Crystal Palace v Swansea City
Palace were forced to settle for a second goalless draw in three days as they were held by Swansea City at Selhurst Park as their unbeaten run stretched to six games.
Alan Pardew’s men enjoyed the better of the opportunities during the game with Brede Hangeland forcing Lukasz Fabianski into a good save and Patrick Bamford missing his side’s best chance, but Wayne Hennesey had to be at his most alert in stoppage time when he saved well from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick.
With both sides in action less than 48 hours before and making a number of changes to their line-ups accordingly, the first 30 minutes was a cagey affair with neither Fabianski or Hennessey having much to do.
Palace enjoyed the better of the possession and territory during that time, but only had a wild Yohan Cabaye attempt which ballooned into the Whitehorse Lane End to show for their attacking efforts.
However the Frenchman’s next major contribution was to pick up a booking for a foul on Jack Cork, meaning he will now miss Sunday’s visit of Chelsea, and as the half went on the Swans showed they were more than happy to play on the break with Mo Barrow and Marvin Emnes slipping in behind the hosts’ defence, but Hennessey was alert to sweep up any danger.
Cabaye, who was playing in a more advanced role, then put another effort into the fans behind the goal when he took aim from 30 yards out minutes before half-time, but after the interval Fabianski was forced into his first save when a Cabaye delivery into the area was flicked on by Hangeland but the Polish stopper managed to get a hand to push the ball away from the bottom corner.
But while it remained level the Swans would fancy their chances of snatching a goal and Barrow blasted a fierce strike towards goal which Hennessey had to tip over around the hour mark, but on 75 minutes half-time sub Bamford had a great chance to open the scoring when after James McArthur had a shot blocked by the chest of Ashley Williams, it fell nicely for the striker who could only hit it straight at Fabianski.
As the game entered the dying stages another substitute went close when Jordon Mutch embarked on a nice run from the halfway line and hit a shot from just outside the area but was unlucky to see if bounce wide of the far upright, and as the Eagles pushed forward again looking for a winner Wilfried Zaha beat Kyle Naughton inside the box and attempted to bend the ball into the far corner was had to watch it fly just off target.
But Hennessey had to be at his best right at the death when Hangeland fouled Bafetimbi Gomis 25 yards out and Sigurdsson’s free-kick beat the wall but not the Welshman who dived full stretch to push the ball to safety and prevent an unfair defeat.
Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Hangeland, Dann, Souare, Cabaye, Jedinak, Zaha, McArthur (Mutch 76), Ledley, Puncheon (Lee 70), Chamakh (Bamford 46). Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Ledley, Campbell.
Swansea: Fabianski, Amat (Bartley 77), Williams, Naughton, Taylor, Shelvey (Ki 55), Cork, Emnes (Sigurdsson 55), Grimes, Barrow, Gomis. Subs: Nordfeldt, Montero, Kingsley, Ayew.