Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew will come under increasing pressure this week after his side succumbed to a dramatic 5-4 loss at fellow #Premier League strugglers Swansea. Palace have now lost six league games on the bounce and sit just two points above the relegation zone. They have collected a mere 22 points from 32 games in 2016, which is the lowest total of any team in England’s top four leagues.

Madness at the Liberty

#Football fans at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium certainly got their money’s worth on Saturday afternoon, even if there wasn’t a great deal of quality on show. The clash was billed as a must-win (or at least must not lose) for both sides.

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Swansea began the game bottom of the table with just six points from 12 matches, while Palace were in freefall after losing their previous five games.

It was the visitors who started the better, taking an early lead through former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha. Swansea levelled through a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick before half-time, and that was how it stayed until just 25 minutes remained on the clock. Midfielder Leroy Fer then scored twice in three minutes, continuing his impressive form for the Swans. He has six league goals this term.

Fer’s quickfire double triggered a goal frenzy. Palace defender James Tomkins reduced the arrears with 15 minutes to go, before strikes from Jack Cork and Christian Benteke gave the visitors a surprise lead. As if that wasn’t enough drama for one afternoon, Swansea substitute Fernando Llorente netted twice in stoppage time to give the hosts a remarkable 5-4 win.

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Ecstasy for Bradley, agony for Pardew

Given the poor form of both sides heading into the match, each manager was desperate for a win. Swansea’s astonishing victory was their first under American boss Bob Bradley, whose appointment earlier in the season was greeted with lukewarm sentiment. Some experts felt Premier League legend Ryan Giggs was a better candidate for the job. But the Swans have shown improvement in recent weeks following a defeat at home to Manchester United, drawing away at Everton and then holding their nerve in today’s dramatic contest. Those displays are at least likely to buy Bradley time as he looks to steer Swansea away from trouble.

The same cannot be said of Pardew. Palace have the lowest points tally of any Premier League team in 2016, mainly because they can’t stop conceding goals.

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They haven’t kept a clean sheet since April. As a result, Palace are looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone, which won’t sit well with the fans or the board. Pardew is the bookies’ favourite to become the next Premier League manager to be sacked.

Investment in the wrong areas

Pardew’s summer transfer activity may be a factor behind his side’s ongoing struggles. He did a reasonable job in replacing attacking players such as Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle, who departed for Everton and Newcastle respectively. Striker Christian Benteke arrived from Liverpool, while England winger Andros Townsend was brought in from Newcastle.

It is defensively where Palace required investment, however. The signing of James Tomkins from West Ham has plainly been insufficient to resolve their defensive issues.

Pardew, a former Palace player, will hope that he is given a chance to change the club’s fortunes. The next two games are crucial if he is to remain in the job past Christmas. Palace face Southampton at home, followed by Hull City away.