Scott Dann headed a second-half equaliser as Crystal Palace ended a five-match losing run away to Swansea City in the Premier League on Saturday.
The relegation-threatened hosts led at the Liberty Stadium through Gylfi Sigurdsson’s early free-kick, but Dann levelled from a corner two minutes into the second half.
Yohan Cabaye’s involvement, having suffered an ankle injury against Stoke City in the FA Cup last weekend, ended prematurely, but Palace were at least cheered by an encouraging debut from the Frenchman’s replacement, Hiram Boateng.
The academy graduate nearly gave Palace the lead through a strike from long range a few moments after coming on with 20 minutes remaining, but ultimately neither team could force what would have been an invaluable winner.
The result leaves Swansea precariously placed just four points above the relegation zone, while Palace have stopped the rot but remain without a win since beating Stoke City 2-1 away on December 19 and are by no means clear of trouble.
The hosts’ head coach Francesco Guidolin made just one change to the side that drew 1-1 at West Brom last time out, Alberto Paloschi earning a full debut in place of the concussed Ki Sung-yueng.
Pardew handed a first start to Emmanuel Adebayor and Cabaye returned to the starting line-up, with Jordon Mutch also coming into the XI.
Swansea started strongly and took a deserved lead after 13 minutes, Sigurdsson curling a free-kick past the wall and into the far corner of the net, beyond the fingertips of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for his fifth goal in six matches.
Andre Ayew came close to doubling the hosts’ lead two minutes later, with a block in the area required to deny the Ghana international before Adebayor headed over from Cabaye’s free-kick.
The Togo striker nearly cost his team at the other end in the 32nd minute, getting involved in a mix-up with Hennessey to hand Ayew a chance, but he steered his shot narrowly wide of the post.
Former Eagles winger Wayne Routledge should have made it 2-0 when he shot narrowly off target in the 35th minute, but Palace grew into the game as the half continued, Wilfried Zaha, Adebayor and Dann all threatening in quick succession just prior to the break.
And the visitors’ attacking intent was rewarded as Dann levelled a minute into the second half, firing into the roof of the net after Damien Delaney flicked on Cabaye’s corner at the near post.
Swansea had a good claim for a penalty waved away by referee Mike Dean 10 minutes into the second half, Ayew going down under a challenge from Zaha.
That incident proved the spark for Guidolin’s men to enjoy a period of dominance, Ayew almost hooking a speculative attempt into the far corner of the net and Hennessey being forced to save low down on his line from Ashley Williams following a corner.
After substitute Boateng flashed his drive past the upright, Sigurdsson almost restored Swansea’s lead with another free-kick from just outside the area.
This time Hennessey was equal to the task, diving acrobatically to tip the shot around the post on 83 minutes.
The Iceland international then delivered a corner which Williams smashed fiercely into Pape Souare with two minutes to go, Swansea finishing strongly but unable to register a second win in three matches under Guidolin.
Key Opta Stats:
– Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored five goals in his last six Premier League appearances for Swansea.
– Since his debut in January 2012, only Christian Eriksen (6) has scored more free-kick goals in the Premier League than Sigurdsson (5).
– Scott Dann has scored five Premier League goals in 2015-16 – this after having scored six in 125 top-flight games before this season.
– Palace scored in an away Premier League game for the first time since December 2015 against Stoke, ending a run of 319 minutes without a goal on the road in the competition.
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