Roy Hodgson expressed his admiration for Aston Villa’s counter-attacking prowess as Palace fell to a 3-0 defeat on Boxing Day.
“We all know in the Premier League how important the first goal is,” he said in his post-match press conference. “If you can get it, it can give you a considerable edge. Recently we’ve been conceding early goals.”
Wilfried Zaha went close after 30 seconds before Villa took the lead moments later.
“We almost had a goal ourselves in the first couple of minutes. We had an excellent chance and Wilf [Zaha] was unlucky not to score, so it was almost the other way around.
“But when they score their goal after five minutes we know it’s going to be harder. That’s what the first goal is so important in Premier League matches, because it does give the opportunity for the opposition to sit back and defend well and enjoy the counter-attack, and a team like Aston Villa has very good attacking players.”
Hodgson said the quick turnaround before the game against Leicester on Monday, 28th December could be a blessing in disguise: “I don’t think it would have been a good thing for us to dwell on it any longer than we had to.
“But I do think we have to analyse it, we have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask ‘what have we done wrong? What could we have done to prevent this?’ We are going to have to make certain that we find out a way around that and try to prevent it happening again in two days time.”