Premier League
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Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff City: Hodgson frustrated by wasteful finishing

Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend hit the crossbar for Crystal Palace with one of their 31 attempts on goal

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says his team's wastefulness in front of goal has cost them a "lot more points" after a frustrating draw against Cardiff.

Palace peppered the Cardiff goal with 31 shots, their highest number since 2003-04, with Andros Townsend flicking a shot against the crossbar and Luka Milivojevic hitting the post for the hosts.

But their failure to build upon their clinical victory at Manchester City four days ago left Hodgson to rue the quality of their finishing.

"I'm pleased about the number of chances we created but I'm not pleased we didn't convert one of them," he said.

"It's something we've had to deal with for a large part of the season. If we had more fortune in front of goal then we would be nowhere near where we are, we'd have assembled a lot more points.

"Football is about scoring goals and taking those semi opportunities, which good goal scorers find a way of scoring."

Cardiff's ability to survive - particularly in the second period, when 23 shots rained in on Neil Etheridge's goal - ensured they collected their second point of the season on their travels to edge clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Still smarting from their 5-1 defeat to Manchester United, the visitors delivered the sort of performance that Neil Warnock sides are renowned for - doggedly defending and attempting to counter when possible.

While the Bluebirds had limited goal-scoring opportunities, they were denied the ultimate smash-and-grab victory by Palace keeper Vicente Guaita, who superbly saved from Kadeem Harris at point blank range.

The result leaves Palace in 14th place on 19 points while Cardiff remain 17th on 15 points.

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Roy Hodgson bemoans Palace lack of fortune in scoring

Zaha and Milivojevic set the tone for wasteful Palace

Wilf Zaha and Luka Milivojevic again played the role of main protagonists for Palace who controlled proceedings without delivering the precise finishing that upset Pep Guardiola's side.

The 27-year-old Serbian international has played more passes than any Palace player in seven of their last 10 outings but is also adept at altering his game to suit the circumstances.

And when Townsend was fouled by Cardiff midfielder Victor Camarasa he almost added to his tally of three goals in his last five outings. But he was unfortunate to see a perfectly executed free-kick from 20-yards cannon back off the left post.

Zaha was another to impress for Palace, conjuring chances and moments of excitement with deft flicks, like the one that set-up Townsend early on, and his close control bamboozled the visiting defenders throughout.

The Ivory Coast forward was also superbly denied by Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge late on, who tipped his fizzing drive away for a corner.

And while he could not deliver a knock-out blow for Palace, the inventiveness he displayed to provide Max Meyer and Connor Wickham with gilt-edged chances warranted more than the errant finishing that followed.

Stubborn Cardiff refuse to buckle

Cardiff arrived at Selhurst Park after averaging just 27% possession and three shots on target in their previous two defeats.

And put simply, in those 5-1 and 3-2 reverses they were guilty of turning over possession far too easily and too close to their own goal to gain positive results.

That trend continued into the first 25 minutes of this encounter before they found their feet with Junior Hoilett registering the Bluebirds' first shot on target after a move down the right.

Hoilett's touch then deserted him at the start of the second period as a promising opening concluded with a tame finish from a tight angle.

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Neil Warnock pleased to extend unbeaten run at Selhurst Park

While Harris could have won the game for Cardiff the result was largely constructed on their collective effort at the other end of the pitch.

"It would be the biggest achievement of my career by an absolute mile [to keep Cardiff up]," Warnock said.

"We're looking at bringing players in [in January] but it's not simple. We're not going to spend stupid money. One or two have done that in the past and it's not been the right thing for the club."

Aside from reinforcements, Warnock will also be reliant on his squad's ability to bounce back from damaging moments - a quality exemplified by defenders Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba.

The duo made just seven clearances in a shambolic display against United, but here they combined to make 24 as Cardiff players routinely obstructed the path towards their goal.

Fourteen Palace shots were blocked and when the Cardiff defence was breached, a combination of exerting enough pressure on the attackers and Etheridge's competency prevented Palace from breaking the deadlock.

Man of the match - Sean Morrison (Cardiff City)

Sean Morrison
Cardiff captain Sean Morrison typified their defensive resilience making 14 clearances and two interceptions

Battle of the golden oldies - the stats

  • Crystal Palace mustered 31 shots in the game, their highest tally of shots in a Premier League game since 2003-04.
  • Crystal Palace's 31 shots was the joint-most Cardiff have ever faced in a Premier League game, level with their clash with Norwich City in October 2013 which also ended 0-0.
  • Cardiff are winless in their last five league games played on Boxing Day (D2 L3), with their last such win coming against Crystal Palace in 2012-13 (2-1).
  • Crystal Palace have registered three consecutive home clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since April 2017.
  • This game was the first-ever Premier League meeting between two managers aged over 70, with Cardiff boss Neil Warnock aged 70y 25d and Crystal Palace's Roy Hodgson aged 71y 139d on the day of the game.
  • Each of Roy Hodgson's five Premier League games on Boxing Day have ended 0-0.
  • Cardiff manager Neil Warnock is unbeaten in his last 10 away league games at Selhurst Park (W6 D4).

What's next?

Crystal Palace welcome Chelsea to Selhurst Park on Sunday 30 December (12:00 GMT), while Cardiff travel to Leicester on Saturday 29th December (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 5Tomkins
  • 12Sakho
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 18McArthur
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 7MeyerSubstituted forWickhamat 63'minutes
  • 11Zaha
  • 10Townsend

Substitutes

  • 1Speroni
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 14J Ayew
  • 15Schlupp
  • 21Wickham
  • 42Puncheon

Cardiff

  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Peltier
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 4Morrison
  • 22BambaBooked at 31mins
  • 3Bennett
  • 23K Harris
  • 21CamarasaBooked at 77minsSubstituted forGunnarssonat 90+1'minutes
  • 8Ralls
  • 33HoilettBooked at 45minsSubstituted forArterat 90+2'minutes
  • 14Reid

Substitutes

  • 7Arter
  • 11Murphy
  • 12Smithies
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 18Cunningham
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 24Madine
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
25,206

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home31
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home12
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Crystal Palace 0, Cardiff City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 0, Cardiff City 0.

Attempt missed. Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Aron Gunnarsson following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Connor Wickham.

Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace).

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).

Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kadeem Harris.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Harry Arter replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Aron Gunnarsson replaces Víctor Camarasa.

Attempt saved. Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.

Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Offside, Cardiff City. David Junior Hoilett tries a through ball, but Bobby Reid is caught offside.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Sean Morrison.

Attempt missed. James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Connor Wickham.

Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Attempt blocked. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Neil Etheridge.

Attempt saved. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by James McArthur.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Connor Wickham.

Attempt saved. Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Booking

Víctor Camarasa (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

Attempt blocked. Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

Offside, Cardiff City. Bruno Ecuele Manga tries a through ball, but Sean Morrison is caught offside.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace).

Bobby Reid (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1916304373651
2Tottenham19150442182445
3Man City19142351153644
4Chelsea19124337162140
5Arsenal19115341251638
6Man Utd199553731632
7Leicester198472422228
8Everton197663129227
9Watford198382627-127
10Wolves197572022-226
11Bournemouth198292733-626
12West Ham187382527-224
13Brighton196492127-622
14Crystal Palace1954101725-819
15Newcastle1945101426-1217
16Southampton183691933-1415
17Cardiff1943121838-2015
18Burnley1933131741-2412
19Fulham1925121743-2611
20Huddersfield1924131234-2210
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