the game to end, that would have been it.". Read More Related Articles Christian Benteke admits Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson deserved criticism for poor performances Read More Related Articles Every word Roy Hodgson said on Crystal Palace defending, Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke goal A lesson not learned from Liverpool It was a win that moves Palace up to 32 points in the league - 10 clear of Fulham in the relegation zone. It also helped bring an end to a statistic that was beginning to sound torturous, with 18 losses from the previous 20 Premier League games Wilfried Zaha had missed. But Benteke's late goal will do little to paper over some of the cracks that were exposed last night. Despite picking up the three points, Palace were dominated throughout, even if Brighton created little in the way of goal chances in the first half. Statistically speaking, Palace were better in the 7-0 defeat against Liverpool than at Brighton. Just two touches in the opposition area in the entire match - both of them goals. Three shots over the course of the match - versus five against Liverpool in the historic defeat back in December. It is not a game plan that expires long-term confidence, even if the result did fall their way. In terms of expected goals, Brighton ranked up a score of 2.59, while Palace notched just 0.18. Hodgson's side have consistently been out-performed in the xG rankings this season, and you can only rely for so long on teams not taking their chances. Read More Related Articles Crystal Palace player ratings: Ayew effort, Mateta and Benteke brilliance as Palace steal points Read More Related Articles Why Arsenal and Crystal Palace will want end of season Premier League fixture moved Jordan Ayew's heart It would be understandable - easy, even - for an attacker in this Crystal Palace side to become downhearted with their role. Hodgson demands a lot from those in attacking roles in terms of defensive work, and perhaps nobody embodies that spirit better than Jordan Ayew. Against Brighton he was everywhere, closing down the opposition as well as given the thankless task of competing against 6ft 5ins Dan Burn in aerial duels, and he more than held his own.
. And in the 95th minute, rather than simply look to go for the corner in possession, he drove in field to give Andros Townsend the ball in a good area where he could clip in a cross for Benteke to grab the winner. Ayew was key to both goals scored, but in between there was some fantastic work as well. He made a number of headed clearances from corners in the first half, taking a whack from Burn right before half-time. His ability to draw contact and win legitimate free-kicks also helps Palace out of difficult situations, and is an underrated skill. Ayew is not always one to grab headlines with an eye-catching bit of skill or match-winning goal, but the effort never leaves. "Sheer guts" in defence and Gary Cahill Perhaps nothing epitomised the resilience shown on the night more than Gary Cahill's performance. Recently turned 35 and with a few dodgy performances this season, Cahill will be out of contract at the end of the season as things stand. Patience has been thin on the ground among Palace fans of late, with the recent fan banner at the training ground noting a "pandemic of apathy". But you could not argue that about Cahill at Brighton. It was not the most organised display from the defence as a whole, and perhaps not even that good of a performance from the team given the amount of chances Brighton created in the second half with Palace tiring.
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But when it came down to putting their bodies on the line, Cahill made sure he was there. Picking up a bloody nose, he quickly ran down into the changing room to get the new shirt required of him before making it back onto the pitch. And he was not alone in taking one for the team. His partner at centre-back Cheikhou Kouyate was down for a while after a frantic goalmouth scramble, with Vicente Guaita diving into the maelstrom to protect his goal. It was a performance typified by "sheer guts" shown, according to Roy Hodgson. After the last few displays that was needed, but fair play to the Palace back line, they showed some resolve and heart to earn the points.
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