With the news of Julian Speroni’s likely contract extension having first broken on Thursday evening, Palace fans everywhere are feeling the love for the Argentine stopper and rightly so.
Taking the adoration we as a fan base have for Julian into account, it feels only right to celebrate the news of his contract talks with a clip of one of his most important ever saves in red and blue, during the 2013 play-off final against Watford at Wembley (attached above).
Whilst it will always be difficult to narrow down the countless saves Speroni has made into a definitive list of his “best ever” there are few who would disagree that this stop to deny the always prolific Troy Deeney, deserves to be in any top five countdown of the keeper’s biggest moments.
With the scores still at 0-0 in what had been an incredibly tense affair, the ball was tossed into the box from close to the halfway line, finding a slippery Deeney at the back post for what seemed at first to be the most routine of finishes for the Hornets’ striker. Taking a touch to steady himself, he looked to apply the finish and give Zola’s team an absolutely priceless lead, but out of nowhere, Speroni’s left arm flew out to push it away from danger in a split second.
It was a moment of sheer inspiration from the Palace man and one that provoked a sea of spontaneous applause from the supporters looking on in wonder from behind his goal. Many had turned away, certain that the net was about to bulge, only to realise that Jules had saved us, just as he had so often in the past.
In many ways, it is the save that best embodies Julian’s Palace career; vital and bafflingly brilliant in equal measure. There may well be plenty of better rounded keepers across Europe’s top leagues as we speak, but few are capable of pulling off some of the astounding saves that Julian has done so regularly over the last decade or so.
It was a moment of sheer beauty from the Palace man. Enjoy.