Three straight losses, no win in any competition in 2023 and an alarming drop toward the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Things are going badly wrong for Crystal Palace and the team’s big-name manager, Patrick Vieira.
What won’t help the mood at the south London club is the latest defeat coming at big rival Brighton 1-0, with Solly March scoring the first-half winner on Wednesday.
Palace’s last win in any competition was at Bournemouth in the league on Dec. 31. Since then, there have been seven losses and five draws in 12 games, 11 of them coming in the league.
It is the toughest period for Vieira in the Arsenal playing great’s 20 months at Palace.
Although the team is in 12th place in the league, such is the congested nature of the bottom of the standings that Palace is only three points above the relegation zone and five points off last-place Southampton.
Four days after a 0-0 draw at Manchester United, Southampton wasn’t able to build on that result and lost 2-0 at home to Brentford.
Ivan Toney prodded home the opener in the 32nd minute after a flick-on at a corner, putting him on 16 goals for the campaign – third behind Erling Haaland and Harry Kane. Toney then nodded through for Yoane Wissa to tuck home the second goal in second-half stoppage time.
Toney is continuing to play while he waits for a Football Association verdict after being charged with 262 breaches of gambling rules. A lengthy suspension is possible.
Brighton and Brentford have never played in European competition but that could be about to change.
Brighton, which is playing some enterprising soccer under Roberto De Zerbi, remained in seventh place but is now tied for points with sixth-place Liverpool, and is only two points behind fifth-place Newcastle.
Brentford is one point further back in eighth.
At 19 years and 15 days, Joe Whitworth played for Palace to become the youngest goalkeeper to appear in a Premier League game since Ben Alnwick for Sunderland in December 2005.
Vieira was forced to hand Whitworth a professional debut with regular No. 1 Vicente Guaita and deputy Sam Johnstone both getting injured.
Whitworth is a former Palace ballboy.
March ran onto Brighton teammate Kaoru Mitoma’s pass to slot home the only goal against Palace.
It was a timely strike.
March scored in the 15th minute on March 15.
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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