Match report for Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City on 26 Dec 18

Match Reports

Cardiff City gained a Premier League point away from home with a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day.

Neil Warnock made five changes from the side that started against Manchester United on Saturday, among them was Bobby Decordova-Reid, replacing Callum Paterson up front.

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend got the first chance of the match, as he struck City’s crossbar from close range with less than two minutes played. Former Cardiff City player Wilfried Zaha shot from distance minutes later, though the ball drifted wide.

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Neil Etheridge saved a driving shot from Luka Milivojević as play reached the quarter hour mark. Joe Ralls made a crucial tackle and clearance shortly afterwards, disrupting the home side’s attack as it was about to enter City’s box.

Having weathered the storm, City looked dangerous with half an hour played, getting a series of chances on goal. Hoilett stung the palms of ‘keeper Vicente GuaitaBobby Decordova-Reid headed a cross over the bar, and Joe Ralls’ curling shot from range only a minute later again tested Guaita.

Play again intensified as the interval loomed. Both sides each almost scored within 30 seconds of each other, with Etheridge tipping a shot wide and Kadeem Harris making a crucial sliding tackle to deny another attack by the hosts.

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The end-to-end action continued thoughout the second half, as Hoilett's shot on goal was followed by two corners for the hosts all within three minutes of play. 

Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyaté’s shot following a particularly dangerous move from the hosts flew high over Etheridge from close range shortly afterwards.

After the hour mark, the newly-introduced Connor Wickham twice missed from close range, following incisive crosses from Zaha.

And Palace struck the post from a free-kick as Milivojevic curled the ball from the edge of the box. At the other end, Harris’ shot on goal was deftly palmed away moments later following some inspired counterplay by the Bluebirds.

Bruno Ecuele Manga made the most important tackle of the match with less than ten minutes remaining. Zaha took the ball into the box at pace, with Manga hot on his heels. The Gabonese international slid and got a touch on the ball as Zaha pulled the trigger, sending it out for a corner.

A crucial Ralls clearance at one end was followed by a chance for Manga at the other, as the game ended in similar style. However, the full-time whistle then blew as City secured an important point away from home at Selhurst Park.


CRYSTAL PALACE: Guaita, van Aanholt, Milivojevic (C), Tomkins, Meyer (Wickham 62)’, Kouyaté, Townsend, Zaha, Sakho, McArthur, Wan-Bissaka. SUBS NOT USED: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Ayew, Schlupp, Puncheon.

CARDIFF CITY: Etheridge, Peltier, Bennett, Morrison (C), Manga, Ralls, Reid, Camarasa (Gunnarsson 90), Bamba, Harris, Hoilett (Arter 90). SUBS NOT USED: Smithies, Murphy, Cunningham, Mendez-Laing, Madine.