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Match Reports

Report: Crystal Palace 3-1 Valencia

6 August 2016

Palace secured a comfortable win against Spanish giants Valencia a week away from the start of the Premier League season at a sun-bathed Selhurst.

Two goals from Connor Wickham and a penalty from Mile Jedinak helped Alan Pardew’s men pick up their seventh win in their eight pre-season encounters this summer and give them a confidence boost ahead of the meeting with West Bromwich Albion in seven days’ time.

The visitors, who drew 1-1 with Bournemouth in midweek, started brightly and Santi Mina dragged an early attempt wide but just 10 minutes in the Eagles were ahead. Pape Souare got the ball on the left and crossed into the area for Wickham who hooked the ball into the net under pressure from a defender to score his second of pre-season.

Despite going behind the chances continued to fall for Valencia and star man Paco Alcacer nearly pulled his side level on 27 minutes when he managed to dodge the offside trap and latch onto a lofted pass but Wayne Hennessey managed to come out and block the effort for a corner.

Eight minutes later the Eagles doubled their lead. Wilfried Zaha teased his way into the area and drew a foul, and Wickham stepped up to take the penalty and saw it saved by Mathew Ryan but it fell right to the striker’s feet who had the simple task of tucking the ball into the unguarded net.

After the break Andros Townsend went close when he let fly from 30 yards but the ball whizzed over the top but then the game began to get a bit of edge to it as players from both teams got in a few confrontations after a few niggly fouls.

Just after the hour mark Wickham had the chance to complete his hat-trick when he was played through by Townsend but saw his shot saved, however he was substituted before the Eagles won a second penalty when Keshi Anderson was bundled over just as he prepared to pull the trigger, and Jedinak slammed the ball emphatically past his Australian international teammate to make it 3-0.

The Spanish side nearly pulled one back when a tremendous goalline scramble occurred after Julian Speroni had saved from Rafael Mir and then when Daniel Parejo shot goalwards Luke Dreher was on the line to block before Nani hit the post, then as Speroni went to pounce on the loose ball it was kicked out of his grasp by Joel Ward, and the Portugal winger fired the ball over the top as a breathless piece of play came to a close.

But they did get their goal with eight minutes still to play when new signing Martin Montoya cut the ball back to Domenech who took aim from the edge of the box, and the ball beat Speroni after deflecting off Scott Dann and clipping the crossbar.

However there was never any threat of Los Che coming back and the Eagles saw out the remaining minutes to claim the win and boost confidence ahead of the game against the Baggies next week.

Palace: Hennessey (Speroni 71), Ward (Croll 78), Dann, Delaney (Wynter 78), Souare (Kelly 61), Jedinak (Boateng 89), Puncheon (Kaikai 71), Zaha (Williams 62), Bolasie (Lee 46), Townsend (Anderson 62), Wickham (Dreher 62). Subs not used: Phillips.

Valencia: Ryan, Cancelo, Santos, Perez, Alcacer, Lato, Cartabia, Medran, Mina, Orban, Soler. Subs: Alves, Vezo, Mustafi, Siqueria, Mir, Parejo, Ayala, Gaya, Bakkali, Nani, Fuego, Machado, Abdennour, Suarez, Domenech, Vidal.

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