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First Team

McArthur: A Fine Team Performance

16 December 2017

James McArthur came off the bench in midweek to score the winner but on Saturday afternoon was back in the starting eleven and once again part of a side picking up three points, this time against Leicester City.

The fact that the first three points on their travels this season came about was nothing more than he was expecting based on recent performances and he put it down to a fine all round team performance.

“It was a great result but we have been playing well and came here with confidence and that showed in our performance this afternoon.

“We were solid from the off and tried to nullify their attacking players like Mahrez and when we do a good job at the back it gives the forward players the opportunity to go and express themselves and they did that in this game"

McArthur was one of two changes that were made to the side by Roy Hodgson and it showed that those that have been waiting for their opportunity were ready to take the chance.  

“As I said earlier in the week everyone needs to be ready and those that came in today showed that they were and that’s important because it is a squad game and not just a case of eleven players going out there week in and week out".

Christian Benteke’s 19th minute goal meant that the striker has now scored 24 headed goals in the top flight since making his Premier League debut in September 2012 and the Scotland international was pleased to see the striker take his chance whilst also praising another Man Of The Match performance from Wilfried Zaha.  

“Christian has been playing really well and obviously in recent weeks it has not quite fallen for him in front of goal but today he was outstanding again and I am glad for him that he has the goal against his name.

“Wilf is on fire at the moment, he keeps performing every week and people are noticing how well he is doing and thankfully again he produced again with a well taken goal.”

Today’s clean sheet means that Palace haven’t conceded in their last three away games and that is a top flight record for the club. Midfielder McArthur paid tribute to another fine display by Julian Speroni as he equalled the number of clean sheets kept by Nigel Martyn during the former England international's career in SE25  

“Julian produced a very good save at an important time, and this followed on from him doing the same thing the other night so credit to him, he’s keeping the goals out and that obviously is helping us as a team.”

Unbeaten runs breed confidence in a side and he puts the continued improvement down to the new training methods under Hodgson and the quality the side have at both ends of the pitch.

“That’s seven games now unbeaten so we just need to keep this run going and when you are going through a run like this complacency can set in but we will make sure it doesn’t. You look at Leicester today and wonder maybe whether a bit of that set in with them but we will make sure we are on it again in training and be ready for next match.

“The manager has had a big impact, he’s made us more solid and we’ve started to get clean sheets now and when that starts happening together with the attacking prowess that we have then you are always going to be dangerous."

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