- Despite two superb goals in an entertaining draw at Crystal Palace, Southampton’s Premier League winless streak now stands at six games.
- Jordan Ayew has scored his first Premier League goal in 13 months, the last netting against Leeds in November 2020. That 43 games without a goal for Crystal Palace player Ayew.
First, James Ward-Prowse curled a free-kick into the top corner, and then Armando Broja drilled home from long range to put the visitors ahead at the half.
Within two minutes at Selhurst Park, Saints had fallen behind when Wilfried Zaha was given time to fire a low effort beyond Willy Caballero.
Palace’s confident start was short-lived, with Odsonne Edouard squandering a golden opportunity to double the lead for Patrick Vieira’s side.
However, the forward who set up Zaha for the opener dragged an effort across goal in the second half, and Jordan Ayew converted from a tight angle to earn the hosts a point.
As a result, Palace move up to 11th place, while Southampton remain 15th, six points above the relegation zone.
Ralph Hasenhuttl must be wondering what his team needs to do to maintain a lead after dropping a league-high 16 points from winning positions this season.
The answer lies with the Saints’ defense, which has conceded 75 goals in the Premier League in 2021, more than any other team, and is on track to break Ipswich Town’s 27-year-old record of 79 in a calendar year.
Meanwhile, Palace have two fewer points than they did at this point last season under Roy Hodgson, but there is a sense that they have been unlucky not to have more.
The hosts got off to a flying start as Edouard ran through the middle unopposed, slid a pass into Zaha’s path, and he beat Caballero at his near post as Southampton backed off inside the box.
The Eagles’ increased attacking intent has been noticeable since Vieira’s arrival, particularly at Selhurst Park, where they have now scored in eight consecutive Premier League home games for the first time, only failing to do so in an August goalless draw with Brentford.
Edouard had a chance to double their lead after Zaha’s low cross, but he steered his effort wide, and the game shifted suddenly in Southampton’s favor.
Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland, filling in for Vicente Guaita, was powerless to prevent Saints captain Ward-Prowse from curling his free-kick over the wall and into the corner.
In the past two seasons, the midfielder has scored more direct free-kicks than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues, though Palace’s Will Hughes insisted he did not foul Broja.
Ward-fifth Prowse’s goal in that span and 11th overall in the Premier League, with only David Beckham (18), Thierry Henry (12), and Gianfranco Zola (12) scoring more.
After another Blues-owned player, Conor Gallagher, gave the ball away in midfield, Chelsea loanee Broja fired low into the corner from distance for his fourth goal in six starts.
As Palace attempted to regain control of the game, Vieira introduced Christian Benteke, and the substitution paid dividends within a minute.
As the visitors failed to clear, the substitute and Edouard caused confusion, and Ayew finished for his first goal in 43 Premier League games.