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Julian Speroni's Top 10 Clean Sheets

19 May 2015


Ahead of his testimonial next week, we delved through the archives to take a look at Julian Speroni's most important shut-outs from his 11 years at the club.

Take a look at the top 10, as chosen by cpfc.co.uk, listed here in chronological order. 

1. Crystal Palace 3-0 Walsall 
(23rd August 2005, League Cup)
Speroni had a tough start to life at Crystal Palace, making just six Premier League and two Carling Cup appearances during his maiden campaign with the Eagles – without keeping a clean sheet.
But in his first start of the 2005/06 season, the Argentine finally got number one under his belt in a 3-0 win over Walsall.
Second half goals from Tony Popovic, Danny Granville and Michael Hughes ensured Palace’s passage through to the next round, but only after Speroni had made a superb first-half stop to tip Jorge Leitao’s volley onto the post. 

2. Crystal Palace 5-0 Burnley 
(4th May 2008, Championship)
Palace went into this game knowing that a win would confirm what had looked like an unlikely play-off place, having been rooted in the bottom three the previous November.
But following Neil Warnock’s appointment as manager in October 2007, the Eagles soared up the table and ran out resounding winners over Burnley on the final day of the season to confirm their top six place. 
In truth, this was one of Speroni’s more routine clean sheets in Palace colours, after the Clarets were reduced to 10 men just six minutes into the game when Clarke Carlisle was dismissed for a professional foul.
Nevertheless, the Argentine and his back four put in a solid display to restrict the visitors to very few chances, as goals from Ben Watson, Victor Moses, Tom Soares, Scott Sinclair and Clinton Morrison set up a two-legged semi-final with Bristol City. 



3. Crystal Palace 2-0 Peterborough United 
(30th January 2010, Championship)
Having plunged into administration, been deducted 10 points and lost 2-0 to Newcastle United earlier in the week, this result – not to mention the clean sheet – was a huge boost for Palace. 
Speroni made a couple of decent saves between the sticks to keep the Posh at bay, as two goals from Neil Danns either side of half-time provided the club with a lift at the end of one of the worst weeks in its history. 
It was to prove a vital win just over three months later, as the Eagles survived relegation by a point, following their final day 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

4. Crystal Palace 1-0 Leeds United 
(25th April 2011, Championship)
After surviving by the skin of their teeth the previous campaign, Palace again found themselves in a relegation dogfight in 2010/11 – but this victory over Leeds all but confirmed their second tier status for another season. 
Neil Danns gave the Eagles the lead in just the second minute and a resolute defensive effort, particularly in the final 20 minutes, saw Palace move six points clear of the drop zone with just two games to play. 
Speroni had a key part to play in maintaining their slender one-goal advantage, saving well from Sanchez Watt late on to secure a huge three points for his side. 

5. Derby County 0-1 Crystal Palace 
(1st March 2013, Championship)
Palace travelled to Derby County on a cold Friday night eager to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday the previous Saturday and keep their automatic promotion bid alive.
A goal from Yannick Bolasie inside the opening quarter of an hour gave the Eagles a priceless lead to hang on to – and they had Julian Speroni to thank for doing just that. 
In a backs-to-the-wall display, the Rams applied plenty of late pressure in a bid to find an equaliser and when Mile Jedinak brought down Ben Davies inside the box, it appeared as through the home side had rescued a point.
But Palace’s No.1 had other ideas, as he heroically tipped Conor Sammon’s 88th-minute penalty onto the crossbar to hand the Eagles a massive three points.
The win moved Palace to within two points of the automatic promotion places, although they would of course go on to be promoted via the play-offs.  



6. Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace 
(13th May 2013, Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg)
Having made a super save to deny Dean Hammond in the first-leg at Selhurst Park, Speroni again came up trumps at the Amex Stadium to help Palace advance to the play-off final.
Although it was Wilfried Zaha’s brilliant brace that took centre stage on the night, the Eagles’ No.1 had a huge part to play in the memorable victory. 
With the score still goalless, substitute Ashley Barnes was sent clean through on goal and looked odds-on to fire the Seagulls in front, but a superb reaction save from Speroni deflected his volley onto the top of the crossbar.
Barnes did beat the Argentine from the resulting corner, only to see his header cleared off the line – and with that, the momentum swung in Palace’s favour as they sealed their place at Wembley. 

7. Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford 
(27th May 2013, Championship Play-Off Final)
The limelight again escaped Speroni in this game as Kevin Phillips’ nerveless penalty stole all the headlines to send the Eagles soaring into the Premier League – but Palace’s custodian showed safe hands again throughout a tense 120 minutes of football to help us on our way to the top flight.
Watford had nine shots on target throughout the two hours of football, but the Eagles’ glovesman and his backline held firm to make it three clean sheets from their three play-off games.
And he saved his most heroic save until the start of extra time. After his opposite number Manuel Almunia had performed miracles at the other end, Troy Deeney looked certain to put Watford into an undeserved lead. 
But Speroni had other ideas, showing great agility to shift his bodyweight quickly and plunge to his right, before scooping the ball away from the Hornets’ striker to prevent him from scoring a tap-in. 
The rest, as they say, is history, as Zaha won the penalty that Phillips converted to send the red and blue half of Wembley into delirium. 



8. Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton 
(9th November 2013, Premier League)
Following the high of winning promotion via the play-offs in May, Palace endured a rude awakening in the top flight, winning just one of their first 10 games without keeping a clean sheet.
The seeds of recovery were sewn though at home to Everton, who were apt opponents considering the well-documented mistake Speroni made against the Toffees in his only other Premier League campaign.
Roberto Martinez’s men had two early chances when Leon Osman sidefooted wide before Speroni produced a fine stop to palm a Kevin Mirallas shot around the post. 
Palace perhaps should have won the game at the other end, but a first-ever Premier League clean sheet for Speroni proved to be a hugely important one, both for himself and his team. 

9. Hull City 0-1 Crystal Palace 
(23rd November 2013, Premier League)
With just one win from their opening 11 Premier League games, Palace travelled to Hull City fresh from the news that Tony Pulis had been appointed as their new manager. 
With the Welshman watching on from the stands, Keith Millen took charge of the Eagles for the final time – and his team came up trumps to bag a crucial win which signalled the start of our top-flight revival.  
Speroni had to be at his best to spring off his line and deny Yannick Sagbo, having earlier kept out George Boyd’s deflected effort.
Despite the sending off of another Yannick, Bolasie, Palace snatched the lead late on through Barry Bannan – and even when Speroni was beaten by Liam Rosenior, the post came top Palace’s rescue as they moved off the bottom of the Premier League. 

10. Leicester City 0-1 Crystal Palace
(7th February 2015, Premier League)
After suffering a poor start to the season Palace had begun to turn the corner following Alan Pardew's arrival as manager and travelled to the King Power Stadium to take on fellow strugglers Leicester City.
Joe Ledley grabbed the only goal of the game but throughout the encounter Speroni had to be at his best to ensure victory.
After saving well from Riyad Mahrez with his feet in the first half, he then denied Jeffrey Schlupp but the best stop was saved for nine minutes from time.
When Jamie Vardy flicked a delivery from Mahrez towards goal, Speroni was moving across his line in the other direction but quickly re-adjusted to claw the ball away and secure a huge victory.

Do you agree with our selections? Join the debate on Twitter by following us on @CPFC

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