Cape Town - Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace picked up a massive three points as they came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 at a very wet St Mary's Stadium on Tuesday.
almost off to the perfect start as Long latched onto a Dusan Tadic flick, but
somehow blazed over the bar when he had time and space to pick his shot.
Tadic then fired
wildly over the target after Sofiane Boufal had pickpocketed Timothy
Fosu-Mensah before playing a good ball into the box.
After a sluggish start
for Palace, Andros Townsend picked up the ball and fired in at Alex McCarthy,
who collected comfortably.
Wayne Hennessey was
then forced into action at the other end with a fantastic save to tip a
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg effort over his goal. But the Palace keeper could do
nothing to deny Long from finally ending his 35-game drought - as he fired into
the bottom left corner of the net, off a post, following a well-timed Jeremy
Oriol Romeu was then
woefully off target with 26 minutes played after being fed by Boufal, ahead of
a chance on the half-hour mark for the away side. Yohan Cabaye and Christian
Benteke did well to release Townsend, who forced a fingertip save from
The wet surface was
beginning to play havoc as Boufal slipped when in a good position to cross
ahead of a chance at the end of the first half for Tadic, that was inches from
sneaking inside the post.
Palace were enjoying
some possession inside the Saints half at the start of the second half without
really threatening before Hennessey made a simple save to keep out a James
Ward-Prowse ball aimed at Maya Yoshida.
Having struggled out
wide, Wilfried Zaha took up a more central position with an hour gone, and
became more central to Palace's play.
McCarthy soon got down
low to make a super save from a good Benteke shot on the turn on 65 minutes,
after being set up by Zaha, but he could not keep out McArthur, with 69 minutes
on the clock, as he smashed into the roof of the net as the ball was knocked
down into his path following Townsend's long ball forward.
Long missed the chance
to score his second of the night as he dallied on the ball and was dispossessed
ahead of a spell of pressure from Palace that saw Milivojevic fire just wide on
77 minutes - before scoring what would prove to be the winner for the away side.
into the bottom corner of the net with a fantastic finish, from Townsend
Gabbiadini came close to connecting to a Ryan Bertrand delivery late as
Southampton searched desperately for an equaliser.
While with the clock
winding down, Zaha somehow managed to fire over the crossbar, to create a nervy
final few minutes, that they ultimately saw out, to claim a very important win
and pile some pressure on Southampton and manager Mauricio Pellegrino.