New-boys Crystal Palace visited The SMS on Saturday, giving us a golden opportunity to follow up our legendary win against Liverpool with our first home win of the season. Not only that, but we had the chance to get as high as fourth in the table, maybe Poch’s Champions League dream isn’t as ridiculous as it once was. The opposition simply were a team of veterans and misfits. Spearheaded by Arsenal prodigy turned reject was Marouane Chamakh, everyones favourite drink driving glaswegian Barry Bannan along with Kevin Phillips who I hasn’t sure whether to clap our boo when he came on.
There was one change from the Liverpool win, with J-Rod dropping to the bench for Steve Davis. Interestingly half our defence was made up of ex-Palace players, with Jose and Clyne. We have a good chance to open the scoring early when Morgan headed over a lost Speroni unfortunately though ex-Skate Joel Ward heads it of the line.
We almost score again after some neat play from Osvaldo, Lallana and Clyne ends with England’s new number nine side footing over the bar. Steve Davis wins us a free kick after a handled cross by Jedinak. it’s not at all central but Sir Rickie hits it anyway. it’s not his finest effort, but Speroni makes a meal of it by making a bizarre volleyball style save. The ball ends up with Luke Shaw who embarrasses the full back, but nothing comes of it.
We are dominating but out of the blue Palace come on the break and somehow that Arsenal reject gets through on goal. Whistle screams, I’m convinced its a pen but the ref (Who I must say is ring V.generous to us) strolls over to Chamakh and books him for diving. HA! No wonder no one wants him.
It’s half time and it has to be said, that its been pretty similar to all our first half’s this season, Dull.
The beginning of the second half is slightly more exciting though as Clyne comes racing down the wing, cuts inside loses it but responds by winning it back. He gives it to Davis who gives it to Lallana and then it’s rolled to Dani Osvaldo who fires it into the bottom left. YES! A goal from open play.
Then, having won the ball back from the Palace kick-off, as quickly as your dog might steal your pizza slice, that rounded thing found its way down to El Señor Dani Osvaldo, moving, steaming, streaming, motoring, down the left. Here he was, pursued by the five Palace furies, all like 70 year-old groupies trying to get near Mick Jagger. Osvaldo cut in, chopped down, scythe-like. Free kick to the right of centre, within pitching distance for that man, Lambert. Arise, Sir Rickie. Sometimes, things just work out. And boy, did it work out for Rickie today. Curl, dip, bend – leaving Speroni looking aghast as the ball comes through, licking the left stanchion. 2-nil, to the boys in Santa Claus colours.
For the next 40 minutes nothing really happened Rickie hit it wide, Kevin Phillips came on and then in stoppage time Cameron Jerome (who if you remember scored an absolute screamer against us in the dying seconds against Stoke to draw 3-3) was given the ball on plate by Moxey and he generously smashed the ball into orbit. Final whistle a loss for both Manchester clubs left us at the dizzy heights of fourth place. Great performance equipped with a great win.
Bring on the “Sheep-Shaggers” next Sunday.