Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa: Match Verdict and Man of the Match


An early-season meeting between these two teams saw the host, Crystal Palace come out on top with a 1-0 win.

The Eagles in someways will feel hard done by because they were by far the better of the two sides. Crystal Palace should have been four or five goals up at the half time whistle. However, as it went into the break it was nil-all.

Aston Villa did begin the game in a decent manner, with Wesley and Douglas Luiz coming close with shots testing Vicenté Guaita. However, from the twenty-minute mark onwards Crystal Palace took control of the game. With momentum from the home crowd, they forced Villa ‘keeper Heaton into some superb saves.

James McArthur blew his shot over the bar and then had one of his cross’ unmet which shaved the face of the goal. Cheick Kouyate had a header saved on the line by Heaton as did Milivojević did from a deflected free-kick.

Villa had four players booked within a fifteen-minute period. With Guilbert, Trezeguet, Luiz and Taylor all being booked. With Trezeguet looking off the pace for most of the first half there were calls for him to be subbed off at half-time for El Ghazi.

Dean Smith decided against it and stuck with his man, this didn’t pay off with the Egyptian international being sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a needless challenge on Wilfried Zaha nine minutes into the half.

With the extra man & with support from a hostile home crowd’, Jordan Ayew took advantage of this combination and opened the scoring on the 73rd-minute mark. The former Villa striker collected the ball in the area on the end of a through ball, turned Grealish and Mings inside out and finessed the ball past an outstretched Tom Heaton.

Aston Villa did make a handful of changes throughout the second half with Davis, Hourihane and Lansbury all coming on – none making any key impact on the proceedings.

Henri Lansbury probably felt he deserved the goal he scored in the sixth minute of added time, however, the referee instead disallowed the goal because he felt Villa’s captain Jack Grealish simulated a dive in the build-up play.

My perspective is that Grealish didn’t simulate any dive. He was pushed off balance from Zaha and then as he played the ball and then Cahill tackled him in the box. It was a well-taken chance by Lansbury, but the goal was disallowed.

This meant Crystal Palace ended the game with all three points.

Man of the Match: James McArthur (Crystal Palace)

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