Roy Hodgson makes losing start as Palace slump to Southampton defeat
Premier League, Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 1 (Steven Davis 6')
Roy Hodgson's return to management ended in defeat as a Steven Davis goal on six minutes gave Southampton a 1-0 win over bottom side Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Hodgson has been out of the front line since he resigned as England coach after the humiliating 2-1 defeat to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016 last summer.
But replacing the sacked Frank de Boer at Palace doesn't look like being an easy comeback gig judging by their struggles in losing a fifth straight game in the Premier League with Davis converting the winner from close range.
Southampton's Fraser Forster saves from Crystal Palace's Christian BentekeGetty Images
As worrying as the winless run, pointless Palace remain without a goal so far this season.
Apart from a couple of Fraser Forster saves, Palace did little to dispel the notion that they are set for a long hard battle to beat the drop in a match that saw Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk make his comeback for the visitors as a late substitute.
Can Hodgson save Palace? They have not won a single game in the league, and they looked much like a Hodgson side.
They were stodgy in attack and offered little nuance. While the former England manager achieved plenty in the early stages of his career, he underwhelmed with Liverpool and the national side. It is hard to see how his prosaic approach to the game will be enough to rescue a side close to crisis.
Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.Eurosport
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mario Lemina (Southampton): Brought in from Juventus, he displayed all his pedigree and experience against Palace. He was clever in defence, breaking up play with astute anticipation. He was strong and quick, able to launch counterattacks despite tackles flying in, and he was calm when the team came under pressure in the second half.
6' - GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton. Davis scores - Redmond finds Tadic on the inside right in the box, he takes a touch to the byline and fires in an awkward ball for Hennessey to deal with. He pushes it away from goal, but straight to Davis, who sidefoots home.
Steven Davis celebrates scoring for Southampton against Crystal PalaceGetty Images
16' - FORSTER SAVE - Townsend lays the ball off to Loftus-Cheek, finding the touchline and crossing it for Benteke's run to the six-yard box. He shoots, only a few yards out, but Forster pulls off a vital save.
22' - REDMOND SHOT - Redmond makes space for a shot from about 30 yards, and while it stings the hands of Hennessey, it's too central to be threatening.
30' - LOFTUS-CHEEK SHOT - Loftus-Cheek brings the ball from midfield after a Benteke lay-off. He takes a few touches and shoots early, 30 yards out, fizzing just wide.
49' - PUNCHEON CHANCE - Puncheon reaches a cross from the left and fires in a shot at Forster from just a few yards out.
79' - ROMEU HEADER - Romeu has a free header from a Davis corner, and he heads just over the bar with the chance.
Crystal Palace are the first side in English top-flight history to open the season with five defeats and no goals scored.
Roy Hodgson (70y 38d) became the third manager to take charge of a Premier League game in his 70’s after Sir Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson.
Steven Davis scored his first Premier League goal since 15th May 2016 - also against Crystal Palace 489 days ago.
(Stats from Opta)