Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has hailed an “amazing” goal by Lee Chung-Yong that sealed a 2-1 victory against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
With the scoreline at 1-1 in the dying moments of the match, Lee shaped a brilliant attempt through a forest of bodies and into Jack Butland’s far corner to make it 2-1.
The win kept Palace in sixth, level on points with Tottenham and Manchester United at Christmas, and Pardew has heaped praise on the impact of Lee, who came on as a second-half substitute.
Speaking after the match, the Palace boss said: “Amazing, wasn’t it? I was right behind it.
“Jordon (Mutch) has a shot that he completely miscues, Damo has a shot and it gets blocked and comes out and the best you can hope for really is Chungy to put it back into the mixer. He had other ideas.
“It was a really great technical goal because his control to hit that side-footed, with that power, against the wind, was amazing. It obviously brought the house down on our bench.”
Pardew brought Lee to Selhurst Park from Bolton in the last window transfer window, but an injury and the form of Yannick Bolasie and Zaha has left the 27-year-old with few opportunities to impress.
“He’s a great player, he’s unfortunate in this team,” Pardew added.
“I brought him to this football club, he would have wanted more opportunities. But, with Bolasie and Zaha filling those wide areas, he doesn’t get a lot of opportunities. He certainly woke us all up today.
“He can score goals – usually not from as far back as that, more of a taking people on and weaving his way through type of goals.
“I’m delighted for him. He’s one of the most popular players in our dressing room. The lads are absolutely delighted for him.”
Despite the loss, Stoke City boss Mark Hughes was positive after the match, claiming that the result hasn’t affected his side’s confidence.
The Welshman said: “Towards the end of the game you’re thinking Palace looked reasonably comfortable or happy with the point because they’d taken most of their more creative players out of the game.
“But, lo and behold, they get one last corner and it drops to the lad on the edge of the box who will never hit a ball like that ever again, probably hasn’t before either.
“That’s what happens – it’s sport, you have to dust yourself down and keep going. Confidence wise we’re not affected because I thought we did okay today.”