Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke: Mamadou Sakho scores injury-time winner
Last Updated: 25/11/17 6:45pm
Mamadou Sakho was quickest to react in injury-time to give Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Stoke.
The Palace captain tapped home in the 92nd minute from two yards after a Yohan Cabaye shot had struck the base of the post to send Selhurst Park into raptures.
Xherdan Shaqiri had given Stoke the lead when he collected the ball on the halfway line and ran straight at the Palace defence who didn't close the Stoke man down, allowing him to get to the edge of the area and curl a shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards out after 53 minutes.
Wayne Hennessey replaced Julian Speroni in goal following his issues in the draw with Everton last weekend. Stoke stuck with the same team that drew at Brighton, with Lee Grant continuing to deputise for the absent Jack Butland.
Crystal Palace reacted well and were on level terms within three minutes when Andros Townsend sent in a cross which went beyond everyone until reaching Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the back post who calmly slotted home from close range.
Ryan Shawcross should have won it late on for Stoke when he got on the end of a Shaqiri cross but the defender instead essentially cleared the ball rather than putting it into the back of the net from a yard, with his miss being compounded by Sakho's late winner.
The opening half was one devoid of quality in the final third with many attacks breaking down before anything of note could happen.
Shaqiri had the best opportunity when Darren Fletcher found him with a pass over the top but the Swiss international got the ball stuck under his feet and could then only hit his shot from 10 yards straight at Wayne Hennessey.
Palace: Hennessey (7), Ward (7), Tomkins (7), Sakho (8), Schlupp (6), Milivojevic (7), Cabaye (7), McArthur (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Townsend (7), Zaha (7).
Subs: Benteke (7)
Stoke: Grant (7), Zouma (6), Wimmer (6), Shawcross (7), Pieters (7), Fletcher (7), Allen (7), Shaqiri (8), Sobhi (6), Diouf (6), Choupo-Moting (5)
Subs: Jese (6), Crouch (7)
Man of the match: Mamadou Sakho
Loftus-Cheek was quiet for the majority of the first half until he found James McArthur with a cross, only for his header to be blocked by Kurt Zouma, allowing Lee Grant to come out and smother the ball.
The introduction of Christian Benteke at the break was key for Palace who finally had a focal point going forward, allowing Zaha to have far more freedom going forward too.
Despite just their second victory of the season, Palace remain bottom of the table, one point behind Swansea.
- Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their five Premier League home games against Stoke, winning four and drawing one.
- Mamadou Sakho's goal was the first 90th minute winner Crystal Palace have scored at home in the Premier League since Clinton Morrison's strike against Sheffield Wednesday in May 1998.
- This was Sakho's third goal in the Premier League and his first since April 2016.
- Shaqiri netted his 10th goal in the Premier League and the seventh from outside the box (70 per cent) - only five players have scored a higher percentage of their goals in the competition from outside the area (min. 10 goals).
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored his first Premier League goal for Crystal Palace in what was his ninth appearance for them.
- Roy Hodgson has won his last two Premier League matches versus Stoke as a manager, after winning just one of his first seven (W1 D2 L4).
Roy Hodgson: "Today is the day fortune smiles on us and we get that last-minute winner and it really is worth its weight in gold, that goal, as the extra points lift you that little bit further up the table, that little bit closer to some sort of safety. It gives us something to build on as we've been bemoaning our fate that we've not had an awful lot of luck in these last four or five games but we can't do that today as luck was definitely with us today."
Mark Hughes: "We didn't deserve to lose, but we didn't defend correctly on two occasions and you're going to get punished and that's the story of the game, really. It should have should have been about a fantastic individual goal from Xherdan Shaqiri who put us in a winning position once again but unfortunately we weren't able to keep the lead for long enough.
"The frustrating thing is we could have avoided the two goals just by clearing our lines."
Man of the match - Mamadou Sakho
The defender had the captain's armband on and certainly led his side to victory. He was calm at the back, keeping Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting quiet and then ensured Peter Crouch didn't have the impact his manager desired.
His injury-time goal was the icing on the cake and it was thanks to his instincts that he was in the right place to net the winner.
Palace travel to face their arch rivals Brighton on Tuesday night, while Stoke will host Liverpool on the following night.
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