BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson has praised Crystal Palace pair Mamadou Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp after the pair impressed in the 3-1 victory against Manchester United – despite both only recently recovering from long-term injuries.
It was Sakho’s first league appearance since he suffered a hamstring injury on July 20. He had only just returned following another lengthy absence.
Schlupp has featured in all three competitive matches so far this campaign but missed much of the end to last season because of a hip problem. The Ghanaian assisted Andros Townsend’s seventh-minute opener at Old Trafford.
Hodgson told Premier League Productions: “I thought the shape of our team today was fantastic and there were some really incredible individual performances. For Mamadou Sakho to play the game he played after so little football for the last three months was incredible.
“Jeffrey Schlupp, who’s been out injured for quite a long time, once again it was quite incredible what he could do. And the midfield and back four were pretty faultless throughout the game. I’m delighted. It’s a great win, it’s nice to get six points on the board.”
Townsend’s early goal was part of a plan to start the game on the front foot. The Eagles started energetically and pressed high, with the winger netting from Schlupp’s cross. Wilfried Zaha then added two second-half goals either side of Donny van de Beek’s consolation.
“We always have that plan [but] we don’t always carry it out,” Hodgson said of his side’s good start to the game.
“We always try to start fast, to make certain we’re on the front foot and we pressurise the opponents as best we can.
“We looked much more like taking the chances we created. We forced saves from the goalkeeper, we forced last-ditch challenges and we actually scored three times.”
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