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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:50 30th November 2013


Tony Pulis and his new Eagles side couldn't quite find the perfect start to the Welshman's reign as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road.

Despite dominating proceedings in the second half the Eagles couldn't quite find the goal their play once again merited as the home side clung on to Gary Hooper's 30th minute strike in this basement battle.

The goalmouth action began from the opening minute when a corner from Nathan Redmond was headed wide by Canaries skipper Sebastien Bassong and five minutes later Jason Puncheon linked up with Cameron Jerome but scuffed a shot straight at John Ruddy.

The visitors had a real scare 10 minutes in when Norwich were awarded a controversial free-kick and Nathan Redmond's delivery was acrobatically backheeled goalwards on the volley by Johan Elmander but it smacked off the crossbar and bounced on the line before being scrambled away.

The danger continued and Julian Speroni had to be at his best to push away a stinging Redmond drive a couple of minutes later but despite a lack of possession Palace continued to look more threatening in the final third. On 26 minutes Jerome nutmegged Russell Martin out wide before cutting the ball back to Puncheon but he was thwarted by a wonderful sliding block from Martin Olsson.

But just before the half hour mark the Canaries struck the decisive blow. Redmond sped down the right and Leroy Fer found Wes Hoolalan in space inside the area,and he unselfishly teed up Gary Hooper who tapped the ball in from six yards out.

Palace responded well and were inches away from equalising a couple of minutes later. Puncheon shot from a tight angle and forced Rudy to scoop the ball away, but Barry Bannan lashed the rebound back towards the target however Olsson was once again in the right place to head the ball off the goalline.

After taking his first half-time team-talk as Eagles boss, Pulis seemed to get a reaction from his players as they began the second 45 brightly. A low Dean Moxey centre was deflected over his own bar by Bassong, and Damien Delaney inadvertently saw the corner ricochet off his shoulder but once again over the top.

Palace were all over their opponents during the second half and went close again when a free-kick found Jimmy Kebe on the edge of the box who struck a sweet first-time strike on the turn towards the bottom corner but it rippled the side-netting, and the substitute went close again during a scramble in the area but Ruddy dealt with the danger.

Having been content to cling on to their one goal advantage Chris Hughton's men saw out the final stages despite a late penalty shout for the Eagles and ensured that the new era at Palace began with defeat.

Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Fer, Howson, Redmond, Hoolahan (Johnson 79), Elmander (Becchio 81), Hooper (Whittaker  90). Subs not used: Nash, Turner, Garrido, Josh Murphy.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan (Williams 73), Puncheon (Kebe 76), Chamakh (Gayle 80), Jerome. Subs not used: Price, Mariappa, Phillips, O'Keefe.