Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bristol City 1 Crystal Palace 1

It's become an inevitability that if Crystal Palace has a lead on the road they will allow a goal back in the dying moments. Unfortunately they can't seem to score two in any situation and once again they've been doomed by it against what should have been a tired Bristol City team. A mistake by Paddy McCarthy and a couple of questionable calls by the referees in Bristol City's favor didn't help matters either.

Coming out in a strange formation featuring four strikers and only a single midfielder, it looked to be a Palace side meant to boost the offense. It seemed to work at first, as Neil Danns put the game off to a flyer with a fantastic free kick goal in only the second minute. That would be where the scoring ended, although a fantastic chance for another goal in the dying moments was stifled by a strangely timed whistle for HT by the referee.

The game remained largely back and forth with decent chances for both squads in the second half, but Claude Davis and Nathanial Clyne both played fantastically on the defensive side of the ball to give Julien Speroni relief during the City surges of offensive attack. When a surprisingly large 5 minutes of extra time were given, the team - as they do - fell apart. An easily clearable ball in the box was instead dodged by Paddy McCarthy and Julien Speroni was forced by Paddy's mistake to dive toward the ball, giving City a questionable but still not unsurprising penalty. Brett Pitman put it away easily and Palace was left with another pathetic road showing in the end.

Although an important point on the road, wins from Boro and Scunthorpe - both teams with games in hand on Palace - unfortunately created a situation where a win was not only nice but neccesary. This will undoubtebly and unfortunately give the growing "Sack Burley" group more undeserved kindling for their fire. The transfer window can't come fast enough, as Palace are in desperate need of more midfield presence with injury tearing them apart as well as some new faces on the defense, specifically in the center. Paddy McCarthy has played horribly all season long and his captainship must come to an end.