Palace’s search for their first points of the 2017/18 campaign will go into September as Swansea City ran out victors in SE25.
Attacking duo Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew both netted for the visitors in the minutes before and after half-time to leave Frank de Boer waiting for his first Premier League victory at the Eagles’ helm, on what was a disappointing afternoon in SE25.
The warning signs were evident just three minutes in the game as the Eagles had a big scare. Some nice link-up play on right flank released Abraham who sent a dangerous cross into the area right onto the head of the diving Ayew, but fortunately for the hosts the ball flashed wide of the mark when the net should have been rippling.
They continued to enjoy the majority of the play in the opening stages but gradually Palace came into the game, and on 18 minutes they nearly managed to break the deadlock when James McArthur nodded a Joel Ward cross wide of the mark, and having scored twice in midweek against Ipswich Town the Scotsman had an appetite for goals and just before the half-hour mark he dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box during a sustained spell of Palace pressure.
However, the final 15 minutes of the first half would belong to the visitors and the Swans made the most of it. They threatened to go ahead twice in a minute when a long ball downfield allowed Abraham to race onto it, and he managed to poke goalwards under pressure from Timothy Fosu-Mensah but Wayne Hennessey stuck out a leg to stop it, and then from the resulting corner Alfie Mawson glanced a header fractions wide.
But just before the break, the Swans did grab the opening goal. Following a sustained attack, the ball came over to the right flank where Leroy Fer had too much time and space to send a dangerous delivery into the box, and Abraham got in front of Martin Kelly to tuck the chance past Hennessey from close range and hand them the lead at the break.
And two minutes after the restart it got even worse. Having just seen a header from a corner saved by Lukasz Fabianski, Kelly was caught in possession on the halfway line by Kyle Naughton who instantly played in Ayew, and the Ghanaian charged forward before rounding Hennessey and rolling the ball into the empty net.
Desperately needing something, Townsend was proving to be the main threat for the Eagles as he began t pepper the goal. Three times he tried to reduce the deficit, firstly curling an attempt goalwards but couldn’t find the required accuracy, then tried his luck from the opposite flank but could only scuff one at Fabianski’s goal, and again fired wide with 15 minutes to go.
Late on the Swans were content to soak up the pressure and Yohan Cabaye flashed a free-kick over the top before Townsend had another go when a slice from Alfie Mawson landed kindly into this path but taking aim for the bottom corner he miscued and sent it just wide, and McArthur had the final attempt with an overhead kick which flashed over, but the wait for the first point, and goal, continues.
Palace: Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Tomkins (Kelly 41), Ward, McArthur, Milivojevic (Cabaye 58), Puncheon, Van Aanholt (Lee 46), Townsend, Benteke. Subs not used: Speroni, Schlupp, Lokilo, Anderson.
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton (Rangel 88), Mawson, Fernandez, Van Der Hoorn (Routledge 59), Olsson, Clucas, Carroll, Fer, Ayew, Abraham (McBurnie 78). Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Fulton, Mesa, Narsingh.