Alan Pardew, the Crystal Palace manager, admitted after Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League home win over Aston Villa that he had been out-thought by Tim Sherwood’s side in the first-half.
Bakary Sako sealed the Palace win with an 87th minute goal after a late call-up for his debut, following Scott Dann’s opener a quarter-hour earlier – the 16th goal Palace have scored from a set-piece since Pardew took charge at Selhurst Park.
But Pardew had had to alter the shape of the game at half-time, acting decisively at the break by making two tactical substitutions, taking Glenn Murray and Wilfried Zaha off and replacing them with Dwight Gayle and Jordon Mutch.
Sako, signed on a free, only got his chance because Yala Bolassie, who would have played, learned in the build-up to the game that his father had died.
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