What a golden start for Paul Clement!!!

January 3, 2017

Swansea substitute Angel Rangel wheels away to celebrate his late winner for the Premier League strugglers on Tuesday 

Swansea sub Angel Rangel wheels away to celebrate his late winner for the Premier League strugglers on Tuesday

New Swansea manager Paul Clement (third left) was on the touchline to celebrate his side's late winner in south London 

New Swansea mgr Paul Clement (third left) was on the touchline to celebrate his side’s late winner in south London

On a night when Swansea recruited the man they hope will fight their fires, Sam Allardyce realised he might just need a bigger bucket if he is to put out the blaze at Crystal Palace.

Three games, no wins and a defeat Tuesday night against a side that had appeared to be hopelessly lost at sea. It wasn’t meant to be this way for Allardyce at Palace.

But then Swansea weren’t meant to suddenly awaken, not yet anyway. This was, technically, Alan Curtis’s last game as the caretaker — although how curious to see new manager Paul Clement take a place in the dugout just hours after signing a two-and-a-half year deal and moments after Alfie Mawson had headed them in front in the 42nd minute. 

Five minutes before Rangel's winner, Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha had equalised with this impressive volley

Five minutes before Rangel’s winner, Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha had equalised with this impressive volley

The former Manchester United attacker jumps for joy as manager Sam Allardyce celebrates on the Selhurst Park touchline

The former United attacker jumps for joy as manager Sam Allardyce celebrates on the Selhurst Park touchline

Swansea defender Alfie Mawson (right) loses his marker to deservedly head the visitors into the lead in the 42nd minute 

Swansea defender Alfie Mawson (right) loses his marker to head the visitors into the lead in the 42nd minute

The 22-year-old former Barnsley centre back wheels away in celebration after opening the scoring with a clever headed finish
The 22-year-old former Barnsley centre back wheels away in celebration after opening the scoring
Prior to that goal, Palace thought they deserved a  penalty when Christian Benteke appeared to be caught by Lukasz Fabianski

Prior to that goal, Palace thought they deserved a penalty when Benteke appeared to be caught by Lukasz Fabianski

Clement (centre), who was confirmed as Swansea's new boss earlier on Tuesday, watches the action from the stands

Clement (centre), who was confirmed as Swansea’s new boss earlier on Tuesday, watches the action from the stands

MATCH FACTS, RATINGS AND PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1): Hennessey 7; Kelly 5, Tomkins 5, Delaney 6, Ward 6; Ledley 6, Cabaye 6; Townsend 5.5 (Sako 53, 6), Puncheon 5.5, Zaha 7; C Benteke 6.5 (Campbell 46, 6)

Subs not used: Speroni, Flamini, Lee, Mutch, Phillips

Booked: Kelly

SWANSEA (4-3-3): Fabianski 6.5; Naughton 7, Fernandez 6, Mawson 7.5, Taylor 5.5 (Rangel 71, 7); Cork 6.6, Ki 6.5, Fulton 6 (Fer 69, 6.5); Routledge 6 (Dyer 80), Llorente 6.5, Sigurdsson 7

Subs not used: Van der Hoorn, Borja Baston, Nordfeldt, Barrow

Booked: Llorente

Referee: Paul Tierney 4.5

Attendance: 24,913

MOM: Alfie Mawson

  • Tuesday 3 January

    Stoke20Watford
    Crystal Palace12Swansea
    Bournemouth33Arsenal

    Monday 2 January

    West Ham02Man Utd
    West Brom31Hull
    Sunderland22Liverpool
    Man City21Burnley
    Everton30Southampton
    Middlesbrough00Leicester

    Sunday 1 January

    Arsenal20Crystal Palace
    Watford14Tottenham

    Saturday 31 December

    Liverpool10Man City
    Swansea03Bournemouth
    Southampton12West Brom
    Man Utd21Middlesbrough
    Leicester10West Ham
    Chelsea42Stoke
    Burnley41Sunderland

    Friday 30 December

    Hull22Everton

    Wednesday 28 December

    Southampton14Tottenham

    Tuesday 27 December

    Liverpool41Stoke

    Monday 26 December

    Hull03Man City
    Swansea14West Ham
    Man Utd31Sunderland
    Leicester02Everton
    Chelsea30Bournemouth
    Burnley10Middlesbrough
    Arsenal10West Brom
    Watford11Crystal Palace

    Monday 19 December

    Everton01Liverpool

    Sunday 18 December

    Tottenham21Burnley
    Man City21Arsenal
    Bournemouth13Southampton

    Saturday 17 December

    West Brom02Man Utd
    West Ham10Hull
    Sunderland10Watford
    Stoke22Leicester
    Middlesbrough30Swansea
    Crystal Palace01Chelsea

    Wednesday 14 December

    West Brom31Swansea
    Tottenham30Hull
    Stoke00Southampton
    Man City20Watford
    Crystal Palace12Man Utd
    West Ham10Burnley
    Sunderland01Chelsea
    Middlesbrough03Liverpool
Swansea made dominance pay when Alfie Mawson (No 6) headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick in 42nd minute. CLICK HERE to see more of out brilliant Match Zone service. 

Swansea made dominance pay when Alfie Mawson (No 6) headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick in 42nd minute.

Clement returned there in the second half as well, watching a side unrecognisable from the one that had blown the last four games with heavy defeats.

Even when they were pulled back by a quite magnificent bicycle kick in the 83rd minute from Wilfried Zaha, they looked so much better than normal. 

But the climax? No-one saw that, with Angel Rangel smashing the winner via his half-volley a minute before the end. Perhaps leaving Bayern Munich won’t be so bad after all for Clement. 

Curtis, with his final roll of the dice, made four changes in search of some kind of solution, bringing in Federico Fernandez, Jack Cork, Jay Fulton and Wayne Routledge and axing Jordi Amat, Leroy Fer, Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer.

Allardyce, meanwhile, recalled Damien Delaney to his defence and inserted Joe Ledley just in front as Scott Dann and Mathieu Flamini made way.

Palace’s problems haven’t been nearly as pronounced as Swansea’s, but they leak goals in the most stupefying ways. Swansea’s 5-4 win in the previous fixture between these sides showed as much in all its gory detail.  

Sam Allardyce walks towards the home dugout ahead of what was his first home match in charge of the Eagles

Sam Allardyce walks towards the home dugout ahead of what was his first home match in charge of the Eagles

Fernando Llorente, the Swansea target man, reacts in disappointment after seeing his early header go wide of the Palace post

Fernando Llorente, the Swansea target man, reacts in disappointment after seeing his early header go wide

Swansea enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half- pictured is Gylfi Sigurdsson (right) bringing the ball forward

Swansea enjoyed most of the possession in the opening 20 minutes – pictured is Gylfi Sigurdsson

Swansea striker Llorente brings down Andros Townsend with a reckless challenge and was given a deserved yellow card

Swansea striker Llorente brings down Andros Townsend with a reckless challenge to get a deserved yellow card

After a slow start to the game, Palace finally attack Swans' goal but Yohan Cabaye's effort is well saved by Fabianski

After a slow start to the game, Palace finally attack Swans’ goal but Yohan Cabaye’s effort is well saved by Fabianski

This game was a more subtle exhibition of the same point, with Palace coughing up three good chances in the opening 17 minutes alone.

In the first instance, Kyle Naughton bounced off two weak challenges and crossed for Fernando Llorente. James Tomkins and Martin Kelly made a hash of marking the same man as the header went wide.

Allardyce looked like a manager who has seen more than enough of the same weakness, while Clement must have sensed that in Llorente — a World Cup winning striker — he might just have a puncher’s chance.

It was the Spaniard who made the second chance, leading a counter-attack to the edge of Palace’s area, then seeing Ki Sung-Yueng to his left and Jack Cork to his right. 

Townsend, formerly of Tottenham and Newcastle, vents his anger at linesman after failing to win a throw-in during first-half

Townsend, formerly of Tottenham and Newcastle, vents his anger at linesman after failing to win a throw-in

France international Cabaye was lucky to escape a first-half booking when he caught Jay Fulton with this sliding challenge 

France international Cabaye escaped a first-half booking when he caught Jay Fulton with this sliding challenge

Benteke takes advantage of a Swansea defensive mistake but the Belgian is denied a penalty when he is caught by Fabianski

Benteke appears to take a hit yet the Belgian is denied a penalty when he is caught by Fabianski

Jason Puncheon, the Palace playmaker, remonstrates with Premier League official Paul Tierney but the penalty wasn't given

Palace playmaker, Jason Puncheon, remonstrates with Premier League official Paul Tierney as penalty wasn’t given

Wilfried Zaha vents his frustration at fourth official Mike Dean, who endured a controversial night at West Ham on Monday

Zaha vents his frustration at fourth official Mike Dean, who endured a controversial night at West Ham on Monday

The home defence? Scattered in the wind, evidently. Llorente slid his pass out to Cork, but a poor touch led to a snatched shot. 

Wayne Hennessey conceded a corner in making his save from which some more questionable marking allowed Ki a shot from 10 yards. He missed but Allardyce was getting agitated.

Federico Fernandez and Wayne Routledge then missed Swansea’s fourth and fifth decent openings of the half before a blunder from the former allowed Christian Benteke to reach a long punt from Hennessey. His touch took him past Lukasz Fabianski and the goalkeeper appeared to trip the Belgian. No penalty was given.

Palace raged — and with good reason — then rage turned to despair as Mawson headed Swansea ahead after 42 minutes, meeting a Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick for his first goal for the club. 

 Benteke receives medical treatment after falling in build-up to that denied penalty - the striker was substituted at half-time

Benteke receives medical treatment after falling in build-up to that denied penalty, then gets substituted at half-time

 Mawson was left unmarked to head home Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick as the Swans get the goal their performance deserved

Mawson was left unmarked to head home  Sigurdsson’s free-kick as the Swans get the goal their performance deserved

The Swansea defender raises his right arm in celebration after scoring the first-half goal against the south London outfit 

The Swansea defender raises his right arm in celebration after scoring the first-half goal

Zaha, playing his last game before he jets off to the Africa Cup of Nations, is hunted down by Kyle Naughton

Zaha, playing his last game before he jets off to the Africa Cup of Nations, is hunted down by Kyle Naughton

Palace's French midfielder Cabaye (left) and Swansea's Scotland Under 21 international Fulton compete for the ball

Palace’s French midfielder Cabaye (left) and Swansea’s Scotland Under 21 international Fulton compete for the ball

Eagles manager Allardyce shouts instructions to his team during a second-half in which they were chasing an equaliser 

Eagles mgr Allardyce shouts instructions to his team during a second-half in which they were chasing an equaliser

Clement, who was watching the match from the stands, then returned to the dugout in the second half to speak to his players

Clement, who started the match from the stands, returned to the dugout in the second half to speak to his players

Another Palace goal conceded to a set-piece; a rare instance of Swansea leading a game. Clement responded by sitting in the dugout and then joined Curtis in the changing room for the half-time team-talk.

Across the corridor Allardyce hauled off Benteke and brought on Fraizer Campbell, before introducing Bakary Sako early in the half. The latter’s free-kick forced evasive action from Fabianski and from there Palace tightened their grip. They pressured Swansea, launched high and low balls at a defence notorious for buckling.

Zaha scored with his stunning strike but Swansea refused to give up and Rangel grabbed the winner — which must give Clement enormous hope.

And Allardyce? A different set of feelings altogether.

Zaha, who has been in stunning form for Palace this season, celebrates after equalising for Palace in the second half 

Zaha, who has been in stunning form for Palace this season, celebrates after equalising for Palace in the second half

But Zaha's joy was to be short-lived as Rangel scored this effort in the 88th minute to seal a vital victory on Tuesday night 

But Zaha’s joy was to be short-lived as Rangel scored this effort in the 88th minute to seal a vital victory

The Spaniard flexes his muscles as he celebrates his late strike which secured a much-needed three points for the visitors

The Spaniard flexes his muscles as he celebrates his late strike which secured a much-needed three points

 Under-fire Premier League referee Dean was the fourth official for Tuesday's clash between Palace and the Swans

Under-fire Premier League referee Dean was the fourth official for Tuesday’s clash between Palace and the Swans

The teams make their way out on to the Selhurst Park pitch and are welcomed by a light show and The Crystals cheerleaders

The teams are welcomed by a light show and The Crystals cheerleaders

Newly-appointed Swansea manager Clement walks pitchside with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish prior to kick-off

Newly-appointed Swansea mgr Clement walks pitchside with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish prior to kick-off

EDITED FROM: dailymail.co.uk

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