Crystal Palace’s Doucoure lucky not to be sent off v Brighton – Dan Cook
Dan Cook believes Crystal Palace were incredibly lucky not to see Cheick Doucoure sent off for two yellow cards in their most recent game.
The Lowdown: First win of 2023 continues to elude Vieira
After going three games without a shot on target, Crystal Palace at least got that monkey off of their back last night against Brighton & Hove Albion, but they were still unable to convert any of those efforts into goals and pick up a positive result.
Palace are the only side in the Premier League that are yet to win in 2023, and their run has seen them slide down the table and become engulfed in the fierce relegation battle, with goals being their biggest issue.
Last night, Vieira will have been asking for his players to avoid individual mistakes, which is something Doucoure didn’t grasp as he almost saw red for the second time this season when he committed a cynical foul while on a yellow card.
The Latest: Doucoure lucky to not be sent off
Cook certainly wasn’t being biased on the HLTCO podcast as he insisted that Palace got very lucky in the first half when Doucoure wasn’t shown a second yellow card after he fouled Moises Caicedo.
He said: “We saw Cheick Doucoure come off and be replaced by Ebere Eze at half-time, and I mean, that particular situation – let’s not beat around the bush, here – we were incredibly lucky to not be reduced to 10 men.
“I don’t think it’s anything to do with being partisan or biased, the tackle that Cheick Doucoure put in… I can’t quite believe that it wasn’t given as a second yellow. As soon as he committed it, my heart sank.”
The Verdict: Vieira can’t account for individual mistakes
Vieira will have planned for several days how to combat Brighton and ensure Palace were set up in the best way possible to pick up a positive result, but all that work went out of the window when Doucoure was hooked off at half-time.
The Mali international may well have been a big part of Vieira’s plans to nullify someone such as Alexis Mac Allister, so when the Eagles boss had no choice but to take him off at half-time due to his rash challenges in the first half, it will have switched up so many things for the Frenchman.
Therefore, it was always going to be an uphill battle for the Eagles to get any sort of positive result against Brighton when Doucoure went off, but these are the sorts of things that go against teams at the foot of the table and Vieira will know he must turn things round quickly or risk losing his job.