Saturday, 27 April 2013

20/04/13 League Leicester City (h) 2-2 draw

We here at The Eagles Beak welcome back regular contributor Paul Price (@Paul_Pricey) with his views on the Leicester home game ...

I don’t know if you all remember the picture that was tweeted by Damien Delaney of a fox in his back garden and the following speculation around what had happened to the creature. Since he has taken a sabbatical from Twitter, we may never know?

Then the Foxes of Leicester City arrived at Selhurst Park on a wonderful sunny day. The Palace crowd were expectant and (relatively) full of positivity as Palace looked to get their show back on the road. Was the fox going to have the final say Damien?

On the stroke of three, the much anticipated game kicked off. There was plenty at stake with both sides trying to take the points and move towards securing their place in the Championship play-offs. Palace had dropped to fifth and Leicester were laying in seventh. Palace boss Ian Holloway had switched things around fairly drastically before the game with the introduction of Dobbie, Wilbraham, Gabbidon and Marrow. An early cross from Leicester was followed by an early shot by Zaha and a ball into the box from Dobbie with only a few minutes gone.  It was Dobbie who soon swung in a corner which was cleared by the visiting defence. Then it was Murray with a chance but saved by Kasper Schmeichel (not a shadow of his amazing father).

After a foul on Dean Moxey, Dobbie delivers a cross into the Leicester box which is again cleared. Speroni is called then called into action saving Wes Morgan’s shot but it was still all Palace but the tide was starting to turn as Speroni had to be sharp again saving from Jeff Schlupp. More shots rain in on the Palace goal, one saved comfortably by Speroni and the other cleared by Delaney. KG gives away a couple of free kicks with the second one being direct and taken by Andy King.  A further shot from Leicester is again cleared by Delaney, while at the other end Dobbie again crosses but it's harmlessly cleared by Leicester.

It was clear that Wilbraham was being used to soften the visiting defence which was working but he was getting his fair share of free kicks. A Leicester break ended in a Konchesky effort which luckily goes wide of the target. Further Leicester pressure is cleared by the centre back paring of Delaney and Gabbidon. But of all the attaching talent Palace posses it was a defender that scored first, Gabbidon heading into the net with the assist from Dobbie. A very unlikely goal scorer but, with no goals in 5 games until now, I would have not cared who got it to be honest! 

Palace continued with the pressure and it was returning Marrow with a shot which was saved by the keeper. This was followed by an attempt on the Palace goal from which Gabbidon manages to block. A Leicester shot is blocked again by Gabiddon followed by a clearance from a Leicester corner cleared by Murray. A further shot from Leicester is blocked by Joel Ward. Delaney then went into the referee's book for an unfair challenge.

Close range Leicester shot misses the target,  thankfully.  Can Palace go in still leading 1-0 at half time? Wilbraham crosses and blocked again by Leicester, Ward crosses but cleared. Then the inevitable equaliser that our recent form encouraged. King worked his way (pretty easily in my opinion) through the static Palace defence and slots the ball home into the bottom corner of the net past Speroni.

The second half commenced with a Speroni save as Leicested made clear their intentions. But Palace worked their way back into the game which was proving to be very competitive. Keane's shot is blocked by Delaney then Moxey clears from a corner. At the other end Dobbie’s shot is blocked resulting in a corner that Zaha decides to take. The pressure was building and it wasn't long before the Palace faithful saw another goal. Murray with the assist providing Dobbie with the ultimate position to unleash an effort on the Leicester goal which bent around the Leicester defence and flies into the net. The question is, can we hold out for the win and much needed three points?

It was then Wilf that produces an excellent cross which is cleared by Leicester just before the 70 minute mark, Dobbies shot is blocked by Wes Morgan. It was time for David Nugent to join the action in place of Schlupp but it was Chris Wood who levelled up the score virtually straight after the substitution with a shot past Speroni. Palace bought this upon themselves to be honest where I believe the afore mentioned fox got its revenge on Delaney. Delaney slips at the vital moment and gives Wood a clear run at the Palace goal before hitting the ball high and to the right of Speroni into the goal.  Having watched this since, I believe that Speroni could have done more too. It has been a long time but, I remember being told to go towards the player and reduce the angle. This did not happen and as a result a massive amount of the goal was left open for the well hit shot.

Not long after the equaliser Dobbie is replaced by Bolasie. Great to see Yannick on the pitch but a little surprised as I believed that Dobbie had been our best player. Stuart O’Keefe then replaces Alex Marrow for Palace. The last Palace substitution was Kevin Phillips on for Aaron Wilbraham. The team huffed and puffed but the winning goal was elusive with the final chance falling to Bolasie who attempted to cross to the annoyance of Selhurst Park. A wonderful opportunity to swing the ball into the Leicester box or hit the blimin’ thing at the Leicester goal is taken short and the opportunity totally disappears. With Palace needing 3 points to move towards a secured play-off spot and a vital win, this is surely a missed opportunity (literally). The final whistle blows and a pretty good game to be honest and another point secured on our mission for this season. I did feel slightly as though we had lost to be honest as a really positive feeling fizzled away with a simple defensive error again.

Negatives from the game:

  • Another silly defensive error 
  • Not a massive negative but, a few strange substitutions and tactics at times 
  • Poor Wilf looked like a wounded pony and was obviously injured.  Looks like we are trying to get our pound of flesh before his £15m move to the London Reds 
Positives from the game:

  • Thought Dobbie was really good and was my MoM 
  •  A more confident Palace performance generally 
  •  2 goals scored after a very baron period 
  •  Another point on the road to a play-off place, Wembley and the Premiership

Match Stats:
Possession - Crystal Palace 56% - Leicester City 44%
Shots - Palace 13 - Leicester 26

On target - Palace 8 - Leicester 18

Boss Ian Holloway: 

"We're disappointed with that having been in front twice but it's important to have got a point. I would have preferred two more but you've got to take what you can. I was impressed with the courage of the lads and we scored two goals, which we haven't done for a while. I'm just disappointed with the last goal because it looked like a mistake and we have to eradicate them. It's another point to our target and we now have to move on. We need to tweak the nose of fear and stick an ice cube down the vest of terror".

View from The Eagles Beak:

"It just wouldn't be Palace if we did things the easy way. Us fans are used to this but it certainly doesn't make it any better. You ask any fan and they wouldn't change it for the world. What's the fun in winning a title or securing promotion of a shot at promotion with games left to play? It just wouldn't be us".

Team sheet:

01 Speroni 
02 Ward 
21 Moxey - booked 
27 Delaney - booked 
33 Gabbidon 
08 Dikgacoi - booked 
12 Marrow (O'Keefe 78') 
11 Dobbie (Bolasie 75') 
16 Zaha 
17 Murray 
18 Wilbraham (K Phillips 85')

Unused substitutes - 40 Fitzsimmons, 28 Ramage, 30 Moritz, 38 Banton 

Referee - Madley 

Attendence 18,563 

Twitter Hashtags:

#3CupFinals #CPFCFamily #KeepTheFaith #CPFC #PalaceNation

No comments:

Post a Comment