Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace picked up a massive three points as they came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 at a very wet St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday.
Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 2
- Long ends his drought on 17′
- McArthur levels on 69′
- Milivojevic scores winner on 80′
Shane Long ended his 11-month wait for a goal when he fired Southampton ahead, only for James McArthur to equalise before a stunning winning goal from Luka Milivojevic.
Southampton were almost off to the perfect start as Long latched onto a Dusan Tadic flick, but somehow blazed over the bar when he had time and space to pick his shot.
Tadic then fired wildly over the target after Sofiane Boufal had pickpocketed Timothy Fosu-Mensah before playing a good ball into the box.
After a sluggish start for Palace, Andros Townsend picked up the ball and fired in at Alex McCarthy, who collected comfortably.
THE PALACE. ? pic.twitter.com/5xYHuKtn92
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 2, 2018
Wayne Hennessey was then forced into action at the other end with a fantastic save to tip a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg effort over his goal. But the Palace keeper could do nothing to deny Long from finally ending his 35 game drought – as he fired into the bottom left corner of the net, off a post, following a well timed Jeremy Pied cut-back.
Oriol Romeu was then woefully off target with 26 minutes played after being fed by Boufal, ahead of a chance on the half-hour mark for the away side. Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke did well to release Townsend, who forced a fingertip save from McCarthy.
Crystal Palace’s form:
— Dugout (@Dugout) January 2, 2018
The wet surface was beginning to play havoc as Boufal slipped when in a good position to cross ahead of a chance at the end of the first half for Tadic, that was inches from sneaking inside the post.
Palace were enjoying some possession inside the Saints half at the start of the second half without really threatening before Hennessey made a simple save to keep out a James Ward-Prowse ball aimed at Maya Yoshida.
Having struggled out wide, Wilfried Zaha took up a more central position with an hour gone, and became more central to Palace’s play.
McCarthy soon got down low to make a super save from a good Benteke shot on the turn on 65 minutes, after being set up by Zaha, but he could not keep out McArthur, with 69 minutes on the clock, as he smashed into the roof of the net as the ball was knocked down into his path following Townsend’s long ball forward.
Long missed the chance to score his second of the night as he dallied on the ball and was dispossessed ahead of a spell of pressure from Palace that saw Milivojevic fire just wide on 77 minutes – before scoring what would prove to be the winner for the away side.
Milivojevic smashed into the bottom corner of the net with a fantastic finish, from Townsend cut-back.
Substitute Manolo Gabbiadini came close to connecting to a Ryan Bertrand delivery late as Southampton searched desperately for an equaliser.
While with the clock winding down, Zaha somehow managed to fire over the crossbar, to create a nervy final few minutes, that they ultimately saw out, to claim a very important win and pile the pressure on Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino.