CPFC DSA – The Chairman’s View – September 2023

So after a good start to August we found ourselves in the top half of the table and after the excitement of a 4-2 win in the League Cup away at Plymouth, I was looking forward to our return to Selhurst Park against Wolves. The game had been chosen for television and had moved to a Sunday.

Wolves at home on the TV

We started the game with a 4-3-3 formation with Edouard up front as the lone striker supported by Ayew and Schlupp on the wings. It was much the same as the formation for the Plymouth game so I was quite happy to see Roy was still sticking to his usual tactics.

During the first half I felt we had the majority of the game and actually looked the better side, with both Edouard and Ayew having shots blocked with Jeffery Schlupp and Edouard having shots saved by the keeper. But we didn't make this pressure pay and went in at half time all square at 0-0.

The second half started much the same as the first and we didn't have to wait long for the first goal. Tyrick Mitchell put in a cross which was met by Edouard from close range and we went 1-0 up. After about an hour Wolves made their first substitution and brought on Chan. He made an impact almost straight away, heading in to the top right corner of the goal following a free kick by Pedro Neto, making the score 1 all.

Soon after this Roy made his first sub. Bringing on J P Mateta in place of Schlupp. Jefferson Lerma almost got his first goal for us with a really good header from a cross by Eze but the keeper dived to his right to save it. Then in the 78th minute after some great link up play with JP, Eze blasted the ball home to the bottom left corner from the centre of the box, putting us in the lead once again. Palace continued to attack and go for the 3rd then with only about 5 minutes to go Edouard made it 3-1 with his second of the game and surely this was game over.

However with the new rules on added time, an additional 9 minutes of game time was added. In the 7th minute of added time Wolves managed to reduce the deficit to 3-2. Thankfully that is how the game ended with Palace taking all 3 points.

A trip to Villa without Roy

Next up was our trip to Villa Park, which unfortunately I couldn't attend but I did manage to keep an eye on it via the Palace website.

Due to Roy not being well and not at the ground Paddy McCarthy was handed the reins. He was forced into two changes bringing in Will Hughes and Chris Richards, for Marc Guehi and Jefferson Lerma who both came back injured from international duties.

Both teams started off rather cautiously and the game was pretty even, unfortunately Jordan Ayew had to go off injured after 25 mins to be replaced by J.P.Mateta. Shortly afterwards Villa would get the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled offside by VAR. So the first half would end all square at 0-0.

After the break Palace came out pretty strong and with only 2 mins on the clock J.P. put a lovely ball into the path of Edouard who caught it really well and put us 1-0 up.

As the game went on I really thought we would nick all 3 points, although there was plenty of end to end stuff neither team looked likely to score, but then in the 87th minute Lucas Digne put in a cross that was met by Jhon Duran in the middle of the box who would make it 1 goal each. Surely that was game over?

But then as quite often in football these days VAR was to show its ugly head again. Chris Richards made, what I and many others thought was, a lovely defensive tackle on Watkins in the box but after a very long review it was given as a penalty to Villa. Douglas Luiz stepped up to make it 2-1 from the spot. Then with Palace going all out looking for the equaliser, we left ourselves open at the back for Leon Bailey to make it 3-1 in the 101st minute. Football can be really cruel sometimes.

Fighting Fulham for a point

After the disappointment of Villa our next game was back on home soil against Fulham, with both teams level on points it was bound to be a hard fought battle and so it was. Both teams were going for it and thankfully Roy was back in charge after his illness. He made just the one change, with Marc Guehi back in the team replacing Chris Richards.

Fulham at the upper hand at the start of the game but Sam Johnstone put in a great performance in goal, making some really good saves. A the other end after some great work Eze had a shot which drifted just wide of the post. The first half ending all square at 0-0.

The second half was to see Fulham start off much the same as they did in the first, with yet again Johnstone making a great save with his feet to deny William a goal. Both sides were really trying, then on 70 minutes Mateta came on for Schlupp and suddenly Palace looked the better side. Fulham resorted to some cynical fouls to keep us at bay. The game ended in a 0-0 draw but at least we were to keep another clean sheet and remain in the top half of the table.

Old Trafford at the double

So the month was to come to an end with 2 visits to old Trafford with the first being in the EFL Cup on a Tuesday night.

Roy took this opportunity to give both Dean Henderson and Rob Holding there first starts in a Palace shirt. However after just 19 minutes Henderson was to pull up with a calf injury and had to be replaced by Sam Johnstone in goal. The game itself went much as we expected with Man United running out 3-0 winners and progressing to the next round. It was a game I wouldn't care to remember, hopefully we would play a lot better on the Saturday.

I don't think that after Tuesdays performance anyone was giving us much chance of getting a result just a few days later at Old Trafford. But then, very much like the Villa game, football can sometimes throw up a few surprises. I really wished I had gone to this game rather than the one on Tuesday night but hindsight can be a wonderful thing.

We ended the month with a great win at Old Trafford with Andersen getting the goal of the month award for his fantastic half volley winner. Seriously who thought we would win this one?

It's all part of the magical roller coaster ride of being a Crystal Palace supporter.

Be Loud

Be Proud

Be Palace

Dave May

Chairman CPFC DSA


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