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August 20 2018 7.26am

Royals downed by the Palace

July 28 2018

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace continued their excellent pre-season form with a thumping 4-0 win against Championship side Reading.

Roy Hodgson went with a strong lineup with Wilfried Zaha partnering Alexander Sorloth up top, and Jairo Riedewald in central midfield with James McArthur.

Palace started the game brightly, and had the ball in the back of the net after only 3 minutes, but Zaha's pass to Sørloth found the Norwegian in an offside position.

After 11 minutes on the clock, Zaha was the provider to Andros Townsend to strike at goal but his shot was easily saved by Reading keeper Vito Mannone.

On 33 minutes the visitors took the lead through Sørloth. Zaha yet again, causing all sorts of problems for the Reading full backs, cut the ball back for Sørloth to strike a fearsome shot into the back of the net.

At half time, Hodgson opted to bring on Luka Milivojevic for his first start for the Eagles this pre-season.

Three minutes after the break, Palace doubled their lead. Jeffrey Schlupp linked up well with Patrick van Aanholt on the left side, and the Dutchman's cross was met by Zaha who calmly slotted it past Mannone.

Zaha was then again on target for Palace's third on 64 minutes.

A typical mazy run by the Ivorian towards goal, resulted in a one-two with McArthur and he brilliantly curled the ball past the keeper.

Four minutes later, the Eagles added a fourth goal. Townsend's high reaching cross was met by James Tomkins at the far post to nod in, and make the game an extremely comfortable victory.

Connor Wickham replaced Sørloth on 72 minutes, making his first appearance for the Eagles in 609 days, after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Wayne Hennessey was on hand in the final few minutes to deny Marc McNulty a consolation goal for the hosts.

All in all, a very strong performance from Palace, with one remaining pre-season friendly against Toulouse next Saturday at Selhurst Park.

Palace: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Townsend (Puncheon 82), McArthur (Williams 82), Riedewald (Milivojevic 45), Schlupp, Zaha, Sørloth (Wickham 72). Subs not used: Guaita, Ward, Souare, Kelly, Kaikai.

Reading: Mannone, Yiadom, Ilori, McShane, Gunter (Richards 34), Meyler, Kelly, Barrow (Clement 69), Aluko (Blackett 69), Swift (McNulty 63), Meite (Bodvarsson 63). Subs not used: Walker, Evans.

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