Saturday’s game may have ended in late heartbreak for Crystal Palace’s players and fans alike but on a personal level, Luka Milivojevic will be over the moon to have secured the status of the only Eagles midfielder to have scored 10 goals in a single Premier League season.
The Serbian is also now just two goals behind fellow countryman Savo Milosevic for the most goals in a Premier League campaign, leading both he and Palace’s fan-base to hope that his current purple patch continues between now and mid-May.
Plenty of neutrals have been quick to write off Luka’s achievement as nothing more than proof of him being a proficient penalty taker and whilst is is true that the ex-Olympiakos captain has slotted a large number away from 12 yards this term, there are examples to show that his talent stretches far beyond that. Alongside yesterday’s gloriously placed free-kick, the central midfielder can also point to the sweeping effort that nestled in the bottom corner of Alex McCarthy’s net away to Southampton whenever someone looks to talk down his displays since August.
Put quite simply, Milivojevic is a man you would want on your side when the going gets tough. Having naturally graduated to the role of captain after little more than a year or our books it’s fair to say that few if any supporters have a problem with the Serbian retaining the armband for years to come. Having worried about who would step into the sizeable hole left in our squad thanks to the departure of Mile Jedinak, it’s a real blessing that we found someone like Luka as quickly as we did.
Perhaps it’s just his general on-field manner but you get the feeling that Milivojevic will happily go through the pain barrier each and every week for the shirt on his back. Few will remember it now, but the passionate scream of delight he let out when the final whistle blew to end that aforementioned game at St Mary’s spoke a thousand words about his passion and desire to succeed with us.
Let’s hope he can notch three more times before the final kick of the season and secure his place in both Palace and Serbian folklore forever more.
10 – Luka Milivojevic is the first Crystal Palace midfielder to score 10 goals in a single Premier League season. Engine.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2018