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West Ham United
September 22, 2013
• Selhurst Park, London
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 22466
N. Dyer 48'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells. Thanks for following today's game with me and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Until next time, farewell!
Swansea, meanwhile, will be understandably pleased with their performance - they controlled the game from start to finish and played some lovely football in the process. Though they were never particularly stretched by Palace, they also looked sound at the back. The solitary blip in today's performance lies in their inability to extend their lead - they will have to be more clinical against stronger opposition. Regardless, they didn't need any more goals today and Laudrup will be chuffed with his side, particularly off the back of their European heroics in midweek.
Crystal Palace won't just be disappointed by that game, but deeply worried. They showed little sign of threatening the Swansea goal and it's difficult to recall any real opportunities for the home side; they will need to be much improved if they stand any chance of staying up this season and Holloway's expression in the stands suggest he's aware of this. With an away fixture to Southampton imminent, the pressure could be set to mount on Holloway and his men.
90' + 5'
And it's all over at Selhurst Park! And, in all honest, it's been all over for some time; Crystal Palace haven't played well, Swansea have and they have thoroughly deserved their three points on the day.
90' + 4'
Thomas fails to keep a searching ball from Gayle in as we approach the final minute of this contest (though 'contest' seems a bit of a stretch, to be honest).
90' + 2'
Campana strikes at goal in a rare opportunity for the home side; it's on his wrong side though as his left-footed effort flies over the bar - it was always rising but it wasn't a bad strike by any means.
90' + 1'
Swansea put together a good move to break down the visibly despondent Palace defence but De Guzman wastes the opportunity, failing to pick anyone out and putting it out for a goal kick.
The referee refuses to grant Palace any relief as the fourth official signals five minutes injury time.
Puncheon, probably the best of a bad bunch in terms of Palace's attacking players, attempts to dink a ball over the top for Chamakh but Flores does well to intervene.
How has Michu missed that one! Substitute Pozuelo plays a magnificent ball over the top for the forward, dinking the ball over Jedinak with some style. The Spaniard looks all set to make it three but, somehow, in attempting to round Speroni, the talisman leaves the ball behind and Palace smuggle the ball clear.
Swansea are retaining possession under little duress from Crystal Palace; the home side appear to have given up all hope and this game looks set to peter out.
Palace have four on three going forward as Thomas advances on the Swansea defence. The substitute plays a terrible ball into Chamakh, forcing the striker to halt his run and gather the pass. The targetman does little better than Thomas, prodding the ball unconvincingly back into Thomas' path and they eventually lose it. Dire football - I think it's safe to presume that this game is over.
Even though Palace are only two goals adrift, it's practically impossible to envisage a late comeback here; Palace look impotent going forward - they have posed practically no threat to Vorm's goal throughout the game.
Michu is the dangerman once again as he almost grabs his second of the game! The Spaniard latched onto a through ball but couldn't find the necessary elevation to lift the ball over the advancing Speroni.
Michu almost steals in behind Jedinak and finds himself through on goal but is denied by the offside flag. That decision was completely correct - De Guzman delayed his pass and, really, should have played the ball earlier.
Mariappa, who, oddly enough for a centre back playing at right back, has been Palace's primary threat down the right wing, crosses another ball into the box. The cross is deflected, however, and Williams eventually clears.
The possession eventually leads to an opportunity for Shelvey but his strike, from the edge of the area, is wayward, flying well over the ball as he endeavours to find the opposite corner.
Yellow Card Chico
Swansea continue to hamper any hopes Palace have of a comeback due to their sterling retention of possession. The home side are really struggling to get hold of the ball.
Chico is booked for a characteristically rash challenge on Thomas as Palace look to find a way back into this encounter with the 75 minute mark rapidly approaching.
Swansea attack now and it's Michu, once more, who ends up with a strike on goal. Jedinak, this time, is the man who stands between the Spaniard and the goal and the ball is deflected clear.
Palace work their best opportunity of the half thus far and it's Gayle who almost capitalises, striking just wide from the edge of the area. The referee deems it a corner, though it's not clear who was supposed to have deflected the effort wide.
Palace's impetus comes to a head as Swansea enjoy a spell of posession in the home side's half. Holloway's man are hurrying and harrying but the away side are controlling the possession with some aplomb.
Palace are enjoying more possession as the match wears on, in part down some increasing momentum and in part, one must infer, down to Swansea's waning motivation to attack. Holloway attempts to increase that impetus as Jerome Thomas and Dwight Gayle replace Bannan and Jerome.
This is slightly better from Palace! Mariappa whips a ball into the back post and Bannan is there but the midfielder struggles to get the bouncing ball under control andd the chance goes begging.
Crystal Palace have a corner! Given their start to the second half, that's actually cause for celebration for the home fans. Puncheon's fairly tame strike is deflected behind for a corner by Williams, but the same man's corner fails to find a Palace head.
Campana attempts to dink a ball over the top for Puncheon but the winger had come short; that little passage of play could serve as a microcosm of the game for the Palace - their players simply haven't been on the same wavelength.
Jonathan De Guzmán
Swansea make a change as midfielder De Guzman replaces Vazquez, presumably made with the intent of Michu moving into the lone striker role that Vazquez assumed.
Some lovely interplay from Swansea, particularly between Davies and Michu, ends up in a half chance for the latter. Gabbidon stands in the Spaniard's way, however, and his shot is blocked.
Vazquez misses a golden opportunity! Michu finds the Spaniard, thanks to a dummy run from Shelvey, on the edge of the area and completely alone. The debutant takes a touch and attempts to find the opposite corner but his effort is wayward, flying well over the bar. That was an awful finish.
The home side are looking increasingly impotent going forward as Bannan, in a pass that encapsulates his game thus far, tries to find Chamakh but only succeeds in finding Michel Vorm. A dire pass - the former Villa man hasn't enjoyed his debut.
Palace retain possession at the back as they look to get a foothold in this second period. That was, as with the first period, a nightmare start to the half and, realistically, they need a goal before this game gets any further away from them.
Yellow Card Marouane Chamakh
Yellow Card Ángel Rangel
Moxey, perhaps frustrated at the goal, ignites the ire of the Swansea players after going in on Rangel as the ball was going out harmlessly. The challenge was rash but Rangel's reaction was even rasher, confronting Moxey and earning himself a booking in the process. Still, Moxey, on a booking from the first half, can consider himself lucky there.
Goal Nathan Dyer
GOAL! And it's Nathan Dyer! Swansea managed to replicate their early half heroics from the first period as Dyer makes it two. Michu played Vazquez through, who struck at goal from a wide position. Speroni saved well but the rebound fell to Vazquez, who duly played the ball back to Dyer. The winger, left with an open goal, fired into an empty net and the Swans are two goals to the good!
Routledge looks for Dyer down the right as Swansea attempt to catch Palace unawares. The pass is overcooked slightly, however, and Jedinak clears up the back.
Swansea kick off the second half! Palace have made one change, introducing Campana in place of Delaney, prompting Jedinak to move into central defence.
The teams are back out on the pitch now; we are moments away from seeing whether Palace can mount something of a comeback in this second period.
Swansea, meanwhile, will be feeling mixed emotions at the break as, though Laudrup will be undoubtedly pleased with the performance, the fact they only go in a goal up will be cause for consternation for the Dutchman. Nevertheless, it was an impressive opening and, if they can continue in that vein in the second period, their should be no problems for the away side.
Gary Holloway didn't look too happy going into the half-time tunnel and that, in all honesty, is understandable given his side's first half performance. They have shown no real signs of threatening the Swansea backline - the fact that Mariappa's unmet cross was the highlight of their half speaks volumes about the lack of penetration in Palace's play. Puncheon was perhaps the only real bright spark in the half but he can't do it alone and the Palace boss might be looking to make some changes going into the second half.
45' + 1'
And it's half time at Selhurst Park! Swansea go into the half-time break a goal to the good, having controlled the first half with a fair amount of ease.
As one minute of injury time is announced, a Palace attack breaks down once again - that, frankly, encapsulates the half that Holloway's men have had. They have rarely threatened and can, perhaps, consider themselves lucky to be only a goal adrift.
It's Bannan, once again, who eventually gives away the ball, allowing Michu to counter attack. The Spaniard does excellent to drive into the Palace half, eventually playing the ball out left to the unusually advanced Canas. The midfielder earns his side a corner and it looks as though the home side's spell of pressure has passed.
Swansea are, for perhaps the first time in the game, enduring something approaching a tricky spell. Palace are camped out in the Swansea half, though the home side do look fairly comfortable, soaking up the pressure and letting Holloway's men come on to them.
Ashley Williams is really struggling out there - he's picked up an injury but, curiously, Laudrup doesn't appear as though he's intent on making a chance. Could Palace exploit this injury?
The chance of the half for Palace as Mariappa crafts a chance down the right wing! The right back whipped the ball in with some venom but Chamakh and Jerome can't quite get on the end of it.
A sensational strike from Rangel! The ball falls to the right back on the edge of the area from a corner and the Spaniard strikes goalwards on the volley. Speroni dives well to his right, tipping behind for a corner - that would have been some goal!
Guedioura is the man who has a strike from the free kick but there's nothing doing as the midfielder, prone to strikes from distance, fails to really catch the effort right.
Chico gives away another free kick in a dangerous position, this time fouling Jerome. Jedinak looks primed to take control of this free kick.
Swansea's stranglehold over the game resumes as they retain possession with consummate ease in their own half. They'll be keen to turn their dominance into a greater deficit, however - anything can happen at 1-0.
Palace finally have an opportunity to pack the Swansea box as more good work from Puncheon earns the home side a corner. The same man looks to whip it in but Michu heads clear.
Davies whips the ensuing corner in and it's Michu, once again, who is causing the problems in the Palace area as his header flies over the crossbar.
Michu strikes just over! Routledge does excellently again, this time down the left, before feeding the Spaniard on the edge of the area. The striker's effort is deflected by Gabbidon, whistling just over the bar.
Palace continue to struggle as the Swans are, in typical fashion, asserting themselves on the game impressively here. They're controlling possession and Palace are barely getting a look-in.
Yellow Card Dean Moxey
That's a strong challenge from Moxey on Routledge and, perhaps correctly, he is booked. That was late and rash - the left back hasn't enjoyed the first half thus far, he's struggled to cope with Swansea's threat down the right.
Swansea attack again, putting together a nice move down the right wing. It ends up with Rangel but the right back can't find a man in the middle, overcooking the cross a touch, allowing Palace to come forward with the ball.
Michu has another opportunity but, surprisingly, the goalscorer elects not to shoot! Routledge does well down the right and finds the Spaniard in the box but, instead of striking at goal, Michu flicks the ball on, attempting to find Vazquez but failing - an odd choice there.
Swansea were lucky there! Bannan clips a free kick into the box from deep and Vorm comes and flaps at it. The goalkeeper was completely unconvincing there - he'll be grateful it fell to a Swansea defender.
Vazquez, quiet thus far, is called offside as the Swansea debutant attempts to steal in behind the Palace defence. He's worked hard but he's had little to show for his efforts, despite the away side's strong start.
Puncheon is definitely the focal point of Palace's attacks at the moment; the former Southampton man is at the centre of the action again as he feeds Bannan. As with a few minutes earlier, the midfielder can't find a man as his attempted through ball is cut out by Rangel.
And it is Puncheon who strikes at goal from the free kick! The wall does it job though as Davies blocks the effort.
Palace have a free kick in a dangerous area here after Chamakh is fouled on the edge of the box by Chico. Excellent play from Puncheon, once again, to feed the frontman there.
Puncheon does really well the middle to turn away from Cana before feeding it to Bannan. The debutant is dispossessed though and the chance comes to nothing.
Holloway is, apparently, calling for a change in formation as he looks to switch from their original 4-4-2/4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 as they appear intent on matching Swansea's formation; whatever the tactical intricacies, it's clear to see that the Palace manager is unhappy with the opening 17 minutes here at Selhurst Park.
The game's definitely calmed down a tad since that ferociously-paced opening; both sides appear content on sitting back a bit now, perhaps understandable given both Swansea's dominance and Crystal Palace's susceptibility at the back.
The home side finally put together a nice move as a string of passes almost results in an opportunity; Jerome fed in Mariappa down the right wing but his cross finds no-one and it's a Swansea goal kick.
Palace almost have a chance to capitalise on some poor defending by Williams but Chamakh misplaces his pass as, once again, the move breaks down.
Crystal Palace attempt to gather some momentum with some passing in Swansea's half but they can't quite get it right and moves continue to break down.
Answer to that question: no. Shelvey makes a complete and utter hash of the free kick - the former Liverpool man drives the ball in to the box, albeit at about 15 feet too high for anyone to make any contact. A truly curious effort at a delivery from a man that's had a mixed week.
The referee gives a controversial free kick against Palace centre-back Delaney on the right wing. He went in strongly on Dyer but there was nothing wrong with that - the Swans have a free kick in a dangerous position now, can they make it two?
Angel Rangel is clearly feeling some sympathy for the home side as he plays an incredibly lax pass out of play down the right wing. That was fairly horrific, more in keeping with Palace's start than Swansea's.
Crystal Palace, I think it's fair to say, have started abysmally here; Swansea have managed an early goal, could have had another and are in complete control of the game as it stands. A nightmare start for Holloway's men.
Almost another goal! Shelvey whips in the corner and Chico strikes goalwards. The centre back can only strike against the post, however, and the ball is deflected behind for another corner. Can Palace survive this early pressure?
A truly torrid start for Crystal Palace continues as Gabbidon gives away a corner through a poor piece of miscontrol.
Assist Wayne Routledge
GOAL! Just 80 seconds gone and Michu has opened the scoring! It was a nice move from the away side as the goalscorer started the move, linking well with Shelvey and Routledge in the final third. The former provided the ball through to Michu and he duly complied, striking in off the bar and Swansea are already 1-0 up!
Swansea appeal, albeit fairly half-heartedly, for a penalty after Dyer's cross is blocked by Jedinak. Nothing in that really but a promising start for the Swans.
And we're underway! Crystal Palace kick off proceedings at Selhurst Park as they go in search of a win that would take them out of the relegation zone.
A minute's applause is taking place before kick-off for Peter Morley, Crystal Palace's former club president, who sadly passed away this week.
Both teams are in the tunnel now as we eagerly await the kick-off at Selhurst Park.
Swansea, meanwhile, and perhaps as expected, make a variety of changes from their heroic 3-0 win against Valencia as Jordi Amat, Dwight Tiendalli, Jonathan de Guzman, Alejandro Pozuelo and Wilfried Bony all make way, as Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Jonjo Shelvey, Wayne Routledge and debutant Alvara Vazquez all come in to the starting eleven.
Crystal Palace make two changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Manchester United last Saturday as Adlene Guedioura comes in for the suspended Kagisho Dikgacoi, while Barry Bannan and Cameron Jerome also displace Loris Campana and Dwight Gayle from the starting eleven.
Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Canas, Shelvey, Dyer, Routledge, Michu, Vazquez. Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Britton, De Guzman, Pozuelo, Tiendelli, Bony.
Crystal Palace: Speroni; Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey; Jedinak, Guedioura, Bannan; Puncheon, Jerome, Chamakh. Subs: Alexander, O'Keefe, Campana, Kebe, Thomas, Gayle, Phillips.
And here come the team line-ups...
The two sides facing one another today come into this game off the back of considerably different weeks; the away side enjoyed arguably their greatest ever night in Europe as they romped to a 3-0 win away to Valencia, while Crystal Palace sit just two points off the bottom of the table after their 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United last Saturday. Gary Holloway and his men will be hoping that Swansea's hectic schedule will play to their favour as three points could see them move into 12th in the table – a win that would suddenly change the complexion of their start to the season. Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, will be looking to prove that the Swans can compete on both a European and domestic basis today – a loss today would surely invoke some worry amongst the fans with regards to the depth of their squad. With so much to play for, this game could be a cracker!
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Swansea, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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