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8 March 2014
• Selhurst Park, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 25073
J. Rodriguez 37'
I'm Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you all for joining me here today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
With the loss, Palace remain in 16th, three points above the drop, with Sunderland having played two less games. Tony Pulis finds himself in yet another tight relegation battle, and time will only tell if he can work his way out of this one.
FULL-TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON. A great road performance from Mauricio Pochettino's team, as the visitors were in control of this match from start to finish. Jay Rodriguez's goal proves the difference in the end, as a rather scrappy goal clinches the three points for the Saints. Palace never did look threatening enough to find an equalizer, ending the match with just one shot on target.
90' + 4'
Palace appear completely out of ideas. They work it into the attacking third, but lack in creativity, as another ball is lofted into the box, over the head of Jerome and out harmlessly for a goal kick. Time is all but up here for Crystal Palace.
90' + 2'
Rodriguez scuffs a clearance attempt and Palace win a corner. Anticipation builds here amongst the fans. The cross in is over everyone's head, but Thomas races to collect. He sends another ball in, but again it's dealt with and cleared by Southampton.
Four minutes of added time signaled by the referee's assistant...
Crystal Palace eventually work it up the pitch again, as Jedinak tries a ball over the top for Jerome, who again is whistled for an offside. There's no reason for him to be in an offside position, as this is the third time now for Jerome, who's conceding valuable possession far too often here in the final minutes.
Yellow Card Nathaniel Clyne
The Saints work the ball forward so well, pinning Palace in their own end. Even when they do concede possession, it's so far up the pitch that it prevents the hosts from outnumbering them on the counter.
Southampton remain in possession, as Wanyama is fouled in midfield. They work the ball forward and win a corner, but it's cleared, allowing Palace to break. The Eagles push forward in numbers, ad Ward picks out Jerome in the box. His header causes some problems for Boruc, but it's ruled offside anyhow as the danger is averted.
STAT ATTACK: Crystal Palace have never beaten Southampton in nine previous Premier League meetings (D4, L5), with the last three at Selhurst Park ending in draws.
A giveaway results in a quick Palace counter attack. The play is switched to Murray on the left, who tries to cut in at the top of the box. He goes to ground as he's surrounded by defenders, but appeals for a free kick are rightfully turned aside by referee Howard Webb.
The visitors are so patient in their build-up, which especially works in their favour in a situation like this. The slow, sharp passes are beginning to frustrate the hosts who see time slipping away from them as we enter the final ten minutes here at Selhurst Park.
Moments after coming on, Gallagher concedes a free kick with a foul on Ward. Another chance for Palace to find an equalizer from a set piece goes begging, however, as yet again a Saints player is first to the cross, clearing the danger and starting the visitors up on the counter.
Sam Gallagher comes on now for Ricky Lambert. The young Scotsman has 15 minutes to make an impression on the match. Lambert had the one chance in the first half where he hit the post, but has been relatively invisible for the most part aside from that chance.
Lovely pace and dribbling shown by Luke Shaw. The 18-year-old speeds up and cuts to the inside, beating a defender before having a shot from 30 yards out. The ball is struck with plenty of venom, but it's tracked well and collected by Speroni at the near post.
Another free kick for the hosts now as Lallana topples Ince over on the left. The ensuing cross is over the crowd, falling for Murray at the far post. He chests it down and has a go, but his shot is blocked and eventually cleared.
Southampton are doing a great job of defending these Palace set pieces. That could be the key to them closing this one out, as the Eagles have scored nine of their 19 goals this season from set pieces (47%), the highest percentage in the Premier League.
Great chance for Palace! Dann sends in Jerome with a beautiful through ball, and the striker sends an inviting ball across the face of goal, but no one can turn it in before Clyne knocks it safely behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Morgan Schneiderlin
Play resumes and we have another dangerous tackle that Jedinak thankfully seems to walk away from unharmed. Schneiderlin lunges in towards a 50-50 ball and gets his studs up on the shins of the Aussie right in front of Howard Webb. He's shown a yellow card, but that could have been much worse for Schneiderlin.
There's another injury delay now as Damien Delaney is down and being attended to with what appears to be a head injury. There didn't look to be too much in that, but is looks like Delaney is bleeding from his nose, perhaps taking an innocent boot to the face after falling to ground.
STAT ATTACK: With Cardiff scoring in their match this afternoon, Palace now have the fewest goals scored in the Premier League this season, with 19.
Lambert does have a go, but his effort curls just wide of the top corner at the near post. Non-stop action early on here in the second half, but Palace will have to be careful as Southampton look incredibly dangerous on the counter.
Yellow Card Mile Jedinak
Another free kick now for Crystal Palace, this one from about 35 yards out. The ball is lofted in and Jedinak connects, trying to head it into the centre of the box but Southampton can clear and break on the counter. Schneiderlin and Lallana work a give-and-go, but the Frenchman is taken down by Jedinak, winning the visitors a free kick in Ricky Lambert territory.
Yellow Card Steven Davis
Davis finds himself in the book now after taking out Joe Ledley. You get the feeling the game is just starting to tilt towards the hosts, as Southampton seem to be losing their grasp on the match.
Southampton are finally showing signs of settling into the second half after a very shaky start. They are back in possession as they try and slow the pace back to where it was for much of the first half.
The ensuing free kick is thrashed over the bar by Jedinak. Wasted opportunity that was by Crystal Palace, but they will be disappointed to still see Lovren on the pitch for the second half.
Yellow Card Dejan Lovren
Horrible tackle from Lovren! Bolasie looked to be in on goal as Lovren came sliding in to take him out. The Croatian appeared to be the last defender, and didn't get any of the ball, but Howard Webb rather controversially decides only to show a yellow card!
Palace win a corner after a minute, that's taken by Ward. Boruc is out to collect but spills it to Puncheon. The forward can't strike the high bouncing ball with power, so opts for a chipped attempt, but the Polish keeper is able to catch it the second time around.
Southampton kick-off as the second half begins here at Selhurst Park. With goals hard to come by for Crystal Palace, they can't afford to waste any time as they search for an equalizer.
The players make their way back out onto the pitch, as the sun continues to shine down on this beautiful Spring day in London. The second half is about to get underway...
STAT ATTACK: With Rodriguez's goal in the first half, the Saints now have 26 goals scored by English players - the second highest total in the Premier League this season, after Liverpool (36).
Palace have struggled to create anything in the first half, which may force Pulis to turn to the substitutes bench as they try and search for an equalizer. Dwight Gayle, Cameron Jerome and Thomas Ince could all be viable options for the Eagles.
HALF-TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON. A moment of bravery from Jay Rodriguez has the visitors deservedly in front at half-time. The match lacked any sort of urgency in the early stages, but really picked up in the final moments, which will hopefully carry into the final 45 minutes.
45' + 3'
The game has really picked up as we round out the final minute of added time! First, off a corner kick the ball falls for Bolasie who has a strike from inside the box, but Boruc gets down to make the save and prevent any rebound! Southampton move back the other way through Lallana, who clips it in for Rodriguez at the far post but Ward gets there first to clear for a corner. It's played short and out to Shaw at the top of the box, but his thunderous effort is palmed away by Speroni as Howard Webb finally blows the half-time whistle.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card José Fonte
45' + 1'
Lambert hits the woodwork! Lallana picks up the ball along the right and delivers another great ball in. It's cleared, but only as far as Lambert at the top of the box, who takes two touches and tries to pick out the far corner, but hits the post! So close to a second there from the visitors.
Unbelievable bit of skill from Luke Shaw! He gets it on the left, right against the touchline and dances between three defenders, who appeared to have him surrounded! He picks out Davis who gets into the box and a few feet from goal but can't get his shot past the defender.
The goal hasn't done anything to change the flow of the game, as it's Southampton who still are enjoying the bulk of possession. Lallana and Schneiderlin both try to cross it into the box, but they continue to lack that final ball as Palace clear.
Dangerous ball in from Lallana! The midfielder goes streaking down the right, and curls his cross in beautifully for Jay Rodriguez, who just can't beat Dann to the ball as it's knocked down and eventually collected by Speroni.
STAT ATTACK: Crystal Palace have now gone four league matches without keeping a clean sheet for the first time this season under Tony Pulis.
Goal Jay Rodriguez
GOOOOOOOAL! It's one of the stranger goals you'll see, but Jay Rodriguez puts Southampton in the lead! He breaks on his own counter attack, all alone in the attacking half. A heavy touch creates a 50-50 ball between him and Speroni. They both slide in, about 30 yards out, and Rodriguez is able to knock it past Speroni and slot into the empty net from the ground.
Much more encouraging from the hosts here. They win a corner that's cleared by Schneiderlin, but only as far as Dikgacoi who crosses into a dangerous area, but Lovren just puts it behind for another corner. Again it's cleared, as is the follow up and Southampton break through Rodriguez.
Well after a brief delay the play resumes, and with Southampton down to 10-men the Eagles look to make the most of it, pushing the ball up the pitch and into the attacking third. The ball goes out for a throw, and Southampton are able to bring on Wanyama.
There's a bit of a delay now as Jack Cork is down and looks to be in significant pain as trainers attend to his right ankle. Based on the replay, it appears as though it rolled over as he came down on his right foot after a pass. Judging by the reaction of Cork, it appears as though his day may be done here, although he waves away the stretcher and tries to walk off under his own power.
Great block by Delaney! Very encouraging move from Southampton, as Lallana shows pace and determination moving box to box to keep a counter attack alive, sliding in Rodriguez who tries to pick out Lambert in the box. Delaney slides in and breaks up the pass and a promising attack from the visitors.
Credit to the Eagles as well, who have kept their shape very well so far, preventing Southampton from finding a way through. The play is switched to Clyne on the right, who picks out Lallana in the middle, but a great tackle from Jedinak stops the attack yet again and Palace can break here.
STAT ATTACK: The Saints have won just four of their last 17 Premier League fixtures, after winning five of seven before this stretch.
The visitors are passing the ball around with ease, and it's been very easy on the eyes in the opening stages of the match. As they pick the holes in Palace's midfield and make their way up the pitch, they continue to lack that killer instinct, failing to turn possession into chances thus far.
Crystal Palace push forward themselves now and win a corner, their first real chance of the match coming after 20 minutes. The cross is put into a dangerous position, but Boruc rather bravely lunges in to collect.
Scary moments for Southampton as Lallana goes down clutching his leg after a collision with Jedinak. After a few moments on the ground, the midfielder is up and walking around, an encouraging sign for Mauricio Pochettino and Roy Hodgson.
The corner is lacking in height and headed clear. It's falls for Davis again, but his second chance cross is collected easily by Speroni and Palace relieve the pressure.
Free kick now for Southampton in a very dangerous position just outside the right of the box as Bolasie is called for a handball. Delaney clears the cross, however, but the Saints keep possession and win a corner.
The match is lacking any sort of pace to it in the early stages, as one can expect from a Tony Pulis team. Southampton are passing the ball in their own half, and have been conceding possession far too often as they try and push forward.
STAT ATTACK: Since the arrival of Tony Pulis, Selhurst Park has become something of a fortress, with the Eagles winning five of eight home matches (1D, 2L), after claiming just one victory from six to start the season (1D, 4L).
Acrobatic save from Julian Speroni, but Southampton are ruled offside. Patient build-up from the visitors who work the ball into the box. After a failed clearance attempt it falls to Adam Lallana, standing in an offside position.
Southampton seem to have settled into the match nicely, enjoying possession as they always seem to do. Clyne lobs a ball forward for Rodriguez who chases it down in the corner, but it's defended well by Ward who wins the ball and starts Palace up the other way.
Joel Ward intercepts a pass intended for Jay Rodriguez, and receives a chorus of jeers from the visiting fans who aren't fond of the defender, born in rival Portsmouth.
Dean Moxey comes up from his left-back position to take an attacking throw for Palace. The ball is lofted into the box and flicked up into the air. Murray shields off Lovren and goes for the spectacular bicycle kick, but lifts the ball well over the bar.
The sun is glaring down on the pitch as Crystal Palace kick-off and get the match underway. The home side are wearing their blue and red shirts, while Southampton are sporting their all black kits.
The players make their way out of the tunnel as the fans sing in full force, and we're about to get underway here at Selhurst Park!
STAT ATTACK: Crystal Palace will be out looking to avenge a 2-0 defeat at St. Mary's in September's reverse fixture, while Southampton will be looking to complete the league double over the Eagles for a second time running, but the first time in the Premier League since the inaugural 1992-93 season.
CHANGES: Mauricio Pochettino has a full squad at his disposal, with Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren returning to action against Liverpool last week.
SUBS: Yoshida, Ramirez, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Chambers, Gazzaniga, Gallagher.
SOUTHAMPTON XI (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin; Davis, Rodriguez, Lallana; Lambert.
CHANGES: Damien Delaney, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Joe Ledley were all kept out of international duty midweek, but return to the team for Tony Pulis here today. Marouane Chamakh faced a late fitness test and has been ruled out after picking up an injury against Swansea last weekend.
SUBS: Ince, Thomas, Gayle, Gabbidon, Hennessey, Jerome, Bannan.
CRYSTAL PALACE XI (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Moxey; Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Ledley; Puncheon, Murray.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
Southampton may be all but locked into ninth place as we enter the final quarter of the season, but the Saints players certainly have plenty to play for in the season's final months. Pochettino will have been delighted with the England performances of Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw against Denmark midweek. With up to seven Southampton players realistically battling for a spot in this summer's World Cup, we can expect the Saints to keep their foot on the gas through the final ten games.
Crystal Palace snatched a dramatic late equalizer against Swansea last weekend, and you can almost see the sense of belief growing amongst the players since the arrival of Tony Pulis. As well as they have been playing, it will be difficult for Palace to distance themselves too much from the relegation zone between now and the end of the season. However, as long as they keep playing the way they are, the Eagles should be celebrating their survival against Fulham on the final day of the season.
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to today's encounter between Southampton and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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