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November 15 2019 7.06pm

Free fall after a tame show

November 10 2019

Palace attack Chelsea at the Shed End but aggression was rare in this match

Palace attack Chelsea at the Shed End but aggression was rare in this match

Palace continued the current “sequence of death” with a trip to Chelsea. Jamesey popped over the river to witness a poor performance ending in a 2-0 defeat.

In April two years ago, I joined our away contingent in The Shed, Stamford Bridge.

Then as now, we were little-fancied underdogs and when Chelsea’s Fabregas scored shortly after kick-off, prospects didn’t look promising.

However, not long after that, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both netted so after 10 minutes or so we were 2-1 to the good. By defending like demons, Palace didn’t concede and surprisingly won the match.

On the current occasion, Palace were playing the 4th game in a demanding five-match run. Two home losses and a very fortunate away draw at Arsenal were the depressing previous results but excuse the misquote – “every underdog has its day”.

The Chelsea crowd gave their Old Boy Gary Cahill a rousing welcome, as did the Palace supporters to Michy Batshuayi when he came on in the 73rd minute. Sportsmanship and grace not quite dead yet then…

A youthful Chelsea side, captained by Willian tore into the Eagles right from the start.

As one would expect, Roy Hodgson’s defend and counter-attack strategy was the order of the day. Problem was that Palace were so busy keeping the Blues at bay that counter-attacking was a largely unfulfilled option.

At the termination of the first half, it was relief to go in at 0-0 but there was a long way to go for even a draw.

In the second period, the constant Chelsea attacks were almost certain to bring a reward and sure enough in the 52nd minute the exciting young prospect Tammy Abraham scored.

As has often happened, when the Eagles go a goal down they start playing and in the early stages of the second half they matched Chelsea.

But with Wilfried Zaha at half cock and poor old Jordan Ayew trying to work wonders on his own, it was to no avail and Christian Pulisic scored late on to seal the points for the Blues.

Ultimately, it was only the brilliant ‘keeping of Vicente Guaita and many wasted Chelsea scoring opportunities that kept the score at 2-0.

As I write, we are still 10th in the Loadsadosh League. Even that doesn’t seem very realistic and could soon change for the worse.

There are mounting calls for Roy Hodgson to be replaced but it is hard to know what more he could have done against a highly skilled team and when his own players constantly gave the ball away and only created one chance in the entire game.

He should change things round more and use more intelligent substitutions, are a couple of suggestions. Naturally, football supporters are often inclined to think they know better than the manager.

Roy said he had been “proud” of the Palace performance although this supporter, walking back towards Wandsworth Bridge, was unable to agree.


Email Jamesey with your comments to jevans3704@aol.com

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