Questions were already being asked of Alan Pardew’s men after suffering a terrible run of form in the second half of last season and starting the current campaign with one draw and two defeats.
Palace were in desperate need of a win, especially one on their travels, and they finally managed to break their win-less away run stretching back to last year with a 2-1 victory at Boro.
Christian Benteke scored his first Palace goal while Wilfried Zaha also got on the score sheet, yet it was defender Scott Dann who arguably played the biggest role in the Eagles’ win.
|Interceptions||Tackles||Effective Clearances||Def Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Touches||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As shown by the table provided by Opta, the former Birmingham City defender was absolutely outstanding as he made a number of key contributions in the face of numerous Boro attacks.
Dann posted three tackles, four itnerceptions, four effective clearances, five defensive duels won and seven ball recoveries while in possession he contributed with 54 touches and 30 accurate passes.
Pardew’s men could count themselves a little unfortunate to lose against the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, but against Boro they brushed off those disappointments and stood firm when needed.
Benteke and Zaha will no doubt earn the plaudits for their contributions in the final third, though Palace’s entire back five deserve credit as Aitor Karanka’s men ramped up the pressure late on to no avail.
Victory sees Palace momentarily moved up to a mid-table position, and now Pardew will be imploring his side to push on and put together an unbeaten run of results.
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