Although we’re now a few days on from Crystal Palace’s 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, I couldn’t help sharing this video of Benteke’s winner with you all before the build-up to tomorrow’s game against Southampton begins.
Thanks to the timing of our two goals on Saturday, a fair few videos have appeared online since. Whilst I have never personally been one to reach for my phone in the moments immediately following an away goal, there are plenty of supporters across the land who do. The beauty of last Saturday specifically, was the speed with which we went from kicking off at 1-1 to taking the lead.
As you can see and hear from the video attached above, the 2,500 or so Palace fans crammed into The Shed End were still buzzing from Wilfried Zaha’s ingenious equaliser as he and Benteke made their barnstorming break just before putting us into the lead. It is that mixture of riotous joy, mixed with the disbelieving pandemonium following Christian’s dinked winner which makes this footage so perfect.
Football fandom is an intensely tribal experience, particularly when you take part in it as an away fan. That “us against them” mentality is something that outsiders to the sport struggle to get their heads around but as anyone who was part of Palace’s travelling support last weekend will tell you, when it really clicks, there are few better feelings to be had on this planet.
In my immediate vicinity on Saturday, strangers were hugged with a passion you’d think twice about showing your nearest and dearest, two men fell headfirst into the row in front of them, and a pair of glasses were knocked clean off a man’s face, all in the space of a few adrenaline fueled seconds. In any other aspect of your daily life, such events would be a cause of shock; on an away day, it’s all part of an intoxicating magic that keeps you coming back for more.
The video attached above made me grin like a baby. I dare say it will do the same to you.