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October 22 2020 7.53am

Palace 0 - 0 Portsmouth

Tue Mar 5 2002 - League

Palace's play-off hopes suffered a setback as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Portsmouth at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles ended their three-game home losing streak, but failed to score and ended up only getting point.

The home side dominated throughout, and improved dramatically from the Grimsby defeat on Saturday, but did not test the Pompey goal-mouth enough.

Matt Clarke nearly gave Portsmouth an early lead when his backpass clearance was sliced almost back into his own net. Luckily the ball rolled past the post for a corner.

Tommy Black, who was having a storming game on his recall to the side, went close after a good run and had a couple of other half chances.

Dave Beasant saved a Clinton Morrison shot and Dougie Freedman had a chance for himself.

Aki Riihilahti and Danny Granville tested Beasant, but the veteran keeper saved comfortably.

Pompey's only real shot of note was in the 75th minute when a Peter Crouch volley was saved well by Clarke. Ade Akinbiyi came on for Julian Gray, but the game was always heading for a 0-0.

Palace will be pleased with the improved performance - most of the team had good games - but they were not clinical enough in front of goal despite number of chances created.

Man of the Match: Black

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "After Saturday's result it was important that we kept a clean sheet. Defensively we looked sound and if you don't win you have to make sure you don't lose.

"Shaun Murphy was very good at the centre of defence and has really made a difference with his aerial ability. He kept their strikers very quiet and I can only remember Crouch having one chance during the game.

"It was a bold move to play with two attacking wingers and they both did very well. We created many chances during the game but we just could not score.

"Whether this result has effected our promotion chances we will know at the end of the season. There is still a number of games remaining and we are capable of making the top six."

Pompey boss Graham Rix said: "It might not be pretty sometimes but that's one goal in three games we've let in now. We've got to start somewhere and that has given us confidence.

"It was a difficult pitch and we are obviously scrapping for points but I thought as regards passion and commitment and determination we showed a lot. I was delighted with the guys.

"I'm just pleased to get a clean sheet and a point away from home - it's not an easy place to come to. We didn't create too many openings but that's not really our priority at the moment.

"We played nice and solid. I'm delighted. We weren't really under siege, we kept them out quite well."

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 15915)

Palace: Clarke, Mullins, Austin, Murphy, Granville, Fleming (Smith 28), Gray (Akinbiyi 78), Riihilahti, Black, Freedman, Morrison.

Subs not used: Kolinko, Thomson, Kirovski.

Booking: Granville.

Portsmouth: Beasant, Waterman, Primus, Derry, Vincent, Buxton, Quashie, Pitt (Brady 72), Curtis, Crouch, Cooper (Barrett 83)

Subs not used: Tardif, Vine, Biagini.

Bookings: Buxton, Quashie.

Referee: P J Joslin

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