Patrick Vieira got the answer he wanted following Kouyate’s sending off in Palace’s 3-1 win over Reading

Crystal Palace head coach Patrick Vieira was pleased with the response he got from his side after the Eagles went down to 10-men against Reading on Saturday afternoon.


The South Londoners had to play over an hour of the game with a man disadvantage following Cheikhou Kouyate’s sending off in the 31st minute.


Palace took the lead in the second half through Jean-Philippe Mateta but were soon pegged back by John Swift’s deflected free-kick.


The visitors restored their lead through Jordan Ayew, and Scott Banks capped off the determined performances with a stunning free-kick in the last kick of the game.


Speaking to PalaceTV, Vieira said: “When you look at the first half, I was really pleased with the way we tried to play. The sending off made it a little bit difficult for us, but I think we gave a really good answer about our defensive organisation – players worked well and really didn’t give them (Reading) so many options.


“When you’re one man down, it’s important to show character but to stay at the same time on the principles that you want to play. Today, with the difficulties we had, I was pleased with the team’s performance.”


Referee Keith Stroud showed Kouyate a straight red for a challenge on Reading’s Ovie Ejaria, forcing Vieira to take off Nya Kirby for James Tomkins to slot in alongside Marc Guehi.


When asked for his opinion on the red card brandish in a pre-season friendly, Vieira said: “The Reading manager was really good, he wanted us to just bring another player in, but the referee didn’t accept it – these are the rules.


“It gave me the opportunity to see the defensive work – how we can shuffle across and make it difficult for the opponent. I had the answer that I wanted from the team. I was really pleased with the game today.”


Palace made two acquisitions this week to bolster Vieira’s options ahead of the season. The Eagles splashed £15 million on centre-back Joachim Andersen from Lyon and brought in Conor Gallagher on a season-long loan from Chelsea.


Gallagher made an immediate impact on his debut this afternoon, setting up Jordan Ayew to reinstate Palace’s lead.


“It’s always good to have good players,” said Vieira.


“We know their strengths; we know what they can bring to the football club. When you have those types of players, that will bring more confidence and more competitiveness on the field as well, and having those players in our football club will raise the quality of the players around – everybody will want to compete for the starting space.


“I am really looking forward to the last two weeks (of pre-season) and the players coming back as well from injuries. What I want from them is to make it difficult for me to make a decision.”



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