Camp­bell sal­vages point for Palace after div­ing con­tro­versy

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - SPORT | PREMIER LEAGUE - By Arindam Rej at the KCOM Sta­dium

Fraizer Camp­bell re­turned to cause more mis­ery for his for­mer club Hull City, where he is an un­pop­u­lar fig­ure among fans, as he headed in a late equaliser to sal­vage a point for his un­der-pres­sure man­ager Alan Pardew in an en­ter­tain­ing con­test that had seemed set to be over­shad­owed by an ap­palling dive from the home side’s Robert Sn­od­grass.

Camp­bell had been jeered by home sup­port­ers as he warmed up on the touch­line, but Pardew threw him on for the fi­nal 10 min­utes and the Crys­tal Palace striker re­sponded by meet­ing Wil­fried Zaha’s cross and nod­ding in. Camp­bell had also scored against Hull for Cardiff City and cel­e­brated mock­ingly on the fi­nal day of the sea­son in 2012-13 when the York­shire club were search­ing for – and ul­ti­mately se­cured – au­to­matic pro­mo­tion to the Premier League.

Be­fore that mo­ment, Pardew had looked like he would be crash­ing to an­other dam­ag­ing de­feat after an­other away goal feast. This time, though, his team sum­moned the nec­es­sary char­ac­ter to re­pair the dam­age – un­like the out­come of the past two matches on the road, when they were beaten 5-4 at Swansea City and 3-2 at Burn­ley.

When he was New­cas­tle man­ager in March 2014, Pardew had in­fa­mously butted Hull mid­fielder David Meyler at this venue and the Palace man­ager would have been ex­cused for feel­ing sim­i­lar rage at times dur­ing this match.

There was the sight of Sn­od­grass – who had al­ready been booked – pro­duc­ing an aw­ful dive to win a penalty and score from it, mean­ing that the home side took a 1-0 lead rather than go­ing down to 10 men and the score stay­ing 0-0. It was a con­tro­ver­sial mo­ment that should earn the Hull player plenty of flak, with Pardew say­ing the Scot should be “em­bar­rassed”.

“Fab­ri­ca­tion would be the word I’d use, with my diplo­matic head,” Pardew said “We all want it out of the game. It’s very dif­fi­cult, at match speed, to call that right but Sn­od­grass needs to have a look at him­self. When he sees it, he will be em­bar­rassed.”

Sn­od­grass cel­e­brated his goal with gusto but later seemed rather more con­trite as he apol­o­gised on Twit­ter, say­ing: “Apolo­gies from my end it was never a penalty, but gen­uinely thought de­fender was go­ing to slide, so tried to ride the tackle.”

While Pardew’s frus­tra­tion with Sn­od­grass was un­der­stand­able it was the Palace play­ers who should also have been the sub­ject of the man­ager’s ire as they un­did their hard work of re­cov­er­ing and tak­ing a 2-1 lead – and slop­pily fell 3-2 be­hind. Camp­bell’s in­ter­ven­tion was con­se­quently a huge relief and the con­tri­bu­tion of Zaha was cru­cial – with the winger hav­ing al­ready won a penalty and scored a highly im­pres­sive solo goal be­fore that late as­sist.

When asked if Camp­bell’s his­tory was a fac­tor in bring­ing the player on, Pardew said: “A lit­tle bit. I said to my staff be­fore the game, ‘I fancy him to score’. One or two peo­ple at Hull ques- tioned his men­tal­ity. He must have ad­justed that be­cause he has been a model pro at Palace.”

The Palace man­ager said his team should have seen the game out at 2-1. “Wilf [Zaha] should have been on the win­ning team to­day,” he said. “At the end, we needed Fraizer to get a point and it was an im­por­tant point.”

Pardew was go­ing into the game after a win against Southamp­ton, which ended a run of six de­feats in a row, but he had not less­ened the pres­sure on him­self by say­ing that this match at Hull “could de­fine the first half of our sea­son”. After crit­i­cism over neg­a­tive tac­tics re­cently, Hull man­ager Mike Phe­lan changed the for­ma­tion to a 3-5-1-1, of­fer­ing more width and at­tack­ing threat. Sup­port­ers had been vo­cif­er­ously seek­ing that change and it was vin­di­cated by a much-im­proved dis­play, de­spite the ul­ti­mate disappointment of drop­ping two points.

Phe­lan said: “I thought that we were go­ing to see it through. It would have been mas­sive. With the dis­ap­pointGuardi­ola ment, there comes a lot of ‘well dones’.”

Palace started the bet­ter side but Hull squan­dered an early chance as Adama Diomande found him­self one on one against goal­keeper Wayne Hen­nessey and shot straight at him.

The penalty then gave the home side their break­through, with Sn­od­grass tum­bling in the box de­spite there ap­pear­ing to be no con­tact from Scott Dann, al­though Phe­lan re­fused to crit­i­cise his mid­fielder.

“I’m not go­ing to pull my own player up for some­thing the ref­eree gave,” he said. “We take what we’re given at this level. I’m sure Alan is ag­grieved, as I would be.”

The Palace boss re­sponded to his side’s first-half deficit by chang­ing his sys­tem to match Hull and his team quickly lev­elled, when Sn­od­grass gave away a penalty, which Chris­tian Ben­teke scored, rolling the ball in.

Hull re­mained pos­i­tive but Palace were look­ing well ca­pa­ble of scor­ing when they broke and did so, in style, through Zaha. The winger twisted be­yond Tom Hud­dle­stone and Sam Clu­cas then fired a shot, from a test­ing an­gle, into the roof of the net.

Phe­lan’s men rapidly equalised as Harry Maguire sup­plied Diomande, who turned be­yond Dann and fin­ished. The pos­i­tiv­ity did not stop after that ei­ther and Hull were soon re­warded with their third goal as Jake Liver­more took Sn­od­grass’s pass and made a pierc­ing run into the 18-yard box, then ar­rowed a low strike in­side the near post.

They looked on course for a win at that stage but Camp­bell wrecked their af­ter­noon by cap­i­tal­is­ing on poor de­fend­ing.

Fall guy: Robert Sn­od­grass goes to ground to win Hull a hotly-dis­puted penalty

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