Alexander Sørloth scored his first competitive goal for Crystal Palace last night as the Eagles ran out 1-0 winners over Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium.
— Mark Andrews (@halfofSA) August 28, 2018
Having been put into the starting line-up as a direct replacement for Christian Benteke, it was clear that the Norwegian would be given 90 minutes in which to stake a claim for a first-team place and whilst he didn’t exactly set the world alight throughout, he did what all good strikers do and secured the victory for his teammates when afforded an opportunity with 20 minutes left to play.
The general shape of the side Roy Hodgson selected focussed more on ball retention in the final third than knocking it long to the big man up top and as a direct consequence, Sørloth struggled to impose himself on the Swans back-line for long spells. His goal when it did come, saw him take an angled Jairo Riedewald pass well on his left-hand side before hitting an arrowed shot across the goal from roughly 12 yards out.
It was the sort of finish which hinted at Alex’s potential, should he be given regular starts and a sense of club-wide confidence in his ability to act as our talisman from week to week. Yes, he was unable to cause that many other problems but when all is said and done, his contribution was the difference between the two sides at full-time and as a striker, that’s all he’ll care about when he wakes up this morning.
It’s sometimes easy to forget how young and inexperienced Sørloth is, given his size. Any player of his age will need an arm around the shoulder from time to time and after playing second fiddle to Christian Benteke for the entirety of his time in red and blue, he’ll be elated to finally be the man grabbing the headlines in what was just his eighth appearance since joining from Midtjylland last season.
Let’s hope there are plenty more goals to come.