Crystal Palace ended a run of six straight Premier League defeats with a much needed 3-0 win at home to Southampton yesterday. The first goal of the afternoon was the definition of a gift from Saints keeper Fraser Forster.
On a day when Alan Pardew and his players knew that nothing less than a win would do, Claude Puel’s side handed the hosts two extremely soft goals within the space of three madcap minutes towards the end of the first half. Thanks to Benteke and James Tomkins, the Eagles were able to wander back into the dressing rooms at half-time with a two goal advantage, leading to a somewhat stunned atmosphere amongst the home supporters.
Despite one or two nervy moments in the second period, Palace’s defensive work and general organisation looked a great deal better than it has done in recent weeks, building a platform upon which our midfielders could probe for a third goal to finish the game off once and for all. That strike arrived in the 85th minute, courtesy of a close-range finish from Benteke after some superb work from Jason Puncheon on the left-hand side of the box, rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable day for anyone with a soft spot for the boys from SE25.
Whilst utterly unspectacular, we can only hope that the shambolic error made by Forster in the build-up to Palace’s opening goal is the catalyst for a prolonged change in our fortunes. With a trip to Hull next on the agenda for the players, we are sure to head North feeling a great deal more confident about our chances.
Could this be the result which turns our season around? I’m desperately hoping so.