Crystal Palace 4
Dundee 3
Friendly (Julian Speroni Testimonial)

Crystal Palace 

4 - 3


Friendly (Julian Speroni Testimonial)
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Selhurst Park
Attendance: 11,509
3:00 PM Kick-off

Bolasie (6)
Lee (22)
Gayle (29)
Gayle (37)
Dylan Carreiro (33)
Charlie Adam (85)
Cammy Kerr (86)

Team Managers
Alan Pardew Paul Hartley

Starting Eleven
Kyle Gourlay
Kostadin Gadzhalov
Gary Irvine
Paul McGinn
James McPake
Charlie Adam
Dylan Carreiro
Jim McAlister
Greg Stewart
Luka Tankulic
Craig Wighton

Matt Lawrence
Danny Butterfield
Chris Morgan
Neil Ashton
Alan Pardew
Clinton Morrison
John Salako
Aki Riihilahti
Christian Pedercini
Ezequil Speroni
Mariano Borsalino
Lewis Price
Hiram Boateng
Sullay Kaikai
Jake Gray
Cristian Barrionuevo
John Fendley
Julian Speroni
Cammy Kerr
Thomas Konrad
Andrew Black
John Black
Calvin Colquhoun
Beto Carranza
Temur Ketsbaia
Giorgi Nemsadze
Fabian Caballero
Juan Sara

None. Andrew Black for Paul McGinn (46)
Thomas Konrad for Kostadin Gadzhalov (46)
Cammy Kerr for Gary Irvine (46)
Calvin Colquhoun for Charlie Adam (46)
Beto Carranza for Dylan Carreiro (55)
Temur Ketsbaia for Greg Stewart (55)
Juan Sara for Luka Tankulic (55)
Fabian Caballero for Craig Wighton (55)
John Black for Jim McAlister (61)
Julian Speroni for Kyle Gourlay (70)
Giorgi Nemsadze for John Black (75)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Dermot Gallagher (Referee)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee lost 4-3 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tonight in Julian Speroni's testimonial match. The result hardly matters; this was a wonderfully enjoyable and emotional game, a celebration of heroes, and one hero in particular. The game might have lacked the edge of true competition, but the first 45 minutes saw a serious game of football before the fun took over after the break. Yannick Bolasie, Chung-yong Lee and Dwight Gayle put the Eagles three up before Dylan Carreiro pulled a goal back for the Dee. Gayle quickly responded with a fourth to emphasise Palace's first half superiority.

The second half largely belonged to the Dark Blues, with temporary Dee Charlie Adam and Cammy Kerr scoring late goals. Julian Speroni played the last 13 minutes for the Dee, and it should be noted that while he was on the pitch the score was 6-1 in his team's favour. There's no doubt who the winner was tonight!

Palace opened the scoring after six minutes. Superb trickery by Wilfried Zaha on the right had the Dundee defence in knots. His low cross was deflected and it took a great save by Kyle Gourlay to keep the ball out. Sadly for the young keeper the ball fell for Yannick BOLASIE who hammered the ball against the keeper and into the net.

Charlie Adam, appearing courtesy of Stoke City, gave Speroni his first test with a low 20 yarder that the man of the night took comfortably. Dundee then had a good spell passing the ball around smartly in the Palace half. Greg Stewart ended a patient move with a 20 yard shot that was deflected just wide. More good play from Stewart set up Adam to crash a volley over the bar.

Gourlay saved well when Chung-yong Lee tried to chip him, but the youngster was out of luck when Zaha took a pot shot from distance. Gourlay couldn't hold the ball and LEE rolled the ball into the net.

The pace and skill of Zaha and Bolasie were a cut above anything the Dark Blues have to face in Scotland, and the Palace wingers were giving an impressive exhibition of wing play. It was no surprise when the pressure led to a third goal. Dwight GAYLE worked a clever, fast move with Zaha, cut inside and smashed the ball past Gourlay.

Dundee responded with a fine goal of their own. Charlie Adam stepped up a gear to race through the midfield and slip a pass through for Dylan CARREIRO to shoot past Speroni.

The goal gave the Dee a boost and Julian Speroni made the save of the match to stop Adam pulling another goal back. Adam fired in a rocket from the edge of the box that Speroni parried superbly. He then recovered quickly to keep out Tankulic's follow up header.

Palace's razor sharp raiders promptly punished the Dark Blues with a swift counter attack for goal number four when Lee raced into the penalty area to set up GAYLE for a tap in.

In the last action of a highly competitive first half Gourlay did well to hold a ferocious shot from Bolasie.

Crystal Palace replaced their whole team at half time, sending on a team of old favourites for cameo appearances with fresh old faces coming on every few minutes. The Dark Blues made fewer changes and had the better of the second half.

The travelling Dees were delighted to see their own old favourites appearing; Juan Sara, Fabian Caballero, Beto Carranza, Temuri Ketsbaia and Georgi Nemsadze all came on to great acclaim. The old guard still had some lovely touches, but it was clear that they preferred the ball played to feet rather than chasing balls into space!

Sara seemed to have pulled a goal back when he was sent clear and lobbed Speroni. To the delight of the crowd Julian managed to get back and make a fantastic save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar and away to safety.

The substitution that brought the second loudest cheer from the home fans was the arrival of the hugely popular Palace manager Alan Pardew. The loudest applause was of course reserved for Julian Speroni's substitution after 70 minutes. The travelling Dees responded by singing non-stop for Julian Speroni to come back on for Dundee. They were delighted when they got their wish after just a few minutes. The Palace fans also rose to applaud their hero when he returned to the pitch for the visitors.

Charlie Adam came back on for the last quarter of an hour and injected some serious intent into Dundee's attacks. After 85 minutes ADAM took a pass from Ketsbaia and delighted the Dee support by scoring with a crisp low shot from 18 yards. "Charlie Adam - he's one of our own" sang the fans.

Only a minute later Cammy KERR went rampaging down the left, cut inside and flashed home a great finish for the last goal of the night.

The final whistle was far from being the end of the evening. Few supporters left the ground till everyone had said their lengthy emotional farewells. The Dundee squad all went over to acknowledge the fantastic Dark Blue support. The Palace squad thanked everyone, and eventually the last man left was Julian Speroni who sailed down the tunnel on a wave of love.

Football supporters want heroes. They want men they can look up to but also identify with. They want players they can respect not only for what they've done, but for who they are. Julian Speroni is a man who has earned the right to be called a hero by supporters of two clubs. He has been a magnificent player, but above that he has been a man who has served his clubs with loyalty, honour and dignity. Tonight was a wonderful occasion that gave us the chance to celebrate the career of Julian Speroni - footballer and gentleman.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at May 26th, 2015)

2014-15 All Time

League Table (as at May 26th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.