Michael Olise’s late show gives Crystal Palace hope but Patrick Vieira wants more

Michael Olise’s late show gives Crystal Palace hope but Patrick Vieira wants more

The way Michael Olise reacted to his stunning late equaliser that earned Crystal Palace a vital point last night, you can only assume he scores goals like that all the time in training.

After arrowing the ball past David De Gea and in off the underside of the bar with one of the best free-kicks of the season, there was no wild celebration. The winger simply turned to his right, clenched his fist and began walking back to the halfway line.

Olise was quickly mobbed by his team-mates, as Palace rescued a point to stop Manchester United going second and end their nine-match winning streak under Erik ten Hag.

United had been on course to move to within six points of leaders Arsenal ahead of their huge trip to Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Michael Olise’s muted goal celebration. (Getty Images)
Michael Olise’s muted goal celebration. (Getty Images)

But things unravelled for the visitors in the final 10 minutes.

First, Casemiro earned his fifth yellow card of the season for chopping down Wilfried Zaha, meaning the midfielder is now suspended for the Arsenal game, then came the sucker punch from Olise.

United were left reeling, but Palace will hope this late show, after a disciplined, determined performance against one of the form teams in the country, can be a turning point in their season. The point ended a run of three straight defeats for the Eagles, who have been going through their first rocky patch since Patrick Vieira was appointed manager.

Moments of magic like Olise's free-kick can lift a team, and the mood at full-time reflected that. The atmosphere at Selhurst Park had been flat, with United managing to suffocate the game and seemingly in control, after Bruno Fernandes had given them a first-half lead.

David de Gea fails to save Olise’s free kick. (AFP via Getty Images)
David de Gea fails to save Olise’s free kick. (AFP via Getty Images)

Olise changed all that, and now Vieira is challenging the 21-year-old to make his match-winning contributions a regular occurrence.

There can be no denying Olise's talent, and on his day there is an argument he is up there with the best wingers in the League.

Consistency has been his problem, though, and his magnificent free-kick last night was only his second goal of the season.

"His talent is there and it is just about how high he wants to go," said Vieira. "That will be dictated by his commitment every day, the training, the sacrifices that he is prepared to make to fulfil that potential.

"He needs to score more goals, he needs to make more assists. I want him to be better defensively, to work with the rest of the players to help the team out of possession. There are still a lot of elements that he needs to work on to improve himself, but the quality is there."

If creative players such as Olise are to thrive at Palace, they need a strong base behind them, and Vieira was pleased with the fight his side showed, particularly in the second half.

Centre-back Chris Richards, making his first Premier League start, added some much-needed steel and, despite United having a strong penalty shout turned down when he and Scott McTominay collided in the box, the Palace defence looked solid.

That will give Vieira heart, and stopping United in their tracks is also a lift for his former club Arsenal.

United looked to be back in the title race, but they are still a work in progress. Wout Weghorst failed to impress on his debut, while the absence of Casemiro on Sunday cannot be overstated.

Until his booking last night, the closest anyone has got to the Brazilian maestro this season was when a fan ran onto the pitch and grabbed a selfie with him last night.