Post-match thoughts: Palace performance not at its best in poor weather

Last updated : 02 January 2014 By Daniel Smith


For the second home game in a row Palace came up against terrible weather conditions as they tried to improve on a promising defeat away at a top four team in the previous match. Norwich did not offer the same threat as Newcastle did when they beat the Eagles, who had been unlucky not to get a point at Chelsea the week before.

Having limited Manchester City to a 1-0 victory in their last outing, there was a lingering doubt of whether expectations may again get the better of the team. This did not happen, and even when Norwich took the lead it was a very well taken goal that struck the post before going in.

The game was in doubt due to the constant rain before and during the game, but passed a pitch inspection, although conditions clearly hampered both teams. Norwich may have had more possession, but in terms of getting into promising attacking positions in the opponents final third, this was dominated by Palace however delivery and keeping possession was poor, and this resulted in Norwich keeper John Ruddy not really having to make a save.

Even when Norwich went down to 10 men, there seemed to be a lack of urgency that had been noticeable throughout the game in terms of actually getting forward. Many supporters left the match feeling like it was an opportunity missed to get three points, again in large part due to the ability in the final third.

Whilst this may seem all very negative as Palace dropped back into the relegation zone thanks to Fulham’s victory over West Ham, a point is still better than being beaten at home against a team also down towards the bottom and is something that can be built on.

Although Fulham may have climbed out for now, it is so close at the bottom that the teams in the bottom three will change many more times between now and the end of the season, when it actually matters what position they are in.

With the transfer window open it will be interesting to see the business that Pulis has been hinting at in recent weeks. Palace were getting into good positions during the game but were unable to create and then convert clear cut chances and the team has over the last two months shown that they are capable of winning in the Premier League both at home and away.

The end of the game saw Kevin Phillips applaud all sections of the stadium as he made his way down the tunnel, something that was reciprocated by those in the stands. Phillips got a very good reception as he left the field, probably for the last time as a Palace player after it was announced he would be leaving once he finds a club. For what he did last season, not just in the play-off final, it would have been nice to see him play and score for the Eagles in the Premier League but everyone at the club will wish him well when he does depart.

As there is a cup game next, the Eagles will have a chance to rest some key players before the trip across London to Tottenham.

Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987