Crystal Palace overcame a blown early lead to comeback to draw Southampton 2-2 at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
Wilfried Zaha and Odsonne Edouard teamed up for one goal and helped produce the chance that became Jordan Ayew’s late leveler in the South London draw, as the Eagles picked up point No. 20 on the season. That’s good for 11th on the Premier League table.
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James Ward-Prowse and Armando Broja scored four minutes apart for the visitors, who regain a six-point advantage over the bottom three ahead of three-straight London opponents: Brentford at home, West Ham away, Tottenham at home.
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Crystal Palace vs Southampton final score
Crystal Palace 2, Southampton 2
Goals scored: Zaha 2′, Ward-Prowse 32′, Broja 36′, Ayew ’65
Shots: Palace 9-15 Southampton
Shots on target: Palace 6-4 Southampton
Possession: Palace 60-40 Southampton
Three things we learned from Crystal Palace vs Southampton
1. Southampton can turn on the style: Okay, so we didn’t learn anything specifically new from James Ward-Prowse’s tumbling free kick over the wall, but combining his set-piece artistry with Armando Broja’s terrific yet understated low shot from atop the box shows how much class Saints have in their locker room. The ability to bring on x-factors like Moussa Djenepo and Mohamed Elyounoussi is nice, but Shane Long’s lead-footed touch of the latter’s second-half through ball shows why Theo Walcott and Che Adams are generally preferred as options off the bench.
2. Eduoard, Zaha a lethal combo: Palace is going to have to win games to keep Wilfried Zaha over a longer-term — though his transfer exit rumors feel almost as old as the Ivory Coast international himself — but playing alongside Odsonne Eduoard in Patrick Vieira’s attack is a pretty good lure in itself. Will Hughes reads Southampton’s lethargic game-opening passing to spring Palace into a numerical advantage, and the ex-Celtic man Eduoard defers to Palace’s all-timer of winger for 1-0. The chemistry was again on display when Zaha drove at the box and spotted Eduoard, with the ball in the goal two moves later. Zaha’s respect for Vieira’s standing and Eduoard’s skill set is making a big difference at Selhurst Park.
3. Caballero experiment yields dividends: Whether you wanted more from the veteran on Zaha’s opener — and you probably shouldn’t have — the veteran keeper made a strong stop on Eduoard in the 59th minute to keep the game 2-1 in favor of the visitors. And Caballero got his toe on Christian Benteke’s bid to make it 2-2 just before Jordan Ayew arrived at the back post to level the score. It’s very difficult to fault the keeper on either goal.
Man of the Match: Armando Broja
Won the free kick (and did plenty of work/acting to do so) that became Ward-Prowse’s equalizer, then fooled around and did this:
Southampton’s defense (and depth) not enough
Look: Errors happen and they are not reason enough to decry a team’s problems as personnel-based.
But Southampton has struggled to stop teams from scoring to the tune of 16 goals conceded over six games since posting back-to-back clean sheet wins over Watford and Aston Villa.
Mohammed Salisu and Oriol Romeu were back for Saints but the errors continued away from home. Romeu’s going to have better days but there wasn’t a ton to like on the bench as injuries have beset St. Mary’s at midseason (again).
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James Ward-Prowse, ever the archer
Is he going to stay with Saints his entire career? Maybe, and if so James Ward-Prowse may end up being considered amongst their very best players of all-time.
Ward-Prowse is a complete player and his dead ball skills somehow make him feel like a throwback — the golf swing celebration is a nice tough.
When Romey and Ward-Prowse are at their best, they allow Ralph Hasenhuttl to try just about anything around them. One of the two, however, was not at his best at Selhurst Park.