Hodgson praises the battling qualities of Crystal Palace after draw with Arsenal
Roy Hodgson had good things to say about his side after they drew a home game 2-2 against Arsenal on Sunday.
The game opened up with Palace managed to secure a penalty which was put to end successfully by Luka Milivojevic. However, Granit Xhaka and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang soon helped the gunners fight back as Arsenal managed to take the lead 2-1, reaching 55 minutes’ mark. But the game again took a turn, the ones that fans love the most, moments before the final whistle. A second penalty was earned and stepping up to take it was none other than the man who scored the first goal, Luka Milivojevic, and the fate of this one wasn’t much different. Levelling the game with it, the home side drew the thriller 2-2.
In the after match talk, Hodgson was not shy in expressing his satisfaction and praising the battling quality of the players. Especially, mentioning the poor decision when Lacazette was involved in handling the ball in a move which ended up with Aubameyang scoring the goal, he said that “It wasn’t exactly a touch of the hand, but one which helped the ball to the player who scored.”
Hodgson further said that it was amazing to see the Eagles fighting back after going into the 2-1 deficit, knowing that the decision was poor as such decisions certainly have psychological impacts. But the team making come back and forcing the draw in final moments certainly has earned players a lot of praise.
The coach didn’t forget to mention the offensive players of his team, about whom he said that they were better than the opponents and the credit goes to the whole team.
“Two good pieces of play led to Arsenal being forced to commit a foul in the penalty area. For the two goals, the amount of possession we had in the final third, two goals is a fairly scant reward.”
Moreover, Hodgson talked about the bravery of Milivojevic, labelling that it was a really brave effort to step up in a crucial situation, knowing that he missed a penalty last week against Everton, and score the goal. It certainly is courageous that he didn’t shy and handled the pressure amazingly well. In such situations, it is generally less about the technique and more regarding the psychological strength and one needs players that are mentally strong to tackle with such situations.