CRYSTAL PALACE manager Roy Hodgson was delighted with their first league win of 2020 as they beat Newcastle United 1-0, thanks to free kick by Patrick Van Aanholt on the stroke of half time, reports the Voice of Sport from Selhurst Park (Feb 22).
Palace who have been a mixed bag this season – particularly at home – dominated this game despite Newcastle having more possession.
Hodgson said: “I would not have minded if we scored more goals. I really think we did enough to score more goals today and that would have relieved the anxiety that we always suffer when we are winning 1-0.
“You go in the last ten minutes and you know the opponents are going to throw caution to the win and you are always frightened that the ball is going to bounce unkindly. I was pleased we got through that period. I thought throughout the 90 minutes it was a good performance. “
Dutch full back Van Aanholt was instrumental to Palace’s victory as he not only scored the vital goal but put two delightful crosses into the area for both centre halves – Gary Cahill and Scott Dann who saw their headers spectacularly saved in similar fashion by Martin Dubrovka.
Hodgson said of Van Aanholt: “I am pleased for him. We rate him very highly. We know what technical ability he has from open play and our set plays especially when he produces a good corner kick or free kick like he did today.
“He said to me before the game ‘we don’t have Luka (Milvojevic) so I will take a penalty today.’ That is the sort of confidence I like in a player. It is also the sort of confidence I have in him.
Ghanaian Jordan Ayew ran his socks off in this game and probably deserved a goal as well but he failed to convert any of his chances but his manager said: “He had a wonderful game today but he came of disappointed.
“He wanted to score today and he knows if he wants to be a top striker people will look at his scoring record. He was devastated at the chance he missed at the end.
“We must not let it get him down because what he is doing for the team is immeasurable. It would have been nice if he could have capped that performance with a goal or two.”
On the outcome of the game Hodgson said: “Even the most hardened Newcastle fan would be hard pushed today to say we were unlucky and did not deserve to win the game. “
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce agreed.
He said: “I did not think we deserved to win the game. When you don’t win a game then you have to accept the consequences.
“We have played a certain way all season yet we have looked a threat but we have not scored a lot.
“We have given the ball away in good areas so cheaply, especially in the last third. We get so far but it breaks down too often. Maybe it is time for change or try something different that we can have a look at.”