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Crystal Palace 1–1 Stoke City: McArthur and Crouch light up Selhurst Park for 90 seconds


CRYSTAL Palace gained a point at home this afternoon as they were held by Stoke City in a less than entertaining affair.

The Eagles took the lead through James McArthur's header before Peter Crouch levelled immediately for the visitors at the Holmesdale end early on.

But after 90 seconds of fun for both sets of supporters, they had to endure a laboured performance from both sides. It certainly won't be one of the first game to watch on Match of the Day tonight, that's for sure.

In a cagey opening ten minutes, both sides looked to get going into some sort of rhythm without creating any real chances.

But then in the space of 90 seconds, the game had witnessed two goals. Palace opened the scoring when Yannick Bolasie got down the left and delivered for James McArthur to score his first for the club with a looping header over Asmir Begovic.

Moments later and the home fans' celebrations were cut short as Peter Crouch levelled.

Bojan Krkic squared to Jonathan Walters from the right, the attacking midfielder's goal-bound shot was deflected and Crouch was unmarked at the back post to sweep home.

Just shy of the hour-mark and McArthur nearly found himself on the scoresheet again.

Bolasie ran at the Stoke defence and beat a couple of players before sliding in the Scotsman, who turned sharply and saw an effort saved by Begovic.

It was hardly a classic in south London, with very few chances at either end afterwards going into the break.

Into the second period and Palace had a chance to restore their lead with a free-kick out on the left.

After a clever routine by McArthur and Bolasie, the ball was struck towards goal by Jedinak but deflected up and over for a corner.

McArthur, on the lookout for his second Palace goal, nearly got it when he curled towards the bottom corner from the edge of the box but Begovic got down superbly to claw away.

Warnock decided to make a change on the hour, with Jason Puncheon coming on for Zaha. And as much as the Eagles looked good going forward, it was actually trying to find someone to put it in the back of the net which was proving to be difficult.

It seemed a matter of time before a potential change, with Dwight Gayle and Fraizer Campbell on the substitutes' bench ready and waiting.

Indeed, the former came on for the Moroccan, who limped off and back towards the changing rooms.

With the clock ticking down, Barry Bannan also came on for the hard-working McArthur before Stoke nearly won the contest through Crouch, but Speroni leapt to his left to save.

Three minutes were added on by referee Kevin Friend but the best thing he could have done was to put the fans out of their misery.

And with no further chances to report on, he just that. Palace move up on to 15 points, one point outside the drop zone.

Next is a trip to Manchester City.

Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Ward, Hangeland, Dann, Jedinak ©, Ledley, McArthur (Bannan 85), Zaha (Puncheon 61), Bolasie, Chamakh (Gayle 77).

Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Delaney, Thomas, Campbell.

Attendance: 23,038.

Referee: Kevin Friend

By Mark Ritson at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace 1–1 Stoke City: McArthur and Crouch light up Selhurst Park for 90 seconds

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