Sam Allardyce was left to rue the final few minutes of his team’s 3-1 loss against Southampton, and believes that conceding two late goals has seen a potentially precious point slip away.
After Christian Benteke had out Palace ahead on 31 minutes, a controversial goal by Nathan Redmond restored parity just before half-time, before a pair of late goals in as many minutes by Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse sealed the win for the Saints.
In his post-match press conference, the Eagles boss spoke about a range of issues, including:
The conclusion: “The way we lost was a kick in the teeth. We’ve shown plenty of resilience over the past few games and that went missing when we needed it in the last few minutes of the game. The aim was to come in at 1-1 and while both teams missed lots of choices at both ends today, we’re the ones that haven’t taken care of the point in our grasp with eight minutes to go which would have been a valuable one for us trying to get out of the trouble that we’re in.
“I’m disappointed with the way we opened ourselves up for the opposition to score twice in the last few minutes. We’re normally not like that and I don’t know why we did that, so we’ll have to review it and make sure we don’t make it so easy to score, particularly at that time in the game.”
Southampton’s equaliser: “Personally I think it’s a diabolical decision that the assistant referee didn’t make for the foul on Wilfried Zaha. I cannot find any reason why he hasn’t given it as Wilfried is in control of the ball but has been completely bowled over by the opposition player from behind. [The assistant] just stood there and kept his flag down, which baffled me and it cost us being 1-0 up at half-time. Whether that would have stopped us getting beat I’m not sure.”
Injuries: “Yohan Cabaye had an injury (calf strain) and now our squad with the injuries that we’ve picked up has been tested today, and left a little flawed. Hopefully we can get back on song on Monday night because we have to pick up as many points as we can as quickly as we can to get to 38 or more points.”
The performance: “The point would have been like a win for us tonight when we haven’t played very well, but had we played like we did for the first goal more often today, we would have scored more but we didn’t. The goal was a superb bit of skill but we just didn’t see enough of it tonight.”
Points target: “Our target is that we stay with more points as games played which means that if we can do that in the last eight games we’ll get more than 38 points and that’ll be enough, irrespective of anyone else does. With us having Arsenal on Monday night, that’s why this point could have been precious. Now we have to get a result or we’ll have 31 points from 31 games. We have a game in hand on some of the teams below us, and when that comes around we need to get some points out of it and not throw it away.
“We had a massive boost by beating Chelsea but everyone else is picking up results and its swings and roundabouts, but you’re in control of your games. You have to do it yourself and be in control of your own destiny. I think we have the hardest run-in of all the teams down there, and that’s why a point would have been so precious tonight, but having said that who would have said that we would have beaten Chelsea?”