Crystal Palace's missed opportunities disappoint Sam Allardyce in final day defeat

Crystal Palace's missed opportunities disappoint Sam Allardyce in final day defeat

The Palace boss believes that an early chance for his side at Old Trafford was the turning point in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United

Jordan Owusu-Adu

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce believes that the opening minutes of Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United were crucial. 

Big opportunity missed

Played in by full back Patrick van Aanholt in the first minute, Christian Benteke hesitated in the penalty area and allowed United’s Eric Bailly to intervine in the first chance of the match. After the game, Allardyce said: “From our point of view, Patrick’s run through in the first minute was the key moment. 

“He was clear through in the six-yard box and didn’t slip the ball to Christian Benteke or we could have gone 1-0 up, and I’d be sitting here having not gotten beat – I’m convinced of that.”

A big chance missed, and after 15 minutes, Josh Harrop opened the scoring for United with an excellent solo goal. Four minutes later, Paul Pogba doubled the lead with a low strike after a lung bursting run from his own penalty area by Jesse Lingard.

“Manchester United had two shots on target and score two goals, and that was the difference between the sides. Our first half Performance was decidedly average and the goals we conceded were avoidable.

“We had only one shot on goal and hit the post, and had a couple of good opportunities but nothing else, so there wasn’t much between the side except United taking their chances.”

Luka Milivojevic settled quickly following his January move from Olympiacos | Photo: Getty Images / James Baylis - AMA

Big Summer for Sam

The defeat was a disappointing end to the season, but its been a positive 2017 for Palace after a dreadful 2016. Allardyce brought in a number of players in the January transfer window, such as Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojevic, and the 62-year-old is already planning for the summer window.

“We have a lot of players that we got to make decisions on one way or the other in the next 7-10 days, and we have to do that with the chairman as quickly as we can. 

“As usual, we’ll dip into the market if and when there is the right player avalible, which means that the summer will be difficult as always. The ever-increasing cost of players is a big problem for any football club.”