Crystal Palace may have come away from Stamford Bridge with a feeling of bitter disappointment but for 12 minutes at the start of the second half, the travelling Eagles fans situated in the Shed End were walking on air, thanks to a wonderfully taken equaliser from Andros Townsend.
The limbs when this went in were a bit good…pic.twitter.com/fRjh4OOr5U
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 5, 2018
Having started the game in surprisingly positive fashion, Roy Hodgson’s players went in behind at the interval following a close-range finish from the previously out-of-form Alvaro Morata. You could have been forgiven for thinking that the away side would crumble from the moment the second half kicked off but to their credit, the players emerged from the tunnel with a renewed sense of purpose and were rewarded for their efforts on 53 minutes when Townsend fired them back to parity.
Playing without a recognised striker, Andros and Wilfried Zaha were dovetailing as a makeshift attacking pair and following a neat passing move out from the back, the former Spurs man ran onto a delicious James McArthur pass, taking the ball away from David Luiz neatly before smacking a shot low and hard into the bottom right-hand corner of Kepa’s goal, sending the away end into raptures.
Whilst Townsend has only bagged eight goals in the two-and-a-half years he’s spent on Palace’s books, it is worth noting that he’s seldom found himself in on goal in the manner he did at Chelsea yesterday afternoon. Famed for goal-scoring prowess before making the switch to SE25, it would be great to see him embark on something of a purple patch in the weeks and months to come.
I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being a tad surprised by the coolness of the former England man’s finish. With that much time to think about things, many players would choke and skew their shot wide or over; if we can work him into similar positions and get the same result against the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United before the international break, we may just be onto something.
Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed.