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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Johnstone saves the day for Hodgson on 400th Prem game as Forest hit a snag in 0-0 draw


By Alessandro Schiavone at Selhurst Park


Crystal Palace 0-0 Nottingham Forest


Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will be eternally grateful to his impenetrable goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for not marring his 400th game in the Premier League with a defeat as the Eagles held a dominant Nottingham Forest side to a goalless draw.


Ahead of kick-off, this fixture between two sides separated by only three points had all the hallmarks of a 50-50 game.


But Forest should have taken Palace to the cleaners, such was the frequency with which they laid siege to Johnstone's goal.


Tactical and locked, the first 20 minutes resembled a game of chess. Palace lacked midfielders who could pick a pass as neither Hughes nor Riedewald have refined feet.


Forest had the chance to win consecutive top-flight games in the capital for the first time since 1997 but were up against a tricky customer.


Early in the game, Harry Toffolo tested the Eagles' waters but Johnstone did extremely well to beat his effort away.


But even he had to ride his luck minutes later when Morgan Gibbs-White sent a delicate first-time chip against the post from a long ball forward by Murillo which caught out the entire Eagles defence. That was straight off the training ground and Palace were once again fortunate.


Then the Brazilian defender came close to scoring the goal of the year when he rampaged forward from midfield and dribbled past the hosts' entire backline only for his effort to lack placement as Johnstone pulled off an instinctive double save.


In the second period substitute Montiel had two goal-bound efforts blocked by Guehi and Anderson before it was his countryman and mate Nicolas Dominguez's turn to be denied by the ex-West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper.


Palace's only chance of the game was blown by Mateta who slipped at the wrong moment after Edouard's excellent square pass set him free.


The game challenged the Premier League norm and was certainly not a great advert for the entire league.


But when all is said and done, the Forest players are the only ones who will feel aggrieved that they only take one point back to the East Midlands.


Palace have never beaten Forest in the Premier League and will have to wait at least another five months before they get the chance to erase this unwanted record.


But there's no doubt that tonight the point will feel like a win.


Line-ups


Palace: Johnstone, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Hughes, Riedewald, Schlupp, Ayew, Edouard, Mateta.



Subs: Matthews, Holding, Tomkins, Richards, Ozoh, Raymond, Ebiowei, Rak-Sakyi & Ola-Adebomi.



Forest: Turner, Aurier, Boly, Murillo, Toffolo, Sangare, Mangala, Dominguez, Gibbs-White, Wood, Hudson-Odoi.


Subs: Vlachodomios, Worrall, Williams, Kouyate, Santos, Elanga, Yates & Origi.

 



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