Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Swansea

CP v Swansea

Review by William George Eldridge

Following the goalless draw away to Bournemouth, European optimists Crystal Palace came up against a managerless Swansea side in need of more wins to go with their previous victory over West Brom.

Pardew gave Marouane Chamakh his first start of the season, with the former Arsenal striker bidding to regain full match fitness after a thigh problem. With Conner Wickham and Dwight Gayle out injured, and both Frazier Campbell and Patrick Bamford off form, it was imperative for Chamakh to have a good game.

Stand-in Swansea Manager, Curtis, made eight changes to the side that beat West Brom 1-0 on Boxing Day in an attempt to keep his players fresh. His line-up included three men – centre-back Jordi Amat, midfielder Matt Grimes and forward Marvin Emnes – who had not played a single minute of Premier League football all season.

With a temperature that failed to add to the wintery season, the game kicked off with both teams striving for victory. Unfortunately, the first half was a non-event but Fabianski saved in spectacular fashion to keep out Brede Hangeland’s glancing header from Yohan Cabaye’s free-kick within seconds of the restart before Bamford’s poor miss.

Chamakh, though, made little impact, with Palace’s best chances coming once Bamford came on as a half-time substitute.

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Post-match, it was announced that Patrick Bamford would be leaving Crystal Palace and returning to Chelsea, an announcement made to the media rather than to and through the Palace manager, in a notion that was not backed with praise from the Palace faithful.

Bamford had Palace’s clearest opening, but shot straight at Fabianski after James McArthur’s pass had ricocheted into his path.
In the end Palace were indebted to their goalkeeper Hennessey who palmed away sub Gylfi Sigurdsson late free-kick which seemed destined to reach the bottom corner of the goal.

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A goalless draw was shared between the teams, with the only noticeable factor leaving the game being the yellow card Yohan Cabaye received, which duly rules him out of the next fixture for Crystal Palace against Chelsea.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew:

“I just thought it was a poor decision to book Cabaye. We’ve lost him for a key game. Fans pay a lot of money to see players like that, and the referee’s taken him out of the game.

“A mistimed challenge is not a yellow card. It’s a deliberate tackle to stop someone progressing down the pitch. Brede Hangeland escapes a booking for a far worse challenge.

“We want great players on the pitch. Stop handing out yellow cards.”

Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis:

“It was an excellent point against a very good Crystal Palace team. They showed today why they are where they are in the table.
“We’re unbeaten in three with three clean sheets. That’s a huge improvement on where we’ve been of late.
“I thought Ashley was brilliant. He’s been the rock of the side for any number of seasons. Ashley epitomised the spirit of the team.”

As official sponsor of AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace FC, Mansion will be offering unique insights into the team’s games each week, through collaboration with a selection of passionate fan reviewers.

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