As it happened: Palace 3-1 Villa - follow reaction to action-packed win
Crystal Palace beat Aston Villa in a remarkably busy clash at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon. Ollie Watkins and Wilfried Zaha bagged early goals, before Zaha and Jean-Philippe Mateta made it three to secure three thoroughly entertaining points.
- Patrick Vieira makes one change for this clash: bringing in Odsonne Edouard for Nathaniel Clyne
- Ollie Watkins puts Villa ahead after four minutes
- Wilfried Zaha levels it for Palace with a well-taken effort just minutes later
- In a hugely eventful first-half Eberechi Eze keeps Villa alert with confident play
- Jeffrey Schlupp puts Palace ahead for a moment, only for VAR to cut his celebrations short with Odsonne Edouard found to be offside
- Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Aston Villa
- The second-half starts as brightly as the first, with both sides creating several chances
- Zaha puts Palace into the lead as he scores on the rebound of a saved penalty
- Jean-Philippe Mateta makes it three moments after coming on, turning home from Tyrick Mitchell’s cross
- Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa
When football entertains, it truly delivers. Crystal Palace’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa was one such clash, with a 90-minute spectacle gripping from start to finish.
It began on the wrong foot for Palace as Ollie Watkins bagged after four minutes to steal a Villa lead at the first chance.
Unsettling as the early goal was Palace weren’t to be disheartened, and pushed back with force immediately. Wilfried Zaha ensured Villa’s lead was fleeting by bagging his third goal from four games.
With two notched on the board inside the opening seven minutes the match would be eventful whatever happened next, but thankfully for those watching it continued in break-neck fashion.
Both sides landed or created plenty of chances and a third goal felt inevitable. Jeffrey Schlupp thought he’d claimed it and wheeled off in delight to celebrate with the fans, but his coolly-taken finish was eventually ruled out for an offside in the buildup.
Palace had to contend with being level going into half-time but no one watching would have predicted the score to final score as 1-1. And so it proved when the second-half began and Palace and Villa again began to push at one another’s defence.
After 50 minutes the hosts showed themselves to be the most dominant team, searching hungrily for the lead that had evaded them before. It came when Marc Guéhi headed at goal only for the ball to thwack Lucas Digne’s arm and be saved by ‘keeper Emi Martínez.
Again VAR intervened, but this time in Palace’s favour – and Zaha stepped up to strike from 12 yards. Martínez blocked the Ivorian’s effort but was still scrambling up when Zaha strode forward and smartly placed the ball into the other side of the net.
With a 2-1 lead secured Patrick Vieira went for broke: bringing on attacking substitutes Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
It was an inspired move. With the instructions fresh in his ear, Mateta bore down on goal and volleyed in with his first touch of the day, Tyrick Mitchell providing the assist with an excellent cross from the left.
Zaha discusses brace
Discussing both goals post-match, Zaha said: “The ball just broke through, I think it was Eddy [Odsonne Edouard] who took a little touch and it was into my path. I was running and just thinking not to let the goalkeeper set himself. So as I was running I just hit across him and it went into the back of the net.
“I’m going to miss some and going to score some [penalties]. As long as I scored at the end of the day. He’s a good goalkeeper but all I care about is scoring the goal in the end.”
From the gaffer
“I’m really pleased, delighted," Vieira said post-match. "We had a really good performance today. We went through a difficult period but we remained calm, determined and competed well. At times we played some really good football today so I’m really pleased with the quality and attitude we showed today."
Eze: "I feel free"
Eberechi Eze said post-match that he "feels free" during the vein of form he's in.
"It’s good to be starting and playing and enjoying my football," he said. "I feel free and that’s what I want to continue.
"In midfield I can get on the ball and be effective and it’s just a good team to play in. People want to give you the ball and play and today it worked for us."
Have your say
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Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa
A game to remember and we're going for a lie down.
Stay tuned for the Man of the Match vote and all the post-match reaction!
Welcome to Selhurst, Chris
Chris Richards makes his Selhurst debut in place of Eberechi Eze.
Great shift, Ebs.
Hughesy getting involved
On an afternoon like this it feels like anything can happen, but Will Hughes can't bag a 90th-minute fourth as Martinez blocks his shot. The Palace midfielder was through one-on-one.
We're ticking closer to 90 minutes and Palace are looking solid, doing the work required of them at this stage.
On: Luka Milivojević and Will Hughes
Off: Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp
Zaha leaves the field after a sensational display, geeing his teammates up as he leaves.
On: Philippe Coutinho and Douglas Luiz
Off: John McGinn and Emiliano Buendía
BOOM! Palace 3-1 Villa
What a substitution! Mateta makes an instant impact by adding Palace's third moments after taking to the field.
He volleys in from the edge of the six-yard box with - we think - his first touch.
On: Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michael Olise
Off: Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew
Two massive shifts from Edouard and Ayew, and the crowd rightly sing the latter's name.
It looks like Vieira's going for more.
On: Danny Ings
Off: Leon Bailey
McGinn is testing his luck somewhat, cynically felling Zaha despite being on a yellow card.
Joel Ward and Marc Guéhi have a lengthy conversation with the referee.
GOALLLLLL: Palace 2-1 Villa
Zaha finds the net second time around as he calmly slots home on the rebound from Martínez's penalty save.
COME ON, PALACE!
VAR: Palace penalty
Madley's heads to the monitor checking for a Digne handball and rules in Palace's favour, handing the Eagles a penalty. Wilfried Zaha picks up the ball.
Palace are really knocking on Villa's door here, with Guéhi heading downwards at Martínez, striking Lucas Digne and forcing the 'keeper into an excellent save.
Ayew does well on the right and selflessly chooses to move the ball inside rather than cut in and shoot.
He plays it flat to Edouard, whose first-time shot goes narrowly wide.
Nothing's changed so far, with Villa thwacking the crossbar through Leon Bailey and Edouard breaking immediately to the other end.
Jordan Ayew is fed-through into the box but, under pressure from Martínez and with the ball running away from him he can only poke into the 'keeper.
And we're back
Let's hope for more of the same this half.
Palace stats shown first
- Shots: 5 v 3
- Possession: 56% v 44%
- Free-kicks won: 8 v 6
- Yellow cards: 1 v 1
Half-time: Palace 1-1 Villa
What a half that was. Time for a much-needed breather.
WHAT A SAVE
Vicente Guaita proves his worth yet again with a close-range reaction save to prevent Emiliano Buendía from striking in.
Jordan Ayew plants the ball low to Emi Martínez's left, but the 'keeper gets down fast to palm it to safety.
It's a great game here at Selhurst.
Don't just take our word for it...
Wilf goes into the book for a foul on McGinn.
STOP. IT. EBS.
That is sublime from Eze. The midfielder skips past five Villa players to carry the ball from his own half deep into Villa's, and even retains possession when John McGinn brings him down off the ball.
The referee waves advantage before Odsonne Edouard is also fouled, and McGinn sees a yellow that's seemed destined for some time.
The resulting free-kick hits the wall.
Stop it, Ebs
Eberechi Eze tees-up a promising counter with a delightful piece of skill. With assists against Montpelier and Liverpool, he's looking good for another today.
Jeffrey Schlupp scores an excellent effort to put Palace ahead - but only for a moment.
VAR intervenes to rule it out, with Odsonne Edouard found to be offside.
Tensions are flaring a bit here. Referee Andy Madley has had the game paused for some time as he deals with a series of scraps while, ironically, awaiting a free-kick.
Well in, Ty
Villa look dangerous when they break, and Matty Clash has kept Tyrick Mitchell occupied in defending Palace's left flank.
The young full-back does well to deflect Cash's cross to safety.
With the wind in their sails Palace are really pushing Villa.
After winning back to back corners the hosts go close as Jeffrey Schlupp knocks his header wide of goal.
What a start. Selhurst is rocking as the sun bursts through the clouds. With two goals in eight minutes and both sides keeping each other alert, this afternoon could well be a memorable one.
GOAL! Palace 1-1 Villa - back in it
Zaha bags an excellent goal after running the length of Villa's half to put his side back in the game.
An excellent response from the south Londoners, and Zaha's second in two matches.
Goal: Palace 0-1 Villa
Villa take the lead through Ollie Watkins, who breaks through the backline and strikes low past Vicente Guaita.
We're underway at Selhurst Park.
Can't make it today?
Not long to go
In other news...
Palace's Under-18s thumped Villa 4-0 earlier today, with Junior Dixon scoring twice. Can lightning strike twice?
Elsewhere on-loan Academy attacker Scott Banks bagged for Bradford City within five minutes of kick-off.
Guess the score
All Palace Members and Season Ticket+ holders can be in with the chance of winning a signed shirt by correctly guessing the game's score.
Villa: "Really compact"
More from Vieira: "[Villa are] a really compact team. They’ve got pace, they’ve got quality, they can score goals up-front. It’s going to be a tough game because physically they’re a really strong side. We have to be composed, have to remain calm and have to play our game – put them under pressure and win the ball as high as we can."
Villa typically play in quite a narrow formation. It was 4-1-2-1-2 against Everton, with Boubacar Kamara shielding the back four and Philippe Coutinho propping up the attack in a midfield diamond.
Against Bournemouth this was a more conventional 4-3-3, but in both formations the Villans played narrowly. They play without wingers, with young Jacob Ramsey capable of joining an attack – he upped his goals tally from none to six between 20/21 and 21/22.
Vieira explains team news
Here's what the gaffer said pre-match: "We are just going back to our normal formation, a 4-3-3, and what will be important is the animation: how compact this team can be. We will have to move the ball and given our width with Wardy on one side and Tyrick on the other, we should create situations where we can score goals."
Meeting the fans
Palace Women are here today meeting supporters, and will also be introduced to the crowd at half-time.
Palace fans are encouraged to back the team at Hayes Lane on Saturday, August 27th (19:00 kick-off) as they seek to build on a record-breaking fourth-place finish in 21/22. Grab your tickets now here!
The teams are in, with Vieira making one change: Odsonne Edouard for Nathaniel Clyne.
Palace: Guaita, Mitchell, Guéhi, Andersen, Ward, Schlupp, Doucouré, Eze, Ayew, Zaha, Edouard.
Subs: Johnstone (GK), Whitworth (GK), Clyne, Richards, Hughes, Milivojević, Ebiowei, Olise, Mateta.
Villa: Martínez (GK), Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Kamara, McGinn, Buendía, Bailey, Ramsey, Watkins.
Subs: Olsen (GK), Chambers, Augustinsson, Young, Luiz, Nakamba, Archer, Coutinho, Ings
With just 20 minutes to go until team news is released, here’s how both sides look in their fitness:
Villa will be without key recent signing Diego Carlos, who suffered an Achilles injury. Philippe Coutinho and Matty Cash were both doubts before the game but have been confirmed as fit to play.
Defender Kortney Hause has been in training but has been out for six weeks.
“I refused it. I didn’t want it.”
The matchday programme is available for supporters to read here, including Marc Guéhi’s story of initially rejecting the captain’s armband.
He also reveals a passion for Cuba – though doesn’t quite explain why – discusses his self-imposed social media ban and explains why he’d always listen to mum and dad.
From the gaffer
Before the game Patrick Vieira spoke of his admiration for opposite number Steven Gerrard.
Between them the former players amassed 811 Premier League appearances (Vieira 307, Gerrard 504) and won 17 major English trophies (Vieira 11, Gerrard six).
But today what matters is who earns the points. Discussing Gerrard’s career, Vieira said: "He was part of those holding midfielders who brought more creativity going forward, scoring goals, and this is one of the reasons why managers are being more demanding on holding midfielders.
"Twenty years ago a holding midfielder got the ball and just gave it left or right, but now the game has completely changed because of players like Steven Gerrard.”
You can read more from the gaffer here.
Without wishing to dampen spirits, supporters are reminded of major travel disruption for today’s game.
If you’re just heading out or are en route already, please do check your journey here. And maybe walk a bit faster.
As has become custom under Vieira, the players have been here for some time already.
Last time out
Palace will start with a certain confidence this afternoon after performing well against Liverpool last time out.
The Eagles took the lead through Wilfried Zaha and conceded just once during an offensive onslaught from their guests to secure a point.
Vieira’s gameplan was clear and effective, and during the week he said he hopes to find consistency in performances of that calibre.
Refresh your memory below.
Palace are back in action after earning a well-deserved point against Liverpool last time out.
They host a Villa side who surprisingly lost to Bournemouth on the opening day of the season before finding redemption in a 2-1 win over Everton.
With the south Londoners facing two of the country's top teams in their first fixtures, today could provide the most accurate yardstick for the season ahead.
It's a battle of iconic former midfielders in the dugout and two evenly-matched, recently enhanced teams on the pitch.
Stay tuned for the 15:00 BST kick-off.