Eberechi Eze the hero in Crystal Palace’s pre-season win

Eberechi Eze the hero in Crystal Palace’s pre-season win
Credit: Icon Sport

Crystal Palace displayed their attacking prowess in a pre-season friendly against Crawley Town, with midfielder Eberechi Eze stealing the show with a brilliant performance.

Eberechi Eze set up three goals and scored one himself within the first 24 minutes of the game, leaving the opposition defence in disarray and providing manager Roy Hodgson with plenty to celebrate.

Eberechi Eze blows Crawley Town away

The match began at a blistering pace, with Crystal Palace demonstrating their intent from the kickoff. Within the opening quarter of an hour, Jean-Philippe Mateta showcased his striking prowess with two clinical goals (8′, 16′).

The first came from a well-placed pass by Eze, but Mateta's effort was thwarted by an excellent save from Crawley's goalkeeper, Corey Addai. However, Mateta quickly made amends when Eze delivered a pinpoint corner, allowing the French forward to head home unmarked from six yards out.

Palace's relentless attacking continued, with Eberechi Eze pulling the strings in midfield. He combined seamlessly with Mateta and Odsonne Edouard, creating chances and putting the Crawley defense under constant pressure. A minute after Mateta's second goal, Eze displayed his creative brilliance once more, setting up Mateta with a perfectly timed flick for a volleyed finish that left the Crawley defense helpless.

The player with Nigerian parents, Eberechi Eze, showed exceptional individual performance that wasn't limited to assisting goals. Just six minutes after assisting Mateta, Eze decided to add a goal to his name as well. Receiving the ball from Jaïro Riedewald on the edge of the box, Eze showcased his dribbling skills, cutting inside and unleashing a stunning curling strike that nestled into the far top corner.

As if that weren't enough, Eberechi Eze was involved in yet another goal for Palace just moments later. In a swift counter-attack, he slipped the ball to Naouirou Ahamada, who capitalized on the space created by Mateta's movement and confidently poked the ball home, registering his first goal for Crystal Palace since joining the club in January.

At the 24-minute mark, Crystal Palace had already fired six shots, four of which resulted in goals, signaling their dominance over the opposition. Crawley Town struggled to respond, with their only notable chance coming from Danilo Orsi's speculative effort, which was comfortably saved by Palace's goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone.

After the break, Hodgson made three changes to the lineup, but the momentum remained firmly with the Eagles. The second half witnessed a more controlled and composed performance from Crystal Palace, as they continued to dominate possession and create scoring opportunities.

Jordan Ayew came close to adding another goal, but his lobbed effort from a narrow angle was well blocked by the Crawley goalkeeper.

Despite the opposition's spirited efforts, they were unable to breach Palace's defence, leaving them with only a near-miss from Nick Tsaroulla's audacious lobbed volley, which struck the inside of the post.

The latter stages of the game saw Hodgson giving opportunities to young talents, with late substitute Jesurun Rak-Sakyi coming close to extending Palace's lead. However, it was a special night for two 17-year-old academy prospects, Finley Marjoram and Zach Marsh, who made their non-competitive first-team debuts, showcasing the club's commitment to nurturing young talent.

Crystal Palace's commanding performance and comprehensive 4-0 victory signalled a significant step up in their pre-season preparations, leaving them confident and poised for their upcoming Premier League adventure, which lies 24 days ahead.

With Eze leading the charge and the team's attacking prowess on full display, fans can be optimistic about what the future holds for the Eagles in the upcoming season.

Crystal Palace Line-up

Johnstone (GK) (Matthews, 45), Ward (Marjoram, 84), O’Brien, Richards (Tomkins, 72), Riedewald (Mitchell, 45), Doucouré (Ozoh, 72), Hughes (Marsh, 84), Eberechi Eze (Ayew, 45), Edouard, Ahamada (Rak-Sakyi, 72), Mateta (Gordon, 72)

Crystal Palace's remaining Pre-season fixtures

Crystal Palace is gearing up for the 2023-24 Premier League campaign with an exciting pre-season schedule that includes clashes against Watford and Lyon.

They will face Watford at the Palace's academy on July 22, with no fans allowed. Lyon, co-owned by a Palace co-owner, will visit Selhurst Park on August 5, and fans will be able to attend. These games will be the final preparation before the Premier League starts, with the opening fixture against Sheffield United.

Additionally, Crystal Palace has lined up matches against Millonarios FC and Sevilla in the USA as part of their pre-season tour. The team is focused on fine-tuning their strategies and building momentum for the upcoming season.

  • Watford (July 22)
  • Millonarios FC – in the USA – (July 26, 01:00 GMT+1 local time/ July 27, 01:00 BST)
  • Sevilla – in the USA – (July 30, 00:00 GMT+1 local time/ July 31, 00:00 BST)
  • Lyon (August 5)

When will Crystal Palace begin their Premier League campaign?

Crystal Palace will kick off their 2023–24 Premier League season with an away fixture against newly promoted Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on August 12.

The Eagles will then return to Selhurst Park to host last season's runners-up, Arsenal, on August 19, before travelling to west London to face Brentford on August 26. The fixtures promise an exciting start to the season for Crystal Palace, as they face tough competition right from the beginning.

The fans can mark their calendars for the highly anticipated clash against rivals Brighton, with the Eagles hosting Brighton on December 23 and then travelling to the Amex on February 3 for the return fixture.

The festive period will see Palace visit Chelsea on Boxing Day and welcome Brentford to Selhurst Park on December 30.

The season will come to a close with challenging encounters against top teams, including a home fixture against Manchester United on May 4, an away trip to Wolves on May 11, and finally, the visit of Aston Villa on May 19.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.