• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford United 0, Crystal Palace 2 (Edouard 71, Milivojevic 90 pen)

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 24, 2022

OXFORD United were edged out by Premier League side Crystal Palace after a spirited display in the Carabao Cup second round.

Odsonne Edouard’s 71st-minute goal broke the hosts’ resistance before Luka Milivojevic fired home a penalty in the closing stages.

It was nonetheless an encouraging performance from the U’s as they defied their depleted ranks to push the Eagles all the way in front of 9,500 fans at the Kassam Stadium.

Gatlin O’Donkor headed wide and Sam Johnstone saved Cameron Brannagan’s fierce effort in an end-to-end first half, before Palace took control after the break.

Karl Robinson only had 14 first-team players to pick from but still made six changes and switched formation to 3-4-1-2.

O’Donkor came in for his full debut, while fellow teenagers James Golding and Josh Johnson were also in the starting XI. Ed McGinty began in goal, with John Mousinho and Lewis Bate also in the line-up.

Palace boss Patrick Vieira made nine changes, with Marc Guehi and Odsonne Edouard the only players who also started Saturday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Milivojevic, Michael Olise, Will Hughes and Nathaniel Clyne were other well-known names in the XI.

United’s makeshift team was not overawed by their higher-division opponents, with Bate firing wide inside five minutes after Golding pounced on a slip by debutant Kaden Rodney.

McGinty was next to make a mistake moments later as he swiped at a clearance and brought down Jean-Philippe Mateta near the corner flag. Like against Swansea in the previous round, the U’s goalkeeper was booked early on.

The breathless start continued as Olise got in front of Steve Seddon to meet a cross and fire off target, before O’Donkor spurned a great chance.

Seddon swung the ball in from the left and the 17-year-old striker peeled off his marker at the back post, only to head wide.

There were more quickfire chances as Edouard got in behind and saw a shot blocked, with Marc Guehi almost scrambling home the opener from the resulting corner.

United were playing their part in an entertaining game, with the midfield three of Brannagan, Bate and Johnson looking bright in and out of possession.

Edouard should have put Palace ahead 12 minutes before the break, though, heading wide from six yards when he met Clyne’s cross unmarked at the back post.

Mousinho and Mateta were involved in a running battle and the striker was booked for a late challenge after Sam Long sold the U’s captain short with a hospital pass.

United had two opportunities just before the break, with O’Donkor unable to find Billy Bodin from a cut-back and Brannagan forcing Johnstone into a save down low. The midfielder was 18 yards out with Seddon all alone to his left, so a pass was perhaps the better option.

Vieira brought on Jeffrey Schlupp for Killian Phillips six minutes after the interval and Palace started the second half on top.

Guehi headed wide after McGinty came flying off his line to meet a corner, while there were early bookings for Bate, Johnson and Milivojevic.

Robinson made his first changes just after the hour mark as Matty Taylor, Kyle Joseph and Oisin Smyth – making his debut – replaced O’Donkor, Johnson and Bodin.

Vieira responded by bringing on two of his big hitters, with Eberechi Eze and Tyrick Mitchell introduced for Rodney and Mateta.

It gave Palace’s left side added bite and Edouard headed over from Olise’s free-kick after Long hauled Eze back to earn a booking.

Slavi Spasov came on for Bate, but the visitors finally broke the deadlock out of nothing moments later. Schlupp played a pinpoint through ball in behind for Edouard, who kept his cool to beat McGinty.

The changes continued for both sides as Tyler Goodrham replaced Mousinho, but Palace continued to push forward despite their one-goal lead.

They sealed victory in the final minute of normal time as Golding brought down substitute Jordan Ayew in the box, with Milivojevic sending McGinty the wrong way from the spot.

Oxford United (3-1-4-2): McGinty, Long, Mousinho (Goodrham 77), Brown, Johnson (Smyth 63), Golding, Bate (Spasov 70), Brannagan, Seddon, Bodin (Joseph 63), O’Donkor (Taylor 63).

Unused subs: Eastwood, Findlay, Sade, Jones.

Booked: McGinty, Bate, Johnson, Long, Brannagan, Smyth.

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Johnstone, Clyne, Richards, Guehi, Rodney (Eze 65), Phillips (Schlupp 51), Milivojevic, Hughes, Olise (Ebiowei 76), Mateta (Mitchell 65), Edouard (Ayew 76).

Unused subs: Guaita, Doucoure, Wells-Morrison, Boateng.

Booked: Mateta, Milivojevic.

Referee: Peter Bankes (Lancashire).

Attendance: 9,564 (1,352 visitors).