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City Storm The Palace As Warnock Cries Malice

Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Bristol City 


By Bristol Boy


After getting back on track, albeit in defeat at Bramall Lane, City continued their impressive form and performance level with a win at what was something of a bogey ground… well, for the last forty eight years, anyway!


The result, whilst vital, didn’t impress me and, perhaps the watching millions as much as the performance. City retained the ball and, whilst the possession stats show that Palace had slightly more of the ball (surprised me) City used it far better and gave a master class in movement & threat at times after an uncertain opening five or ten minutes.


With a rejuvenated Lee Trundle combining well with his strike partner (I haven’t used that phrase often this season) Dele Adebola, Palace were often on the back foot and, even in the goalless first half, Sperroni had more to do than in the whole game the last time we visited Selhurst Park.


McIndoe’s run forward could have brought a penalty as City combined well in the final third but Basso had to be on his toes to keep out the lively Sinclair after he foxed Jamie McCombe.


The engine room of Nick Carle, Marvin Elliott & born again David Noble, retained the ball and probed away at Palace and we looked far stronger as the game wore on and City’s fitness & strength was a major factor in the victory.


McIndoe was clever & bright in possession and abandoned his gypsy tendencies to help McAllister cope with Sinclair.


At the back Carey & McCombe survived the odd scare against the CCC’s form team who had pasted Burnley 5-0 last time out and ably supported by the industrious Carle & Elliott and full backs Orr & McAllister they ensured Basso had a relatively stress free afternoon.


Gone were the whoosh tactics that plagued our run-in and back came the quality & passing that typified our better, early season efforts.


Adebola’s turns & powerful surges into the box were causing panic in Palace’s normally well drilled backline and Carle was unlucky not to score from the big Liverpudlian’s cut back. Dele ran the channels as well as Lee Trundle, whose neat first touches and movement off the front line gave him the ability to turn & find his colleagues in forward areas.


At half-time, I would have settled for a draw and thought we could edge it.  At ninety minutes, I was disappointed that Louis Carey's super strike from a training ground free kick first used at Blackpool two season’s ago and David Noble’s thirty yard thunderbolt had not given us a victory margin that not even the staunchest Palace supporter could begrudge. However, I’d have taken 2-1 at 12.15 and I’ll take a similar performance and result on Tuesday at Ashton Gate.


Time to enjoy the win, keep our feet on the floor, forget Wembley until we’re actually there and finish the job.


Over to you Gary & well done to you and the back room team because the tactics, set up and attitude were 100% spot on.


City lined up 4-4-2:

























Subs (used)




Not used:







Passing: 8/10


Set Pieces: 8/10


Commitment: 9/10


Entertainment Value: 8/10


Defending: 8/10


Attacking: 8/10




BASSO: 7/10 Mostly regulation stuff and no chance with the penalty although he guessed right again


ORR: 6/10:Comes down one for the rick in the defending that led to the penalty but otherwise a sound game.


CAREY: 8/10 Superb goal at the end of a magnificent free kick but, having watched it again on the box, it looked a pen. Strong display of leadership and slowly getting back to his best.


MCCOMBE: 8/10 After the odd shaky moment at the start, led the team with Carey and defended strongly.


MCALLISTER: 7/10 Had his hands full with the pacey & tricky Sinclair but linked well with McIndoe and added some calm to our defending. Retained possession in the final third.  


CARLE: 8/10 Another display that included some bravery as well as the excellent movement, balance, passing, retention & control that personifies his game and an assist at last as his header to Noble led to the winner.


ELLIOTT: 6/10 Not at his best and the passing wasn’t great, but worked hard to help our defence against powerful and pacey opponents who didn’t get a look in very often.


NOBLE: 8/10 Goal of the season and fit to win any game. The lad’s pure quality when he gets his head right and he also played a major part in Carey’s opener.


MCINDOE: 8/10 Another all action display and isn’t it great when he sticks closer to his wing and links up? Could have had a penalty, but it cuts both ways and Carle was lucky not to concede one in some ways. Some lovely combinations with Trundle &  Adebola in the final third.


TRUNDLE: 8/10 Control & menace throughout. Dropped off and gave the midfield options and has added strength and will to win to the technical quality.


ADEBOLA: 8/10 Almost opened the scoring when he out muscled Palace’s central defenders for a header that was saved by the outstanding Sperroni. Turned and ran at Palace and frightened them to death as well as holding the ball up





FONTAINE: 6/10 Cameo.


JOHNSON: 6/10 Cameo


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