Stoke vs Crystal Palace match report: Lee's late winner keeps Eagles soaring

Stoke City 1 Crystal Palace 2

Nick Lucy
Britannia Stadium
Saturday 19 December 2015 18:12

It should come as no surprise that Crystal Palace heralded the dawn of a new era by extending their remarkable away record, yet it took a spectacular strike from substitute Chung-yung Lee to give the club’s American investors a perfect start.

The South Korean international’s blistering 25-yard drive decided an evenly-matched contest notable for the outstanding performances of goalkeepers Wayne Hennessey and Jack Butland as Palace snatched their 11th win in 16 away matches in 2015.

Only Arsenal have won more away matches in 2015, leaving manager Alan Pardew glowing with immense satisfaction.

Connor Wickham celebrates after opening the scoring
Bojan equalised, also from the spot

“That’s the beauty of this team,” beamed Pardew. “It has a great spirit about it and a great determination to really dig in and that was very important today against a Stoke side with a lot of technical talent who played with great flair.”

Palace went in front from the penalty spot in first half injury time when Connor Wickham fired home his first goal for the club after Wilfried Zaha had been bundled over by Glenn Whelan. It was the first goal Stoke had conceded in 543 minutes with Ryan Shawcross at the heart of their defence, Wickham celebrating in a way which showed an longer wait for him was over.

After being denied on a number of occasions by Hennessey, Bojan got the chance to haul Stoke level from the spot after Damien Delaney had been for from handling in the box, and he was in no mood to let it got to waste.

A point seemed the likely outcome with both goalkeepers at their best, but Lee had other ideas when the ball broke to him 25 yards out and, for once, the diving Butland could do nothing to prevent his thunderbolt flying into the far corner.

Stoke City: (4-2-3-1): Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Whelan (Walters, 64), Van Ginkel (Adam, 74); Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic; Bojan.

Crystal Palace: (4-2-3-1): Hennessey; Ward, Delaney, Dann, Souare; Ledley, McArthur; Zaha (Lee, 82), Puncheon (Mutch, 78), Bolasie; Wickham (Chamakh, 63).

Referee: Robert Madley.

Man of the match: Hennessey (Crystal Palace).

Match rating: 6/10

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