Ex-England boss left reeling as sixth-minute goal consigns Palace to fifth straight defeat and sees them break Premier League record for longest time without scoring a goal.
ROY HODGSON suffered a nightmare start to his Crystal Palace reign – with Steven Davis netting the winner just six minutes into his first game.
Hodgson’s appointment this week to take over from Frank De Boer could not prevent Palace from slipping their FIFTH defeat of the season.
And they have still not found the back of the net in their Premier League games this season – breaking the all-time record for the longest a side has gone without finding the net at the start of a campaign.
The ex-England manager was given a massive ovation before kick-off when he walked from the tunnel to the bench at Selhurst Park.
But the size of task was made clear after just six minutes as Davis broke the deadlock for Southampton and exposed Palace’s fragile defence.
The Northern Ireland midfielder started the attack by sending away Dusan Tadic, who skipped around Jeffrey Schlupp too easily.
Wayne Hennessey parried Tadic’s cross straight to David, who sidefooted home for his first Saints goal of the season.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek led the fightback for Palace and he went close with too efforts as Palace desperately tried to find an equaliser.
Fraser Forster was also in top form and denied Christian Benteke from close range after another run from Loftus-Cheek.
In the second half, Forster also denied Jason Puncheon with a stunning block as Palace attempted to find a way back on level terms.
But despite throwing everything they had at Saints they were unable to find the breakthrough and slipped to another defeat that leaves them rooted to the foot of the table.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- Crystal Palace had won just two of their previous 16 Premier League matches against Southampton, (D4 L10), although both victories have come in the last four meetings (both at Selhurst Park).
- Southampton had lost their last two Premier League trips to Selhurst Park to face the Eagles, this after avoiding defeat in their first six there (W3 D3).
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS – CLICK on a player’s number to see their stats
Roy Hodgson is only the third manager to take charge of a Premier League game in his 70’s after Sir Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson. He is the first-ever PL manager to be appointed in his 70’s, however.
Just 5 minutes 22 seconds were on the clock before Southampton took the lead through Steven Davis.
- The Premier League record for longest time taken by a team to score a goal in a season was 438 minutes, held by Newcastle United in 2005-06. Palace broke that record as they passed the 78th minute.
- No Southampton player has scored more goals for the club in the Premier League since the start of 2016-17 than Charlie Austin (7 – level with Nathan Redmond), despite the striker only playing 989 minutes in this period (a goal every 141 mins on average).
- Virgil van Dijk came on as a late substitute – the first time he has been involved with the Saints first team for 237 days.
WHAT THEY SAID
Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: “It was the worst possible start conceding the goal so early. The team were nervous and anxious already.
“We were perhaps a bit cautious and the midfield players dropped too deep and gave them time on the ball, while the full-backs were covering too much.
“I thought in the second-half we got up to the ball better. The desire was there but unfortunately it was a frantic desire. Not one when you’re in control.
Southampton goalscorer Steven Davis said: “It was important to show that determination and edge to our game after the way we played last week.
“We have struggled for goals of late so it was important to get in front and a good time to score.”
PALACE: Hennessey, Ward, Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Schlupp, Townsend, McArthur (Milivojevic 69, ), Cabaye, Puncheon, Loftus-Cheek (Sako 78, ), Benteke
SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Bertrand, Romeu, Lemina, Tadic (Van Dijk 87, ), Davis, Redmond (Ward-Prowse 85, ), Long (Gabbiadini 89, )