Joel Ward

10-man Wolves level late against pitiful Palace defending

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Wolves fought back for a deserved point via a last-second equalizer, as Crystal Palace’s stoppage time silliness allowed a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

A Leander Dendoncker own goal put the Eagles in front, and Palace was up a man when Romain Saiss took his second yellow with 18 minutes to play.

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But danger man Jeff Schlupp was denied in the box by star man Rui Patricio minutes before Diogo Jota capitalized on Palace allowed a silver platter cross to get to his feet.

Wolves are still winless, with four draws through six matches, and sit 19th. Palace’s eighth point has it 12th on the table.


Three things we learned

1. Ward giveth, and taketh away: Joel Ward forced the own goal that gave Palace the lead when his wild drive through traffic turned off Leander Dendoncker to defy Rui Patricio, but his inexplicable stooping, missed intervention on the game winner was stunning. More on that below.

2. Wolves fight to death to find easy winner: Adama Traore, Jonny Otto, and the Wolves attack did not bow their heads after Palace took their fortunate lead nor after Romain Saiss’ second yellow card sent them diown a man, and Nuno Espirito Santo will love how his men fought to the final whistle while making timely interventions at the back (and taking advantage of Palace misfires).

Wilfried Zaha was dispossessed and it took three uncontested passes down the left of the Palace shape for Traore to find himself one-on-one with Patrick Van Aanholt. The Dutch defender played off Traore, who simply swept a cross to the back post. A chest trap, volley or 900 other things from Joel Ward could’ve ended the game, but he tried and missed a diving header that allowed Jota two touches to roof into an empty cage.

3. Silly from Saiss should’ve sealed it: Romain Saiss was sitting on yellow for a foul on Wilfried Zaha when he went out of his way to foul the Ivorian right on the touch line. Both managers saw the clear foul up close and personal, and Nuno Espirito Santo will certainly not like the idea of trusting Saiss again after his automatic ban.

Man of the Match: Vicente Guaita — The Crystal Palace goalkeeper was sensational in the draw, and the only reason Wolves weren’t ahead well before the Dendoncker own goal.


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An early corner kick led to a James McArthur goal mouth block of Leander Dendoncker’s low drive toward the near post, as Wolves got their first pressure on Palace following an opening 10 minutes that belonged largely to the hosts.

Palace’s Ayew headed a Luka Milivojevic corner into the arms of Rui Patricio in the 26th.

Vicente Guaita made the play of the first half when Raul Jimenez looped a cross over Mamadou Sakho to an unmarked Matt Doherty. The powered header was slapped away by a flying Guaita to keep it scoreless.

The keeper was again called upon when a 1-2 allowed Diogo Jota to lash a shot on goal in the 38th.

Palace took a stunning lead within 40 seconds of halftime, as Ward’s hard drive took a big turn off Dendoncker to spin past Patricio. The sequence began with Jeff Schlupp dribbling Willy Boly, the latter being imperious for most of his season.

By the time Romain Saiss was shown his second yellow for a fouls on Wilfried Zaha, the game felt academic. Would the 10-man Wolves find anything in the final 18 minutes?

The opposite, really, as Schlupp cued up substitute Christian Benteke which looked set for glory until the Belgian took an extra touch and drove into the arms of Patricio.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield Town: Mounie sends Town top

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  • Town wins PL return debut
  • Mounie scores in each half
  • Palace outshoots Town 14-10

A Steve Mounie brace propelled newly-promoted Huddersfield Town to a stunning 3-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Frank De Boer‘s Selhurst Park bow only saw one ball go into the goal via a Palace player, a first half Joel Ward own goal.

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The opening moments almost provided hysteria for the visiting fans, as Tom Ince met Tommy Smith’s cross only to hit a shot right at Palace backstop Wayne Hennessey.

And up the Town! The newly-promoted side’s first Premier League marker came off Palace’s suspect back line, with Ward getting the final touch of a Mathias Zanka attempt.

The second half saw promise from Palace, and Town goalkeeper Jonas Lossi did very well to stymy a Christian Benteke effort.

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Behind the Badge: Jason Puncheon, Damien Delaney, and Joel Ward talk Crystal Palace

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As part of NBC Sports’ Behind the Badge series that provides an inside look at the Crystal Palace squad, a few players have opened up about their past, their road to Selhurst Park, and their future ambitions.

Defenders Damien Delaney and Joel Ward, and attacker Jason Puncheon, all open up to NBC Sports about their career paths, childhood idols, and much much more.

[ MORE: Watch full Behind the Badge episodes here ]

First up was Delaney, who had an amusing story on how he made his way to Crystal Palace, a moment which came during a crossroads in his life.

Joel Ward opened up about growing up in the church, mixing faith and football, and how it isn’t difficult for him to stay involved while also juggling his professional soccer career.

29-year-old Jason Puncheon, who has over 100 appearances for Palace, talks about growing up in Croydon, England, why Ian Wright was his inspiration and much more.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal: Towering Sanchez header caps flying game

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Alexis Sanchez, on his first start of the season, gave Arsenal its first win of the year when he rose high above Joel Ward to crash home a powerful header 10 minutes after halftime, directed into the net by the wayward leg of Damien Delaney for an own-goal.

The win for the Gunners is a quality one, needed to relieve the pressure of an opening day loss to West Ham last weekend.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring early with an eye-popping volley, but it was cancelled out by a Joel Ward strike before the half-hour mark.

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The first 10 minutes were a whirlwind, with Palace using their pace to try and push Arsenal’s high-powered attackers back into their own half. It nearly did them in, however, as the Gunners missed a pair of brilliant chances.

Mesut Ozil found Olivier Giroud in front of goal on five minutes but the French striker couldn’t get a shot off as he bobbled the ball under pressure. Just two minutes later a deflection off a Palace corner led to a 3-on-2 Arsenal break as Ozil worked with Alexis Sanchez, but the Chilean – making his first start of the season – was also victim of a bad touch and saw his shot rejected off the line.

The Gunners seized control and pummeled Alex McCarthy’s goal early, and finally got a reward after 16 minutes. Giroud made up for his earlier mistake by producing a stunning volley on a cross from Ozil.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Palace immediately looked stunned, but never let up and equalized 12 minutes later. Yannick Bolasie found James McArthur inside the top of the box, and the midfielder touched back for Joel Ward who ripped the ball inside the far post from distance.

Giroud nearly had another stunner but his little backheel flick past the 35-minute mark was well saved by McCarthy. Francis Coquelin gave the Gunners a scare when he picked up a booking in the 41st minute and could have had another just four minutes later but the referee let him off after chopping down Wilfried Zaha.

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Straight after halftime it was the home side with the bright start and the first chance as Connor Wickham hit the post from a tight angle. Despite Palace’s rejuvinated intentions, Arsenal retook the lead on 54 minutes. Sanchez rose high above Joel Ward to get a powerful header on towards the far post, and Damien Delaney’s futile attempt to block ensured the ball struck the back of the net.

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As time ticked down, Palace threw players forward in a whirlwind finish, but it would not amount to a second equalizer. The Gunners grab their first points of the season, while Palace are pegged back despite a positive performance against a quality side.

VIDEO: Premier League Team of the Week – Stars of Matchweek 19

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Watch the video above to see who made it into the PL Team of the Week for their displays during Week 17.

[ ARCHIVE: Every PL Team of the Week ]

Hugo Lloris first-half performance was nothing short of heroic as he helped Tottenham Hotspur to a point against Manchester United.

Ron Vlaar and Joel Ward were the anchors for their respective teams’ defenses en route to a pair of clean sheets on Sunday. Meanwhile all four midfielders in this week’s Team of the Week got themselves on the scoresheet, helping their sides to three wins and a draw.

And the goalscorers? The three marksmen in this week’s team combined for four goals, leading their respective teams to a win and a pair of draws.

Matchday 19 – Premier League Team of the Week (Formation: 3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)

Midfielders: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Jack Colback (Newcastle United), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Forwards: Papiss Cisse (Newcastle United), Ashley Barnes (Burnley), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)