Swansea City 1 Crystal Palace 1 match report: Glenn Murray in a hurry to make up for lost time and wins Palace a point with late penalty
Chico Flores was dismissed for conceding the 82nd-minute spot-kick
The Liberty Stadium
Monday 03 March 2014
Glenn Murray lived up to manager Tony Pulis’ claim that he can be the man to save Crystal Palace’s season with a late equaliser to snatch a point at Swansea.
Pulis said this week the former Rochdale and Brighton forward can provide the firepower his side have so desperately lacked in front of goal.
Murray took the first steps to proving him right by coming off the bench to win and convert a penalty to end Palace’s run of three consecutive away defeats.
The striker has made just three appearances this season after suffering a serious knee injury in May’s Championship play-off semi-final against Brighton. But the 30-year-old, who scored 31 goals in all competitions last season, got his Premier League campaign up and running with a calm penalty eight minutes from time.
Pulis said: “Goalscorers are streaky and now he has got his first goal we are hoping he will get four or five before the end of the season because we will need them.
“Glenn has been getting in to training at nine and going home at five. He has been desperate to play in the Premier League.
“To have played a big part in getting the club promoted and then get injured was a big disappointment.”
Yannick Bolasie replaced Jason Puncheon as one of two changes for Palace and he carried the visitors’ only threat early on. They were content to sit back and let Swansea attack but for all the home side’s possession they failed to create much in front of goal.
It was 22 minutes before Swansea got a shot away when Pablo Hernandez fired wide from the edge of the box. But they only had to wait another three minutes for the breakthrough when Leon Britton found Jonathan de Guzman bursting into the box and he slotted a calm finish past Julian Speroni.
The Dutch midfielder almost grabbed a second in the 33rd minute when he got on the end of a diagonal ball from Angel Rangel but Speroni did well to block.
Palace had their goalkeeper to thank again shortly after when Wilfried Bony met another Rangel cross and Speroni produced a superb one-handed save to deny the striker.
Pulis responded by taking off Tom Ince, a January transfer target for Swansea, at half-time and replacing him with Murray. Ince had irked the Swansea supporters with his pre-match comments claiming they “wouldn’t be able to handle” Palace’s frontline but he was completely ineffectual before being withdrawn.
The visitors improved after the break and again it was Bolasie’s direct running that caused Swansea problems. The home side’s fluency was lost when Monk replaced Bony, who looked tired after his excellent display in midweek against Napoli in the Europa League, just after the hour and the visitors seemed to sense an unlikely point was on the cards.
Murray shot straight at Michel Vorm with a tame effort on 75 minutes before Palace got their equaliser eight minutes from time.
Vorm hesitated when coming for a long pass over the top which allowed Murray to get to the ball first and after knocking it around the goalkeeper he was brought down by Chico Flores.
Replays showed the contact occurred outside the box but referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and showed Flores a red card. Murray stepped up to take the spot kick and confidently put it into the top corner to seal a point for the visitors.
Swansea manager Monk said: “It was 100 per cent outside the area so why has the ref making a decision from 60 yards away when he clearly has no view. For me it was a bizarre decision.”
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