Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea: Swans frustrate Palace at Selhurst Park
Last Updated: 29/12/15 9:35am
A resolute Swansea held on to claim a point after frustrating Crystal Palace in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.
Patrick Bamford and Wilfried Zaha had opportunities to break the deadlock in a game short on chances, while Wayne Hennessey saved superbly from Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick.
But Swansea dug in to claim a point that keeps them only hovering a place above the relegation zone, while Palace stay fifth place on 31 points.
Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis made eight changes after the Swans' win over West Brom on Saturday, with Lukas Fabianski, Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor the only survivors.
Pardew brought in Yohan Cabaye, Mile Jedinak, Brede Hangeland and Marouane Chamakh and it was his side who settled into their rhythm quickly.
Zaha looked to attack Swansea full-back Taylor from the start and the winger - who was making his 199th appearance for the club - was Palace's brightest spark in what was a dull first half.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes came when Shelvey's defence-splitting pass freed Marvin Emnes, but the former Middlesbrough striker was beaten to the ball by the alert Wayne Hennessey.
Bamford was sent on for the ineffectual Chamakh, but it was the unlikely figure of defender Brede Hangeland who almost put Palace ahead, flicking a Cabaye free-kick towards the Swansea back post, only to be denied by a stunning one-handed stop by Fabianski.
Williams defended resolutely for the visitors and showed his agility when intervening to stop a Jason Puncheon destined for the emerging Bamford at the back post.
Bamford, who has failed to score in his last 12 appearances, was gifted an opportunity on 75 minutes when the ball bounced kindly into his path amid a scrum of players in the Swansea area.
But the striker's effort was thumped directly at Fabianski, who palmed the ball away from danger.
Palace continued to press and were inches away from all three points when Zaha cut onto his right, but his curling shot bent agonisingly side.
Swansea then threatened to go back to Wales with maximum points as Sigurdsson looked to wrong-foot Hennessey with a free-kick from 25 yards, but the Swansea goalkeeper was able to adjust his feet and get across to his left and palm clear.
Paul Walsh's Soccer Saturday verdict
"(Palace) do need someone at that end of the pitch who can finish games off for them. They created chances and were the better team in the first half - it wasn't a classic by a long way.
"There were very few chances in the first half. It did improve in the second, but the wide players - in goalscoring positions - should do better.
"I can't believe how many long balls Swansea played in the first half. They looked really nervous, and kept on lumping it out from the back - which is unlike Swansea.
"They brought on Ki and Sigurdsson, and then played with much more composure. They created better chances for themselves and looked a better team, but I think Alan Curtis will be pleased with a point."
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (7), Ward (6), Dann (6), Hangeland (6), Souare (6), Zaha (7), Jedinak (6), Cabaye (7), Puncheon (6), McArthur (6), Chamakh (3)
Subs used: Bamford (5), Lee (5), Mutch (5)
Swansea: Fabianski (7), Naughton (7), Amat (6), Williams (8), Taylor (6), Cork (6), Shelvey (5), Grimes (6), Emnes (5), Barrow (5), Gomis (5)
Subs used: Ki (5), Sigurdsson (6), Bartley (4)
Man of the match: Ashley Williams