There was a moment during the first half when Roy Hodgson – taking charge of his 400th Premier League match – stood on the touchline and simply shook his head. The Crystal Palace manager had just seen yet another of his players succumb to an injury after a week that saw three more ruled out of this meeting with Nottingham Forest.
But while it was Steve Cooper’s visitors who created the better chances here and could have taken all three points had a brilliant lob from Morgan Gibbs-White not come back off the post, you can always rely on teams managed by Hodgson to keep fighting. The result was a second successive stalemate at home and three clean sheets in a row, although new issues with midfielders Jeffrey Schlupp and Jairo Riedewald, both of whom had to be substituted here, was certainly not what the doctor ordered.
The extent of Palace’s injury problems had been laid bare on Friday when Hodgson arrived at the pre-match press conference with an A4 piece of paper listing all of his unavailable players. But after the news that Cheick Doucouré had joined chief creators Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise in being sidelined by a hamstring injury, at least top scorer Odsonne Édouard was back to lead the line with Riedewald handed his first Premier League start in more than two years.
A dour draw was the consolation prize for Roy Hodgson on his 400th game as a Premier League manager, although considering the mounting scale of Crystal Palace’s injury problems, a point against Nottingham Forest will have been tinged with relief too.
With a threadbare squad at his disposal and a bench lacking in experience, Hodgson stared disbelieving as two more senior players in Jeffrey Schlupp and Jairo Riedewald hobbled down the tunnel at Selhurst Park, and Forest might rue not taking greater advantage.
It said much that the centre back Murillo was their best attacking outlet, but a combination of the post and Sam Johnstone ensured the score remained goalless.
Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest settled for a point apiece after playing out a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.
Morgan Gibbs-White came closest for Forest when he clipped the inside of the far post in the first half, while Jean-Philippe Mateta narrowly missed breaking the deadlock in the second period.
Roy Hodgson’s 400th Premier League game in charge was marred by two more injuries to his severely-depleted side, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Jairo Riedewald forced off on either side of the interval.
Substitute Jesurun Rak-Sakyi was impressive in his fourth appearance for the Eagles and provided a bit of much-needed hope for the hosts – for whom the international break can not come soon enough.
The hosts should have been riding a high after walking away with all three points at Old Trafford last Saturday, but the past seven days instead saw Eberechi Eze, Joel Ward and Cheick Doucoure add to a long list of Eagles injuries, which Hodgson acknowledged had reached a “crisis” point.
Roy Hodgson reached the 400 game milestone as a Premier League manager and, in the circumstances, this point for Crystal Palace was one worth celebrating too.
Palace have been decimated by injuries, their woes threatening to put a dampener on this landmark occasion for the well-travelled, veteran manager.
They certainly hampered Palace’s hopes of following up their shock win at Manchester United with another three points and with Eberechi Eze among their latest victims it is no wonder they were not at their most creative.
Eze was one of nine first-team players Palace started this game without and they saw that number hit double figures when they lost first Jeffrey Schlupp and then Jairo Riedewald.
No wonder, Hodgson said he can’t remember an injury crisis like it not just from his 26 years in the Premier League but his entire near half-century as a manager.