Patrick Vieira led his first match in charge at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace welcomed Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening, with Academy players Jesurun Rakl-Sakyi and Scott Banks netting the home side's pair in a 2-2 draw.
Patrick Vieira makes several changes – handing Marc Guéhi his first start and naming four Academy players at kick-off
Jesurun Rak-Sakyi opens the scoring by deflecting Craig MacGillivary home
The game is fairly even throughout the first-half
Charlton pull level shortly before half-time when Jayden Stockley turned in from a corner
Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Charlton Athletic
Rak-Sakyi is ruled offside after netting on the rebound of a smart MacGillivary double-save
Vieira makes a batch of changes, bringing on five established first-teamers and later Rob Street for Rak-Sakyi, who enjoyed an impressive evening
Banks puts Palace back in the lead with a first-time strike
Josh Davidson restores parity with a 79th-minute volley
Full-time: Crystal Palace 2-2 Charlton Athletic
Under glaring sun and in their new, eye-catching third kit, Palace began the evening brightly – enjoying a large amount of possession and settling into the game with some impressive passing moves.
Charlton enjoyed the first serious chance, but the visitors’ over-hit through-ball towards Diallang Jaiyesimi was little concern for Jack Butland, whose high line in goal paid off.
Later, James Tomkins recovered perfectly from a slight slip to dispossess Jayden Stockley in the box before moving athletically to knock a looping header over the bar.
The various half-chances gave Charlton a foothold in the game, and both sides enjoyed more equal possession as the clock ticked towards 10 minutes.
The next chance would fall to Palace, albeit in more seemingly innocuous circumstances than their guests’. Charlton goalkeeper Craig MacGillivary had the ball at his feet around the 15th-minute and, attempting to play out from the back, was put under relentless pressure by Jesurun Rak-Sakyi.
The teenage winger’s determination paid off when MacGillivary went to clear the ball and instead struck his adversary, Rak-Sakyi deflecting home from barely three yards.
The goal put Palace in a comfortable position and the Eagles looked assured in their play. But that wasn’t to say Charlton sat back to regroup from the disappointment, and Marc Guéhi was made to show his strength when intercepting a cross towards Stockley after 26 minutes.
By the half-hour mark, Palace were largely in control, and Charlton were frustrated to scupper a handful of crosses that were easily dealt with or miscued entirely.
However Nigel Adkins’ men atoned for their earlier inaccuracies shortly before half-time, when Stockley broke through in a crowded penalty area to turn-in a well-placed corner.
A late Palace push to regain their lead before half-time saw Jairo Riedewald and Cheikhou Kouyate – an unlikely attacking pair – work their way into Charlton’s box well, however the former was crowded out and the ball punted away to safety. Jordan Ayew was next to try his luck, but a forceful shot from right of the box nestled squarely in MacGillivary’s gloves.
The second-half began in a similar fashion to the first, with both sides looking comfortable and Charlton creating several tame chances after a roster of substitutes. One saw Charles Clayden whip in a teasing cross which Butland held low to the ground.
But the real drama came at the other end of the pitch, with MacGillivary blocking a goal-bound Tomkins volley, leaping back up to tip Kouyate’s rebound onto the woodwork and Rak-Sakyi eventually getting the ball in the back of the net only to be flagged offside.
Rak-Sakyi – in promising attacking form – was involved again shortly after as he beat his man on the wing with encouragement from the crowd before launching a troubling cross into the box. The visitors cleared the ball before dealing with a pair of further Palace efforts, this time from Scott Banks and James McArthur.
Vieira’s five substitutions in the 61st-minute made an immediate impact, and Jean-Philippe Mateta was only beaten by inches as he stretched to turn home Rak-Sakyi’s squared ball into a near-empty net.
Mateta was to be more fortunate a while later, as he collected the ball, held up play and fed a smart pass into Banks’ path. Pushing high up the pitch, the Scottish teenager struck first time and sent an effort whistling past MacGillivary to restore Palace’s lead in style.
No sooner were the Eagles ahead than they were again forced level, however, as Josh Davidson volleyed home from within the box after dispossessing his marker.
With more Academy lads now on the pitch - John-Kymani Gordon, Rob Street and Nya Kirby - Palace mounted a spirited effort to regain their advantage for a third time.
But their efforts were in vain as Charlton pushed back and held on to secure a 2-2 draw at the end of a close-fought clash.
Stay tuned for highlights and reaction via Palace TV!
Palace: Butland (Guaita 61), Riedewald (Kirby 82), Guéhi (Jach 75), Kelly (Clyne 75), Tomkins (Mitchell 61), Kouyate, Wells-Morrison (Schlupp 61), M.Boateng (McArthur 61), Rak-Sakyi (Street 70), Banks (Gordon 82), Ayew (Mateta 61).
Subs not used: Matthews, Hannam, Steele.
Charlton: MacGillivray, Gunter (Roddy 75), Dobson (Dempsey 45), Famewo (Barker 45), Pearce, Jaiyesimi (Clayden 45), Stockley, Morgan (Gomes 45), Washington (Ghandour 45), Matthews (Elerewe 45), Clare (Vennings 45).
Subs not used: Harness, Powell, Bakrin, Davison, Harvey.