Ever since Crystal Palace fans started to sing “South London is ours” the way results have gone since January prove otherwise, yes they won 1-0 at The Den, but the Lions finished above them in the table, and on Saturday, despite having a 2-0 lead, the Lions fought back for a 2-2 draw.
Palace fan group ‘The Ultras’ welcomed the traveling supporters by hanging a banner showing a confused gorilla in a Millwall shirt holding a turkey flag (hilarious I know) with signs pointing to ‘League One” and “extinction”.
Not like Palace had to win on the final day to save themselves a couple years back or that they nearly went of existence just weeks later? Nice one ultras, but stick to your flags and balloons.
Despite the Lions not having James Henry or Andy Keogh in the squad they started out the better team with Darius Henderson heading just wide early on. Millwall were building pressure, but when Wilfried Zaha is on the other team, you know a counter attack is on the way.
Palace took the lead when a corner came out to midfielder Mile Jedinak, who hit a curling low drive from 35 yards to make it 1-0. One of the clichés of football is that you are most vulnerable when you just scored, but that should now be the other way round as the hosts doubled their lead just three minutes later when Damien Delaney headed home.
The Lions needed a way back into the game and quick.
A cross from Scott Malone was headed on by Darius Henderson and was going in, until Dean Moxey decided to play volleyball and pushed it over the bar, penalty to Millwall and Moxey was sent off. Lifeline! Up stepped Liam Trotter to put it in from 12 yards, the Lions were back in it, and almost went in level as a fantastic wide ball from Liam Trotter saw Chris Taylor head the ball on to the bar just before the break.
The second half was basically defense vs. attack.
The Eagles thought they had a penalty when Glen Murrary went down, but replays showed he dived. The Lions went full frontal attack to try and find a leveler and found it 13 minutes from time when Mark Beevers’ back leg connected on the crossed ball and past Speroni in the Palace goal. 2-2 it remained.
This meant the Lions had drawn their last three away games and are now unbeaten in four. I believe the main reason for the upturn in form is the change of style and formation. We’ve gone from playing tippy-tappy football in a 4-3-3 to a more “blood and guts” football in a 4-4-2 formation. With much better results.
Next up for Millwall is the visit of Birmingham City to The Den, a team surprisingly in the lower dregs of the table, or not surprisingly after appointing Lee Clark, a man who couldn’t get Huddersfield out of League One with a huge budget and 40-goal-a-season striker. With their poor form and the Lions starting to move up the table, I see the game as a 2-0 win for the Lions.