Premier League
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace2Aston VillaAston Villa1

Crystal Palace 2-1 Aston Villa

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Bakary Sako
Mali international Bakary Sako spent three seasons at Wolves before joining Crystal Palace on a free transfer in the summer

Bakary Sako scored a dramatic late winner on his debut as Crystal Palace beat Aston Villa at Selhurst Park.

Palace, who had an earlier goal disallowed when James McArthur was adjudged offside, went ahead when Scott Dann headed in Jason Puncheon's corner.

Villa levelled when Eagles defender Pape Souare deflected the ball into his own net after Adama Traore's run.

But Sako, who had twice been denied by keeper Brad Guzan, netted a fine winner after Jordan Amavi had lost the ball.

The full-back lost possession close to his own goal and Dann slid a pass to Sako to score on his debut after leaving Wolves on a free transfer in the summer.

This result means Palace have won two of their first three matches of the season, but Villa have now only scored two goals and won one match in the same period.

Relive Crystal Palace's dramatic win against Aston Villa

Reaction to every Premier League game here

Villa wasteful in front of goal again

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said his side deserved a point and they can be boosted by a hugely impressive 20-minute appearance from substitute Traore, who was making his debut after a £7m move from Barcelona.

Tim Sherwood 'bitterly disappointed' with defeat

Traore helped create Villa's goal, running with the ball from the right wing to the byeline before his pull-back bounced off Souare and into the net.

However, Sherwood will be concerned by his other strikers. Rudy Gestede, making his first start for the club, twice should have done better with headers that went well wide. Gabriel Agbonlahor's pace tormented Palace's Joel Ward but the Villa man should have scored when he was one-on-one with Alex McCarthy.

Last season only relegated Burnley (28) scored fewer goals than Villa (31) and goals again seem to be a worry for Sherwood's side, who no longer have Christian Benteke.

Pardew changes inspire Palace

Palace had been unimpressive in the first half with only one shot on goal, but two changes at half-time from boss Alan Pardew made a major difference.

Pardew: Palace won by skin of our teeth

Bringing on Dwight Gayle and Jordon Mutch for the ineffective Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray caused Villa problems.

Palace had the ball in the net after Gayle's shot had bounced off McArthur, who was offside, before Dann - tipped for an England call-up by Pardew - scored the hosts' first goal.

Palace got lucky with their winning goal after Amavi's error, but they are now fourth in the table and Pardew will be hoping to guide his side to an even higher position this year than their 10th-placed finish last season.

Man of the match - Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace)

Bakary Sako
Bakary Sako has four goals and three assists in his last eight league appearances for Wolves and Crystal Palace

Manager quotes

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: "We got a real grip of the game in the second half. Villa were terrific today. Regarding the disallowed goal, Macca (James McArthur) was offside when Gayle's shot hit him. The referee got it spot on."

On match winner Bakary Sako: "We've seen the power of Sako in training. This guy has come in to score goals. This win is for Yannick [Bolasie, who was given compassionate leave following a family bereavement]."

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood: "To lose it so late was disappointing. I thought we were very good in the first half. We scored the goal and came back into it.

"We saw a young player with no fear like Adama Traore. On the flip side you have young players that make mistakes and Jordan Amavi hasn't made many, but he did today and has to learn from it."

The stats you need to know

Bakary Sako
Bakary Sako's attempts on goal
  • Crystal Palace have scored 16 set piece goals since Alan Pardew was named as their manager; more than any other Premier League side in that period.
  • Since the start of last season, only one Englishman (Jordan Henderson 10) has more Premier League assists than Jason Puncheon (nine, level with Leighton Baines and Jamie Vardy).
  • Sako attempted six shots (excluding blocked) and five shots on target - no player has attempted more in a single Premier League game this season.
  • Thirteen of Bakary Sako's last 18 league goals have come on home soil.
  • The Eagles did not score a single Premier League own goal last season; they have scored two in their last two games.
  • Crystal Palace have only lost one of their last seven Premier League encounters with Aston Villa, winning four and drawing two.
  • The Villans have scored just three goals in their last 11 trips to London in the Premier League.


Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12McCarthy
  • 2WardBooked at 18mins
  • 6Dann
  • 27Delaney
  • 23Souaré
  • 18McArthur
  • 7CabayeBooked at 50minsSubstituted forJedinakat 82'minutes
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forGayleat 45'minutes
  • 42PuncheonBooked at 90mins
  • 26Sako
  • 17MurraySubstituted forMutchat 45'minutes


  • 8Bamford
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee
  • 15Jedinak
  • 16Gayle
  • 22Mutch
  • 34Kelly

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 7BacunaBooked at 86mins
  • 4Richards
  • 6ClarkBooked at 84mins
  • 23Amavi
  • 8Gueye
  • 24C SánchezSubstituted forTraoréat 69'minutes
  • 40Grealish
  • 15Westwood
  • 39GestedeBooked at 55mins
  • 11Agbonlahor


  • 2Baker
  • 9Sinclair
  • 17Veretout
  • 19J Ayew
  • 20Traoré
  • 21Hutton
  • 31Bunn
Keith Stroud

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 2, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 2, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa).

  5. Post update

    Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Booking

    Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

  10. Post update

    Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Crystal Palace 2, Aston Villa 1. Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Dann.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

  13. Booking

    Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Booking

    Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

  16. Post update

    Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

  18. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Pape Souaré (Crystal Palace).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Mile Jedinak replaces Yohan Cabaye.