It was an historic day for Crystal Palace football club who recorded an unwanted record of being the first side in English top flight football, to lose their first five league games without scoring a single goal.
Roy Hodgson took to the dugout for the Eagles, after the sacking of Dutchman Frank De Boer just four days earlier. The reasons for De Boer’s sacking was mainly down to results and performances. However Palace chairman Steve Parish has come under heavy fire from both the media and fans for only giving De Boer a total of 77 days in charge.
The 1-0 defeat against Southampton was Hodgson’s first competitive game in charge since his disastrous spell as England manager. An Eagles fan as a boy and one time trainee at the club, he was now taking control at Selhurst Park at 70 years of age.
Palace who are still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League without a win, went behind early in this game to a Steve Davies strike on the 6th minute.
The Saints while not on top form themselves, did look the better side with various shots coming off throughout the game.
Palace did have their chances throughout the game, Jason Puncheon’s shot was point blanked saved by Southampton keeper Fraser Forster early in the second half. However that’s as close as the Eagles got to the Saint’s goal and Hodgson’s first game in charge ended in defeat with a lot to think about.
The Eagles have now gone 450 minutes this season without putting the ball in the net, the longest ever run from the start of a Premier League campaign. They haven’t found the goal in six consecutive league games, the last time that happened was in January of 1995.
It was a great win for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side who now sit ninth in the Premier League, it was Southampton’s fourth win over Palace in the last five meetings between the two clubs. It was quite a day for Davies who got his first goal since scoring against Palace in 2016, a combined total of 489 days between those goals.
On the loss Palace manager Hodgson said: “It was the worst possible start, conceding the goal so early, a team that’s obviously a little bit nervous and anxious anyway becomes even more nervous and anxious.
“I’m learning all the time, in training and also in games. I learn what I know really, in that there is a lot of heart out there, a lot of pain when it’s not going well and people care. They want to do better but we have got to mould ourselves into a better football team.”
Meanwhile Pellegrino was very pleased with his side’s victory: “We controlled the ball and that is something that we need because we have the quality of players to keep the ball and dominate the game. We also did really well defensively from the beginning until the end.
“They created a few chances at the start, but after that, I don’t remember too many other clear chances for them. I think we should have scored another goal but I am happy with the performance.”
Next up for Palace is a trip from opening day opponents Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup third round. Palace lost 3-0 that day at Selhurst Park and will be hoping to not repeat that sort of score line. Southampton meanwhile welcome Manchester United to the St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.