Julian Speroni and Connor Wickham the unlikely Crystal Palace heroes

Julian Speroni and Connor Wickham the unlikely Crystal Palace heroes

Roy Hodgson hailed the “good news stories” of Connor Wickham scoring his first goal in more than two injury-ravaged years and veteran goalkeeper Julian Speroni breaking Crystal Palace’s all-time record of clean sheets as his side knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the FA Cup.

Wickham’s goal came 799 days after he lasted scored – in a defeat at home to Manchester City in Nov 2016 – and 792 days after his last start when he was badly injured against Swansea City. The 25-year-old striker suffered serious knee damaging which has hampered him until now, limiting his chances of even training fully.

“Two years and three months… incredible, isn’t it?” Hodgson said. “It’s a credit to him. Good news stories for Palace today were Connor and Julian Speroni’s club record clean sheets, number 112 I believe. Especially after what happened at Anfield. And for Connor, to play and crown it with a goal, that’s good news. We can leave Selhurst Park with a smile on our faces and see what awaits us in the fifth round.”

The clean sheet collected by Speroni, now 39, was his first since facing Leicester City in Dec 2017. The Argentinean has only played twice since then, including the Spurs tie, and was at fault in conceding four goals in the recent Premier League defeat away to Liverpool.

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