Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson not surprised at clean sheet against Sheffield United

Roy Hodgson says he wasn't surprised that Crystal Palace kept a clean sheet against Sheffield United this afternoon as the Eagles ensured the Blades' miserable start to the season continued with a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park.

Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 6:31 pm

A wondergoal from Ebere Eze sealed the points for Palace after Jeffrey Schlupp's early opener, sentencing United to their 15th defeat in 17 league games so far.

Hodgson's side had not tasted success since thrashing West Brom at the start of December, but the former England boss was delighted with his side's defensive display.

"We were solid and defended well," Hodgson said.

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"We've come close to a clean sheet a lot of times only to concede late.

"I wasn't surprised that we weren't overrun or conceding chance after chance, it was a strong performance all the way through I thought to make sure we kept that clean sheet."

On Eze's goal, Hodgson added: "It was a fantastic run from his own half and a composed finish, it came at a good time and made the second half a bit less hairy than it could have been.

"I've some good goals recently but most have been against us, unfortunately. So it was nice to see one go for us."

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson (left) speaks to Wilfried Zaha after victory over Sheffield United - John Walton/PA Wire

Luka Milivojevic was a notable inclusion in the Palace XI despite pictures emerging on social media of the captain appearing to break coronavirus rules by mixing with Fulham ace Aleksandar Mitrovic on New Year's Eve.

United had nine players missing in total, and a number of players and backroom staff are also still self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.