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Palace Sak off Villa!

August 22 2015

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew

Bakary Sako scored on his debut as Crystal Palace ran out 2-1 victors at home to Aston Villa.

The new winger netted a late winner to help Alan Pardew's men to their first home victory of the new season.

He was Palace's main creative outlet as Yannick Bolasie was rested on compassionate grounds following the death of his father.

The Eagles registered just one shot on target in a lackluster first 45 minutes with Villa having the better chances.

Gabriel Agbonlahor had a one-on-one saved by Alex McCarthy before the striker's final touch deserted him when through on goal on the left. Jack Grealish also had a decent attempt on goal for the Villans.

Pardew changed the team around at the break, hauling off the ineffective Glenn Murray and Wilfired Zaha for Jordon Mutch and Dwight Gayle.

Palace played with more urgency and had the ball in the net with a Gayle shot that deflected in off James McArthur on the hour-mark.

Referee Keith Stroud awarded the goal, but after the Villa players protested, Stroud consulted with assistant referee Peter Kirkup who very belatedly chalked it out for offside.

Scott Dann's towering header from Jason Puncheon's corner put Palace in front on 71 minutes.

And six minutes minutes later, it looked like they had thrown the game away after substitute Adama Traore ghosted past Puncheon and his deflected cross went in off Pape Souare, with McCarthy rooted to the spot.

Sako, who had twice been denied by Brad Guzan, then scored an 87th-minute winner from the edge of the area after Dann robbed Villa defender Jordan Amavi.

Palace: McCarthy, Ward, Delaney, Dann, Souare, McArthur, Cabaye (Jedinak 82), Zaha (Mutch 46), Puncheon, Sako, Murray (Gayle 46).

Not used: Hennessey, Bamford, Lee, Kelly.

Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Richards, Clark, Amavi, Westwood, Sanchez (Traore 69), Gueye, Grealish, Agbonlahor, Gestede.

Not used: Baker, Sinclair, Veretout, Ayew, Hutton, Bunn.

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Palace manager Alan Pardew: "We got a real grip of the game in the second half. Villa were terrific today. Regarding the disallowed goal, Macca (James McArthur) was offside when Gayle's shot hit him. The referee got it spot on.

"We've seen the power of Sako in training. This guy has come in to score goals. This win is for Yannick [Bolasie, who was given compassionate leave following a family bereavement]."

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood: "To lose it so late was disappointing. I thought we were very good in the first half. We scored the goal and came back into it.

"We saw a young player with no fear like Adama Traore. On the flip side you have young players that make mistakes and Jordan Amavi hasn't made many, but he did today and has to learn from it."

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