Crystal Palace now one of the hardest places to visit in top flight
Crystal Palace has quietly become one of the hardest places to visit in the top flight… with Roy Hodgson’s side boasting the ability to grind out results
- Roy Hodgson returned to the dugout after recovering from an illness this week
- Fulham’s Willian had the best chance of the match but failed to capitalise
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Crystal Palace did nothing against Fulham. No, that isn’t an exaggeration. Even the electric Eberechi Eze flickered into obscurity on his 100th appearance for the club as a stoppable force met a movable object at Selhurst Park.
But another thing Crystal Palace didn’t do is lose.
The ability to grind out results even on off-days is a quality many teams don’t possess — and probably the reason Palace will not be in a relegation battle this season.
Selhurst Park has quietly become one of the hardest places to visit in the top flight. In the last 260 days, Palace have played 13 league games at home and were undefeated in 11. The only teams who left with three points? Arsenal and Manchester City.
England international Sam Johnstone had to be at his best in the Palace goal to keep that record intact at the weekend.
Eberechi Eze could not break the deadlock on his 100th appearances for Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson returned to the dugout for his side’s 1-1 draw with Fulham
The Eagles and Fulham both lacked any sort of cutting edge at Selhurst Park on Saturday
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But Roy Hodgson now has two elite keepers to choose from, after signing Dean Henderson from Manchester United for £20million.
Asked if Johnstone’s performance was a response to the pressure of fresh competition, Hodgson insisted: ‘No. That’s the level Sam is at. We didn’t sign Dean because we were unhappy with Sam’s performances. The competition will spur them on but I’m not prepared to say he has suddenly had a good game because of it.’
Fulham boss Marco Silva said: ‘We showed the character to play in our way in a tough place to play. We controlled everything from Palace really well.’
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1): Johnstone 7.5; Ward 6.5, Andersen 7, Guehi 7, Mitchell 6.5; Hughes 7, Doucoure 6.5; Ayew 6, Schlupp 6 (Mateta 70min, 6), Eze 6.5; Edouard 6.5 (Rak-Sakyi 90).
Booked: Ayew, Mitchell, Doucoure.
Manager: Roy Hodgson 6.5.
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Leno 7; CASTAGNE 8, Diop 7, Ream 6, Robinson 7; Reed 7, Palhinha 7; Decordova-Reid 6 (Wilson 79), Pereira 7 (Iwobi 75, 6), Willian 6.5; Jimenez 6.5 (Vinicius 79).
Booked: Palhinha, Ream.
Manager: Marco Silva 7.
Referee: Paul Tierney 6.
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