Skip navigation
Crystal palace

      Report & Highlights: Eze strike secures friendly win over Bodø/Glimt

      Crystal Palace
      Eze 23'

      Ebere Eze’s fine first-half finish was enough to settle a hard-fought mid-season friendly against Norwegian champions Bodø/Glimt in Marbella.


      • Ahamada starts for Palace against Norwegian champions
      • Johnstone keeps out low Berg effort
      • Mateta almost picks out Muñoz unmarked in front of goal
      • Ahamada curls against the bar on 23 minutes
      • Low rocket from Eze gives Palace the lead seconds later
      • Gundersen prevents Ahamada from doubling the lead with tap-in
      • Johnstone denies Zugelj from tight angle
      • HT: Palace 1-0 Bodø/Glimt
      • Palace name fully-changed second-half XI
      • Ayew sees free-kick deflect away from goal
      • Schlupp runs clear but has low effort kicked away by Haug
      • Glimt press for equaliser but young Palace line holds firm
      • Devenny denied debut goal by impressive low save by Haug
      • FT: Palace 1-0 Bodø/Glimt
      Match Action: Crystal Palace 1-0 Bodø Glimt

      The Eagles were taking on the reigning Norwegian champions at the culmination of a week’s warm-weather training camp in Marbella, making the most of a three-week spell without a competitive fixture scheduled.

      As a result, manager Oliver Glasner opted to name separate starting XIs for either half; in the first, Naouirou Ahamada came into the side for Jordan Ayew, with the team otherwise unchanged from that which started against Luton Town on Saturday.

      Glimt themselves, however, are only a fortnight out from their 2024 season kicking off, and having won three of the last four Eliteserien titles – and taken Ajax to extra-time in the UEFA Europa Conference League recently – they offered opposition of real quality.

      It was no surprise to see both teams make bright starts in the Marbella sunshine, Palace pressing up the pitch, getting the ball forwards quickly and playing high-tempo football, whilst Glimt sought to get their foot on the ball and string together passes.

      The Norwegian team had the first clear opportunity of the game: a clever interchange of passes around the Palace box seeing Albert Grønbæk backheel into the path of Patrick Berg – but his low effort was easily held by Sam Johnstone.

      But Palace almost hit back immediately, a cute ball from Ebere Eze freeing Jean-Philippe Mateta to scamper down the left channel. Wrapping his foot around the ball, his cross bounced inside the area and almost landed perfectly for the unmark Daniel Muñoz to strike, unmarked – but the ball skipped up awkwardly and the chance was gone.

      Clear chances were proving hard to come by, and so it was going to take a moment of inspiration to break the deadlock – and Ahamada came within inches of providing it.

      Linking up with Muñoz on the right flank, the Colombian’s return ball deflected off a Glimt defender and landed for Ahamada inside the box. He turned his defender and – from a tight angle – curled a cute effort against the crossbar, the ball bouncing clear.

      To Ahamada’s further credit, he did not dwell on it and – seconds later – assisted Eze with a soft lay-off on the edge of the box.

      Eze’s finish was superb: taking the shot early, but powerfully, the placement on the strike, across goalkeeper Kjetil Haug, beat the ‘stopper’s low despairing dive.

      Glimt continued to have the majority of possession in the half but it was Palace who provided the more dangerous moments; Ahamada was inches away from a tap-in after Mateta fizzed the ball across the face of goal, but Glimt’s Brede Moe somehow got back in the nick of time to clip it away.

      With half-time moments away, the Norwegians did create one final clear chance as an early ball forwards saw Nino Zugelj run clear, but – with no players in support and from a tight angle – his fierce was beaten away with two hands by Johnstone.

      When the two teams emerged for the second-half, they were vastly differently: completely so, in Palace’s case, with 11 fresh pairs of legs taking to the field.

      Among them were debutants Danny Imray, Justin Devenny and Franco Umeh, who joined Academy products Kaden Rodney and David Ozoh out on the field.

      A youthful backline was complemented by the experience of Nathaniel Clyne and James Tomkins, but it was Imray who impressed in the early stages of the half with an important interception as Glimt sought out an equaliser.

      Perhaps inevitably, chances proved few and far between in the second-half – but as Glimt dominated possession, Palace continued to enjoy the better opportunities.

      An early ball forwards from Will Hughes set Jeffrey Schlupp running in on goal midway through the half. Doing well to hold off the defender, the flight of the ball took the No. 15 away from goal – and his poked effort was eventually denied by the outstretched boot of Haug.

      Indeed, for all of Glimt’s ball retention, Palace perhaps ought to have settled the game with eight minutes remaining. A quickly-taken free-kick saw bodies pour into the box, and Clyne’s cut-back deflected perfectly into the young midfielder’s path – his low, guided finish was kicked away by Haug to deny Devnny a dream debut.

      In the closing stages, Glimt pressed for an equaliser – but it was to a young Palace XI’s utmost credit that no clear chances came to pass, as the Eagles completed a productive week in Marbella with a strong victory.

      Palace first-half XI: Johnstone (GK), Muñoz, Ward, Andersen, Richards, Mitchell, Wharton, Lerma, Ahamada, Eze, Mateta.

      Palace second-half XI: Henderson (GK), Clyne, Imray, Tomkins, Rodney, Umeh, Ozoh, Hughes, Devenny, Ayew, Schlupp.

      Subs: Matthews (GK)

      Bodø/Glimt: Haug (GK), Wembangomo (Bassi, 68), Moe (Bjørtuft, 61), Gundersen (Sørensen, 83), Bjørkan (Lode, 83), Sjøvold, Berg, Grønbæk, Zugelj (Sørli, 68), Saltnes, Hauge.

      Subs: Brøndbo (GK), Kapskarmo, Berntsen.

      As It Happened