Yesterday’s game against Manchester City ultimately ended in disappointment for Crystal Palace but we were given one moment of sheer joy thanks to the left foot of Connor Wickham.
Having approached the game as something of a free hit, Palace’s players can certainly take heart from what was a generally good display against Guardiola and co. even though it was yet again overshadowed by individual defensive mistakes.
Few would deny that the Eagles were on top in the opening 15 minutes or so, only to surrender the opening goal of the game to Yaya Toure in remarkably soft circumstances. It was a kick in the teeth for our players and supporters alike but thankfully, those selected by Alan Pardew didn’t let it lead to a drop in their collective intensity either side of the half-time interval.
Although Palace had started the game with Christian Benteke as the lone striker, Wickham was thrown on for Andros Townsend at half-time, signalling an obvious tactical shift from Pardew and his coaching staff. To his and Connor’s credit, we did look a far greater threat following his introduction, getting a huge reward in the 66th minute when the aforementioned frontman recieived the ball on the edge of the box, powered past Pablo Zabaleta and slammed a low shot into the back of Claudio Bravo’s net.
After a horrible few weeks it was the perfect release for Palace fans, unleashing manic scenes all around the ground. Of course, Yaya Toure would later ensure that Wickham’s strike meant little in the greater scheme of things by bagging the winner in the final stages but I’m sure we can all be forgiven for taking solace in the little things.
That’s two goals in two games for the former Sunderland man, both of which have been superbly taken. Has he done enough to earn a starting role against Swansea next weekend?