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April 25 2019 4.41pm

Now four forwards swell ranks

February 4 2019

Michy Batshuayi

Michy Batshuayi

During a very wintry spell, Fulham visited Selhurst after a strong win over Brighton. Would the Cottagers consolidate their form? No, Wilf King watched an emphatic Palace 2-0 victory.

As I approached a freezing Selhurst Park from Whitehorse Lane I thought that Crystal Palace had won without Wilfried Zaha against Leicester City with a Luka Milivojevic goal so surely we could do it again.

We had already been victorious against Fulham on the opening day of the season so I felt fairly confident. Palace fans were delighted to have Bakary Sako back and there was the possibility of seeing Michy Batshuayi who was on loan from Chelsea.

The prospects were promising. It was a strong Palace line-up and I do prefer us playing 4-4-2 with Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew up top against Fulham. If Mitrovic had taken his early chance it might have been a different story.

I had a feeling that Palace would get a penalty but I could not have predicted Cyrus Christie would gift us a goal; Luka hardly ever misses from the spot. 1-0 at half-time.

Palace were better in the second half but we were dying to see what Michy could do. He was brought on in the 82nd minute and within 5 minutes the score was 2-0. A skilful turn in the box, a fierce shot which Rico saved but Jeffrey Schlupp was on hand to tap-in.

No wonder Roy Hodgson was delighted with Michy’s impact. The day was complete when in added-on time Bakary Sako replaced Jeffrey Schlupp. Was I dreaming? Palace had played four forwards and Roy made three substitutions (credit has to go to James Tomkins for being a Palace warrior and staying on with cotton wool in a bloodied nose).

I have seen a number of candidates for Man of the Match (i.e. Schlupp, Sakho, Wan-Bissaka) which demonstrates what a good performance this was by the whole team.

One could add that Fulham did not have a shot on target during the whole game but these matches still have to be won.

I am now waiting to see who is paired up front against West Ham.


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