EPL

Michael Olise stars as Crystal Palace end winless run by beating Brentford

By Sports Desk December 30, 2023

Michael Olise scored in each half as Crystal Palace ended their eight-game winless streak with a 3-1 comeback victory over Brentford at a soggy Selhurst Park.

Under-pressure Roy Hodgson’s hosts bounced back from a sorry start to an afternoon that began with Keane Lewis-Potter’s opener for the Bees inside two minutes.

Olise ensured it was all square before the 15-minute mark and Eberechi Eze added another before the break – the first time Palace have scored more than one before half-time this season.

Neal Maupay came closest to clawing one back for the visitors, rattling the crossbar as the Bees staged a late surge, but Brentford could not stop themselves from slipping to a club-record fifth straight Premier League defeat.

In his programme notes, Hodgson expressed his “disappointment and frustration” at the fact he has “never had the opportunity” to work with a full squad this season.

The Eagles edged ever-closer to full strength on Saturday, with forward Odsonne Edouard returning to the matchday squad and influential duo Olise and Eze starting alongside each other for just the third time this campaign.

Palace had already conceded more top-flight opening goals in 2023 – 25 – than any other Premier League side, and they were swift victims once more in their final encounter of the calendar year.

Mathias Jensen flicked a neat back-heel to Mads Roerslev, who whipped a cross into the six-yard box for Lewis-Potter to finish, with the goal eventually given after a lengthy delay to check a possible offside.

The sides were all square after 14 minutes when Olise arrived at the far post to meet Jordan Ayew’s cross and volleyed into the top right corner.

Jefferson Lerma tried quickly to put the hosts ahead but fired straight at Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Dean Henderson bobbled but clung on to deny Lewis-Potter’s close-range effort at the other end as the Bees continued to apply pressure.

Olise got himself involved at the other end of the pitch, clearing a dangerous Lewis-Potter cross, before Nathan Collins bounced a header inches wide of Henderson’s right post.

Palace took the lead in the 39th minute, just as the half looked to have settled into a lull. Tyrick Mitchell took his time before flicking to Jean-Philippe Mateta, who in turn tapped it towards the onrushing Eze to send a strike into the bottom right corner.

Brentford swerved danger when Flekken slid in to prevent Ethan Pinnock’s backwards pass from crossing over his goal-line before half-time.

There were chances for both sides early in the second half before Olise patiently weaved through a crowd of blue shirts and fired home the Eagles’ third in the 58th minute.

Henderson punched away Saman Ghoddos’ effort to deny Brentford a quick reply, and Olise came close to a hat-trick when he sent the ball just wide of Flekken’s left post.

Brentford missed two big chances to narrow the deficit in quick succession, substitute Maupay clipping the crossbar before Yoane Wissa missed the target from six yards out.

A brilliant late save by Henderson preserved the two-goal lead before the final whistle blew on what was just the Eagles’ second home victory of the season.

Related items

  • Casemiro hits back at critics over Man Utd performances Casemiro hits back at critics over Man Utd performances

    Casemiro has hit back at the "disrespectful" critics over comments made about his recent Manchester United performances.

    The Red Devils have come under pressure for a poor run of form in recent weeks, with Casemiro one of the players singled out, in particular for his performance in the 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

    Casemiro enjoyed a successful first campaign with United, finishing third and lifting the EFL Cup, but the club are currently in danger of suffering their lowest-ever Premier League finish in eighth place.

    "I was considered one of the best signings of the Premier League last season, and now I'm not worth anything anymore?" Casemiro told Sky Sports.

    "The criticism is disrespectful. So, when it's lacking respect, then it's worrying, and I don't have to respect that either."

    Casemiro was also recently left out of Dorival Junior’s Brazil squad for this year’s Copa America.

    United finish their Premier League season away at Brighton on Sunday before facing Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

  • Chelsea players must set ego aside or 'situation will hardly change', Silva warns Chelsea players must set ego aside or 'situation will hardly change', Silva warns

    The departing Thiago Silva warned Chelsea's players to set their egos aside, or their "situation will hardly change" next season.

    Silva, who will return to hometown club Fluminense in the close season, is gearing up for his final appearance for the Blues after four years at Stamford Bridge, where they host Bournemouth on the final day of the 2023-24 campaign.

    A draw would be enough for sixth-place Chelsea to secure a return to European football next season, while they could still overtake Tottenham in fifth with a win and Spurs losing to bottom side Sheffield United.

    But despite a positive end to the campaign, during which they have won four successive games and lost just one of their last 14, Mauricio Pochettino's side are a whopping 28 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

    Silva believes the club deserves better, having spent over £400 million on no fewer than 13 players over the past year, and has urged the squad to prioritise teamwork over their personal ambitions next term.

    "I hope [the players] understand that everything they did to get to Chelsea has to be worth it," he told Sky Sports. "Because the season we're having is not worthy of Chelsea. I think they need to do more next year.

    "These boys need to be aware that Chelsea has to fight for [for trophies] in the top positions. If we take a little of our ego and put it in favour of the team, I think it will work. If we don't do that, the situation will hardly change, unfortunately."

  • 'Age is not an issue', insists energised Casemiro 'Age is not an issue', insists energised Casemiro

    Casemiro insists "age is not an issue" and the midfielder is feeling optimistic about the future at Manchester United.

    The Brazil international and his team-mates have endured a frustrating season at Old Trafford, with the club in danger of suffering their lowest Premier League finish in eighth place.

    Casemiro enjoyed a successful first campaign with the Red Devils, who he helped to a third-place finish and victory in the Carabao Cup.

    However, injuries have prevented the 32-year-old from building on that momentum this term, with critics suggesting his age is preventing him from coping with the physical demands of the English top flight.

    But the former Real Madrid midfielder rubbished those suggestions, highlighting notable examples of players shining in their mid to late 30s.

    "I feel very well, very well," he told Sky Sports. "I feel healthy, with energy and the same mentality I always had.

    "I guess people end up talking about the age factor, but it's been proven. Recently, our friend Thiago Silva - at the age of 39, came here and showed that, yes, you can play. The previous Ballon d'Or winners were over 34.

    "At Manchester City, there's Kevin De Bruyne. (Mo) Salah at Liverpool. I think age is not an issue, it is not a factor in this, but analysing one's game and knowing about everything that is happening around the game.

    "These are people who analyse football well, who see what's happening, who know what's happening, and not analyse the age.

    "But I'm well, I'm happy. As I usually say, Manchester United gave me what I wanted - this joy of being able to enjoy the game, enjoy the Premier League. So, I'm happy to be here."

    United conclude their Premier League season away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, before facing rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

    Casemiro believes the vast number of injuries have played a crucial factor in the Red Devils' struggles this term.

    "It's been a season of a lot of sacrifices for all of us, with the injuries and players adapting," he added. "So, it's been very hard for us.

    "The manager came to ask me [to play at centre-half], and I told him I'm always available. That's the way I am; trying to help, committing to the team and to the coaching staff. So, when he asked me, I didn’t even hesitate.

    "I think we had over 60 or 70 injuries. I've never seen this in my life. 

    "It is hard to think about winning a Premier League when you have so many injuries to important players, players that you think will be able to play throughout the season, and you can't count on them."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.