It finished all square at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace battled to a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion in the first A23 derby of the Premier League season.
Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha scored his seventh goal against Brighton, the most he has scored against any opponent before Lewis Dunk received a red card in extra time after a reckless challenge on Gary Cahill, but one player stood out from the rest: Jairo Riedewald.
Much has been made of the 3-cap Dutch international’s time at Selhurst Park, as it is fair to say that he has struggled for consistency so far, as he averaged fewer than one tackle per game in the top flight last term, via WhoScored.
It seems like he played like he had a point to prove in an attempt to try and silence the critics – and boy, did he deliver.
Per SofaScore, the 24-year-old completed a staggering 23 out of 24 passes (96%), whilst he also won four out of seven ground duels, and made two tackles, four clearances, one interception and blocked one shot. Tellingly, he only lost possession five times, unlike Michy Batshuayi.
The Dutchman demonstrated that not only is he capable of putting in a defensive shift but he can also be a useful asset in attack if and when required. It’s just a shame that Batshuayi was leaning offside when the ball was played, but the least said about that, the better.
Sky Sports awarded Riedewald with a high rating of 7/10, whilst football.london went one step further and gave him a grade of 8/10, claiming he “looked at home in the Premier League on his first start of the season, his passing and movement with the ball helping him out of some tight spots.”
It’s hard to argue otherwise at the very least, as Riedewald was perhaps unfortunate to miss out on the Man of the Match award, which went to Brighton striker Neal Maupay instead.
However, Hodgson will have been buoyed by his performance, especially when you consider the fact that James McCarthy picked up a hamstring injury whilst away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
The Palace boss has had plenty of faith in Riedewald’s ability on the pitch in the past, so it’s about time he was given a chance to build upon this impressive display.
AND in other news, Wilfried Zaha spares Crystal Palace’s blushes vs Brighton…