A first-half strike from summer signing Yohan Cabaye was enough to seal all three points for the Eagles, as they took their chance against an unfortunate Southampton side.
Southampton‘s run of winless games in all competitions extended to a frustrating five as they succumbed to a narrow defeat at the hands of Alan Pardew‘s Crystal Palace side on Saturday afternoon. Yohan Cabaye‘s close-range effort, capping off a well-worked team move in the final third, was enough to seal all three points for the hosts, who were fully deserving of the victory.
Twenty minutes were on the clock before Paulo Gazzaniga was forced into making an important save, denying Yannick Bolasie‘s swerving effort – which seemed to be curling towards the top corner – with a smart parry over the crossbar.
In the absence of Maarten Stekelenburg, the visitors’ third-choice goalkeeper was certainly tested in the early exchanges.
Gazzaniga excellent for visitors
Cabaye powered goalwards with a sweetly-struck volley, which was parried to safety. Then, Connor Wickham was unlucky not to score minutes later, his powerful close-range header was thwarted by the Argentine in-between the posts.
The goalkeeping masterclass was not over yet, though. At the other end of the Selhurst Park turf, Wayne Hennessey made an acrobatic stop to push Steve Davis‘ headed flick-on over the crossbar.
Cabaye caps off well-worked move
For his succession of important saves beforehand, Gazzaniga could do nothing to prevent Cabaye’s well-worked opener.
After a neat pass into his feet by the returning Wilfried Zaha, Bolasie span past Jose Fonté as though the Portuguese centre-back was not there, before firing a low ball across the face of goal. The classy Frenchman was on hand to turn the ball home into the bottom corner.
Time for reflection
At half-time, Ronald Koeman‘s men were behind and needed a quick response. Bolasie and Zaha were both causing all sorts of problems in the final third throughout, but neither was able to double the lead. Gazzaniga kept his side in the game to deny both Wickham and Bolasie with respectively stinging efforts inside the area.
A golden chance – but ultimately squandered
In stoppage time, Shane Long had a golden opportunity to level the scoring – with virtually the last kick of the game. Hennessey was alert to the danger though, blocking Long’s effort swiftly with his legs, as the home supporters roared with delight.
They certainly appreciated the magnitude of Hennessey’s save, it confirmed that all three points were firmly staying in London, and it was deserved. As for the visitors though, they had to travel back home with the disappointment of another bitter defeat, especially when they knew they could have snatched a positive result instead.