Saints held by Palace
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 27/11/04 4:52pm
Southampton came from behind twice to salvage a point at home to Crystal Palace in a 2-2 draw at St Mary's.
Andy Johnson headed the visitors in front after half time, however Kevin Phillips' close range effort brought the home side level almost immediately.
Wayne Routledge restored The Eagles' lead, but a cool finish from defender Andreas Jakobsson ensured Southampton claimed a point.
The game began competitively enough as both sides tried to find their feet early on, however in truth neither keeper was tested in the opening 45 minutes.
Phillips was the main threat for The Saints with the former Sunderland man flexing his muscles on a number of occasions.
Firstly the eight-cap England man was close to latching onto Jason Dodd's cross from the right while his stinging drive after 18 minutes was collected by Gabor Kiraly.
Phillips' effort took a nick off the middle of Tony Popovic, but the shot still travelled towards goal and had to be collected by the scrambling Hungarian keeper.
Johnson was the visitors' most likely avenue for a goal and he forced Kasey Keller to rush out from his goal in order close down the fleet-footed marksman.
Aki Riihilahti should have done better with his drive from outside the box, following Danny Granville's lay-off, but failed to test Keller.
Phillips tried a snap-shot from Dexter Blackstock's pass after 33 minutes, but the swerve on the right-footed shot took it away from Kiraly's goal.
Fabrice Fernandes burst away from the left shortly after, but opted to try his luck from the angle when the square ball to Phillips was the more advised option.
Palace created their best chance of the game moments after the restart when Johnson latched onto Routledge's through-ball, but his first time effort was saved by Keller.
Just seconds later Johnson was free again, this time down the left, but after cutting onto his right foot Keller made a sublime block to keep out the stinging drive.
Palace were on fire after the break and after a punishing spell of pressure they took the lead with Johnson's header from Riihilahti's right wing cross that left Keller with no chance.
Southampton were on level terms almost immediately when Phillips tapped home from close range from Fernandes' pinpoint right wing left-footed cross.
Phillips would have been offside had Blackstock, in the middle, got a touch on the ball, however the cross eluded everyone leaving the diminutive striker with an easy finish.
Once the goals started they kept coming and the third of the contest arrived just four minutes later via the left foot of Routledge.
The winger collected a pass out wide and cut inside on his left, however his shot struck Jakobsson and flew past the stranded Keller.
Blackstock should have done better after the ball fell to him after a poor punch by Kiraly, however the striker failed to get over the shot and keep it down.
Southampton responded in kind and were finally level after 76 minutes when Jakobsson latched onto substitute Peter Crouch's flick-on in the box to slot home.
Rory Delap appeared to be offside from Crouch's flick-on, but the linesman deemed Delap was not interfering with play and the goal stood.
Despite Saints finishing the stronger Palace held out and hung on for a point although the side may be disappointed not to have claimed all three points.
Click here for Southampton v Crystal Palace player ratings.
|Southampton||Team Name||Crystal Palace|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||5|
|7||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||3|
|7||Total Fouls Conceded||11|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||16||28|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||16||17|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||16||14|