Premiership Rugby Highlights - Round 3Sep 26
Crystal Palace and Southampton share four goals at Selhurst Park
James Ward-Prowse produced a trademark free kick but the hosts’ Jordan Ayew hit back to force a 2-2 draw.
Draw specialists Crystal Palace and Southampton could not be separated at Selhurst Park after an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Wilfried Zaha fired the hosts into an early lead but James Ward-Prowse and Armando Broja turned the game on its head with first-half goals in the space of four minutes.
Jordan Ayew had the final say on proceedings, however, when he ended his goal drought to equalise in the 65th minute and give both teams a share of the spoils following their eighth draws of the campaign.
With three matches postponed during the last four days, this was one of the few to survive the rising Covid-19 crisis in the Premier League but Saints defender Jack Stephens was inconspicuous by his absence.
It meant Lyanco made only his fourth start for Southampton and the Brazilian was quickly reminded this division does not let mistakes go unpunished.
A crunching second-minute tackle from Will Hughes on the centre-back won possession for Palace and within a flash the hosts had taken the lead with Odsonne Edouard able to find Zaha, who cut inside from the left and blasted past Willy Caballero.
Visiting boss Ralph Hasenhuttl already looked furious but would have been relieved when ex-Argentina international Caballero – who only signed earlier in the month to cover for injuries – denied James Tomkins from close range soon after.
Chances were continuing to come for Palace and Edouard should have done better in the 23rd minute when he tapped wide from Zaha’s centre.
Jack Butland was still waiting to be tested by the 30-minute mark but with their first shot on target, Saints levelled in the capital.
Broja was fouled by Hughes around 25 yards out and Ward-Prowse delivered a trademark free-kick special, curling over the wall and into the top corner with 32 minutes on the clock.
Palace goalkeeper Butland had got the faintest of touches to the strike and four minutes later again had a feel of the ball but was picking it out of his net.
In similar fashion to the opener, Kyle Walker-Peters managed to dispossess Conor Gallagher and Broja needed no invitation to shoot from range, drilling a low effort which skidded off the surface and into the bottom corner for his sixth goal in all competitions this season.
The Eagles took time to recover from Southampton’s quickfire double but they slowly got back into their groove and Edouard was thwarted twice by Caballero just before the hour mark.
It was a sign of things to come with Palace forward Edouard again denied by the Saints stopper in the 65th-minute but this time Ayew was on hand to slot home from a tight angle and find the net for the first time in 45 matches for his club.
Both managers made substitutions to try to force a winner but despite five minutes of stoppage time, no further goals were forthcoming.
Southampton, who host Brentford next, remain 15th while Palace are up to 11th but may be without a game on Saturday due to a Covid-19 outbreak at scheduled opponents Watford.