A win is a win is a win.
First 40 mins, we were excellent. We really were. Could easily have been out of sight. The high press worked and Palace had no chance to escape. The only thing of note they did was the offside chance.
At 40 mins, two sloppy passes (one suicidal by Matip), and Ali was there to save us.
Sloppy in those last 5 mins of the first half. Then the second half went from sloppy to crapness. Palace were all over us. Our high press game failed us, but we kept doing it, which allowed Palace to do two simple passes to be in on our goal.
Palace goal was one of those situations where we play the last man offside, but a perfectly timed run neuters our defense, and then the formally offside player is now back in play to tap it in.
Pen – this was soft. Lovely ball by TAA, Jota controlled but the second attempt touch missed it. Lucky for us, the ball was trickling and bouncing out rather than going straight out, as that gave VAR interpretation to see if the slowness of the ball would allow Jota to get it were it not for the keeper. I’d be fuming if that pen was against us.
Because it was soft, and Milner still waiting on the sidelines for 5 mins to come on, I had visions of us missing and Palace breaking to score. But coolness from Fab to send the keeper the wrong way, and we win 3-1. A long break till the next game, when the big guns will be back.
What we need is to get back to 2018-20 where we would be more pragmatic and change from high press to at times consolidate and drop back for a few minutes.
Oh, and even at 3-1 up, in the 95th minute on a break, Jota somehow passes perfectly to Palace player who is completely free to run on the back line. SMH. One of those days.
But good result, two points gained on Man City.