Crystal Palace 0 Nottingham Forest 0: Roy Hodgson's 400th Premier League game ends in draw as injury crisis worsens | The Sun
ROY HODGSON’s 400th appearance in a Premier League dugout was marred by a worsening injury crisis – as Crystal Palace lacked the tools to unlock Nottingham Forest.
In nearly 50 years of football management across various continents and countries, the well-travelled 76-year-old cannot recall a situation like the one he is currently facing with the Eagles.
The arrival of a two-week international break has come at just the right time given that Palace has a full XI unavailable for selection.
Last night Jeffrey Schlupp and Jairo Riedewald came off the pitch with physical problems – and that means there are ELEVEN first-teamers being dealt with by the club’s medical team.
It is an incredible situation even with the demands and intensity of the modern-day game.
But it is perhaps why this point at home to Forest will be viewed as a decent one under the tough circumstances.
Last weekend’s 1-0 win over Manchester United was a tremendous result, maybe the best away win the South Londoners will experience all season, and yet it came at a cost.
Three of those who played at Old Trafford – Eberechi Eze (hamstring), Joel Ward (groin) and Cheick Doucoure (hamstring) – are now unavailable.
Having no Eze is a huge loss and if the playmaker is out for five to six weeks – as is feared with his type of hamstring strain – then Palace are going to struggle to replace his guile and creativity.
That was certainly evident in the first half here as they lacked any true attacking inspiration and apart from the odd aerial assault, Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner had a fairly comfortable role.
Down the other end, less than a minute after he had an appeal for handball against Tyrick Mitchell ignored by the referee and VAR, Morgan Gibbs-White could have found the breakthrough on 21 minutes.
A long clearance by centre-back Murillo, a good old fashioned route-one launch, was closely watched by the Forest winger.
And displaying tremendous technique and coordination, he volleyed the ball over the head of the approaching Sam Johnstone.
It was to Gibbs-White’s misfortune that his superb attempt, which warranted a goal, bounced off the post before being collected by a grateful Palace goalkeeper.
Before the end of the first half, there was another moment of wonderful trickery, this time from the Brazilian Murillo who shifted the ball quickly from his left to his right while running forward – yet his eventual shot was tame.
There were few memorable moments in the second half but the home fans did not let up in trying to create a wonderful atmosphere.
The best chance fell to Jean-Philippe Mateta but the French forward slipped crucially at the moment he made impact with the pass from Odsonne Edouard and the attempt, which had the beating of Turner, flashed wide.
One other newsworthy incident came via Forest sub Gonzalo Ariel Montiel, who tried his luck with a volley with 13 minutes left but a magnificent block by Joachim Andersen saved the day.
Surprisingly for a goalless draw, there were 24 shots throughout the contest – with seven on target – but both defences remained solid and resolute.
But from an attacking perspective, they should both work on their set-piece routines – particularly managing to clear the first man at the near post.
Forest can sympathise with Palace with regards a long injury list – they lost striker Taiwo Awoniyi before kick-off to a groin issue and midfielder Orel Mangala limped off on 83 minutes.
Yet the East Midlanders will probably be also pleased with a third draw in their past four matches.
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