By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Aston Villa suffered defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, Bakary Sako’s late winner handing Alan Pardew’s side the three points.
The game had looked destined to end in a draw and both sides would have perhaps accepted their spoils, but debutant Sako had other ideas.
Villa had the first real opening as Gabriel Agbonlahor raced through only to fire straight at the keeper. That spurred Palace into life and they controlled possession thereafter without carving any real chances, Sako’s long range effort the only sight of goal in the first half.
Pardew introduced Gordon Mutch and Dwight Gayle at the break as he looked to mix things up, and it was Palace that went close to breaking the deadlock within 5 minutes of the restart, Sako only being denied by a fine save at the near post.
James McArthur thought he had opened the scoring after diverting Gayle’s shot on goal but the effort was rightly ruled out for offside, though the disappointment was short-lived as Scott Dann rose highest to head home from a corner to make it 1-0.
Tim Sherwood immediately changed things around, introducing Adama Traore – recently signed from Barcelona – who made an immediate impact by setting up Villa’s equalizer. Traore broke from midfield and cut the ball across, only for Paddy McCarthy to divert it into his own goal to level proceedings.
The sides looked destined to finish with a point apiece, but Sako was to prove otherwise, collecting a pass and curling home to make it 2-1, Brad Guzan helpless to stop it.