Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer savoured his maiden win in charge of the Eagles after his side edged past Championship high-flyers Ipswich Town to reach the Carabao Cup third round.
The Selhurst Park club had to wait until the final quarter of the game to settle their nerves against a much-changed Ipswich as midfielder James McArthur netted twice – his first goals since December.
Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina registered a consolation for the Tractor Boys in stoppage-time although Palace had done enough to ensure their presence in tomorrow’s draw for round three.
Victory also provided former Ajax and Inter Milan boss De Boer with some respite from the Premier League after his reign began with successive defeats to top-flight newcomers Huddersfield and Liverpool.
“Winning gives you confidence. It’s always nice to win. I’m very pleased with the spirit I saw from the players,” said De Boer. “A lot of players showed that they are ready, so for that spirit I am pleased.
“We couldn’t really get the pressure on them in the first half, that’s why we changed the system in the second. You’re always waiting for that moment [the first goal], so I am very pleased.
“They were quality shots [from McArthur] and he showed good composure and accuracy. Sometimes there is no need to hit the ball hard if you have the accuracy to put it in the corner.”
Ipswich have been the surprise package of the second tier so far this season having won all four of their league matches and five in total if their first-round triumph over Luton is included.
Not since their promotion campaign of 1999-2000 have the Suffolk outfit been in such prolific early-season form but manager Mick McCarthy opted to make 11 changes, citing the need to protect the eight fit first-team players at his disposal.
Such rotation perhaps takes what gloss there is from this victory for Palace, although at least their run of defeats has been broken prior to Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Swansea.
McArthur opened his account on 76 minutes when he applied a curling finish following a driving run, and found the top corner shortly afterwards to double Palace’s lead. Celina’s close-range finish gave Ipswich brief hope.