Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton: Player Ratings as Resolute Eagles Earn First Win of the Season

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Crystal Palace taking the lead against Southampton.
Crystal Palace taking the lead against Southampton. / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
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Crystal Palace picked up their first Premier League win in nine games on Saturday, as they beat Southampton 1-0 on the opening day at Selhurst Park.

The hosts struck first to open their account for the season, with Wilfried Zaha finding the back of the net. Andros Townsend floated his cross over to the back post, leaving the Ivorian to guide it in to the bottom corner to draw first blood for the Eagles.

Having started the second half brightly, Southampton almost found themselves down to 10 men when Kyle Walker-Peters was sent off. However, a successful VAR check correctly overturned the original decision, sparing Southampton's blushes.

Crystal Palace thought they had doubled their lead late on, as Zaha burst through and slotted home for his second of the afternoon. But the Eagles marksman proved to be offside, after another VAR check verified that he was just off.

The home side managed to hold off late pressure to claim the three points.


Crystal Palace

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Vicente Guaita in action.
Vicente Guaita in action. / ALASTAIR GRANT/Getty Images

Vicente Guaita (GK) - 7/10 - Rose to the task when called into action, made some fantastic saves including a point-blank stop after the break. Was crucial in goal for Crystal Palace, a solid display in between the sticks.

Joel Ward (RB) - 6/10 - Did find himself on the back foot once or twice, but kept his shape well on the right side of defence and kept the Saints at bay.

Cheikhou Kouyaté (CB) - 6/10 - Filled in well in central defence, helped keep the Eagles' backline together and was solid alongside Scott Dann.

Scott Dann (CB) - 7/10 - Led by example as captain for the afternoon, was rock solid all day long and nullified any attacking threat from the opposition in a promising performance for the season ahead.

Tyrick Mitchell (LB) - 6/10 - Occasionally struggled to keep up with Southampton's attack, but generally put in a good shift at full-back. Had a few good bursts down the flank, proved his worth in defence.


2. Midfielders

Andros Townsend on the ball.
Andros Townsend on the ball. / Pool/Getty Images

Andros Townsend (RM) - 7/10 - Was very energetic and caused problems for the visiting defence, capitalising on his pace to break through the lines. Did really well to set up Palace's only goal, a meaningful drive down the wing and an excellent ball into Zaha.

James McArthur (CM) - 6/10 - Partnered up with McCarthy in central midfield, making some forceful passes forward and covering the backline when called upon at Selhurst Park.

James McCarthy (CM) - 6/10 - Filled in for Milivojević and had an average game in midfield, but helped Palace control the game and the ball.

Jeffrey Schlupp (LM) - 6/10 - Perhaps did not get forward as much as he wanted to, but showed encouraging signs when he had the ball. Made good drives forward, supporting Zaha and Jordan Ayew well.


3. Forwards

Wilfried Zaha breaks the deadlock for Crystal Palace.
Wilfried Zaha breaks the deadlock for Crystal Palace. / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Jordan Ayew (FW) - 6/10 - Linked up well with Zaha and had some promising bursts up top, unlucky not to get any clear cut chances but provided strong support in a two-man strikeforce.

Wilfried Zaha (FW) - 7/10 - Was Palace's standout man in attack, scoring the only goal of the game and unlucky not to add a second. Looked fresh and energetic up front, really impressive performance to open his account.


4. Substitutes

Roy Hodgson and Ralph Hasenhüttl before kickoff.
Roy Hodgson and Ralph Hasenhüttl before kickoff. / Pool/Getty Images

Luka Milivojević (CM) - 5/10

Eberechi Eze (LM) - 6/10


Southampton

5. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Kyle Walker-Peters receiving a booking after his red card was overturned.
Kyle Walker-Peters receiving a booking after his red card was overturned. / ALASTAIR GRANT/Getty Images

Alex McCarthy (GK) - 6/10 - Did not manage to pull off any crucial saves, unlucky to concede early on in the first half but had little to do from then on.

Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) - 5/10 - Struggled to contain Zaha when coming face-to-face with the Eagles forward. Showed promise going forward but could not leave his stamp on the story of the match.

Jack Stephens (CB) - 6/10 - Decent performance, but unable to help Southampton keep a clean sheet.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 5/10 - Only had 45 minutes at Selhurst Park, but failed to contain the Eagles in his first half performance while allowing Zaha in on goal for the eventual winner.

Ryan Bertrand (LB) - 6/10 - Was much more lively going forward and helped keep Southampton's game plan flowing. Rarely out of his comfort zone when defending, though let Townsend break through on the odd occasion.


6. Midfielders

James Ward-Prowse was bright in a blunt Saints team.
James Ward-Prowse was bright in a blunt Saints team. / Pool/Getty Images

Will Smallbone (RM) - 6/10 - Came into Ralph Hasenhüttl's side and put in a decent shift out wide, but did not really have a chance to shine and show what he was capable of.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 7/10 - Was excellent in the heart of midfield, unlucky not to convert from one of his set piece efforts but put in a very strong performance for the Saints.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 5/10 - Did not really impact the game, noticeably quieter compared to midfield partner Ward-Prowse. Played a few good passes, but could not really change the course of the game.

Nathan Redmond (LM) - 5/10 - Barely had any sight of the action in the first half, and not much changed after the break. Could not threaten Palace's defence, did not pose any real threat going forward.


7. Forwards

Danny Ings in action for Southampton.
Danny Ings in action for Southampton. / Pool/Getty Images

Che Adams (FW) - 5/10 - Barely had a sniff of goal with any opportunities to test Guaita, though did combine well with Ings on a few occasions - albeit to no end result.

Danny Ings (FW) - 6/10 - Had a few big chances to score his first goal of the new campaign, but could not break through. Was Southampton's biggest threat all afternoon nonetheless, looked sharp and lively in south London.


8. Substitutes

Ralph Hasenhüttl on the touchline for Southampton.
Ralph Hasenhüttl on the touchline for Southampton. / Pool/Getty Images

Jannik Vestergaard (CB) - 6/10

Moussa Djenepo (CM) - 5/10

Shane Long (FW) - N/A


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