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Report: Palace 2 Blackburn 0

PUBLISHED

16:59 3rd November 2012


Palace announced Ian Holloway as manager in the run up to the game and the new Eagles manager would've been delighted with his new team's performance as Palace got the better of Blackburn at Selhurst Park.

With Holloway watching on, Curtis Fleming took charge of Palace for the last time and had his side roaring out of the blocks with Yannick Bolasie in dazzling form. The young winger was first to try his luck, firing an effort just wide, as the Eagles enjoyed early success down the right wing. Joel Ward was also enjoying himself down that side and the full-back almost laid on the opening goal of the game for Glenn Murray, only for Scott Dann to flick the ball away from the in-form striker at the last minute.

Murray continued to buzz around up front and linked well with Owen Garvan and Bolasie to earn a corner, from which Damien Delaney rose highest only to be denied by Paul Robinson's flying save. 

Palace were dominating but Rovers gave a reminder of their danger when Dickson Etuhu thumped a header against the bar on 25 minutes. But the Eagles were in no mood for sitting back and were soon going close again. Bolasie twice found himself in space on the right and sent over teasing crosses that Murray was only inches away from turning home.

The winger had been the best player on the pitch in the first half and was almost rewarded when he met Wilfried Zaha's left-wing cross, only to see his header rebound off the post and into Robinson's arms. Rovers looked to have weathered the storm but the Eagles were given the goal their display deserved on the stroke of half-time as Murray powered home a superb Garvan cross for the opener.

If Bolasie had been the player of the first half, Zaha looked determined to make the second his own as he dazzled the Rovers back-line with step-overs and trickery. First the Football League's young player of the year beat two men and cut the ball back for Bolasie, who blazed over from the edge of the box, and then he got the better of his markers again only for Robinson to thwart his toe-poked effort.

Rovers were playing their part in an entertaining game and Morten Gamst Pedersen brought the best out of Julian Speroni before Palace doubled their lead and made the game safe.

Murray went shoulder to shoulder with Grant Hanley and when he tumbled into the box the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped the striker to send Robinson the wrong way to take his personal tally to ten for the season and make the score 2-0. Bolasie soon won Palace another penalty, although Adam Henley's infringement looked to have taken place outside the box, and perhaps justice was done as Robinson denied Murray his hat-trick with a double save.

Kagisho Dikgacoi's lung-bursting run gave Murray another opportunity for his third, but Palace's top scorer could only shoot wide under pressure. Ruben Rochina then smashed an effort against the bar as Rovers tried to fight their way back into the game but Palace held on comfortably to give Holloway the perfect welcome gift.

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Parr, Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Jedinak (c), Zaha (Moxey 90), Murray, Delaney, Ramage. 

Subs: Price, Blake, Wilbraham, Easter, O'Keefe, Moritz

Blackburn: Robinson, Martin Olsson, Rhodes, Pedersen (Formica 59), Murphy (c), Markus Olsson, Vukcevic (72), Dann, Etuhu, Henley, Hanley, Kazim-Richards (Rochina 53)

Subs: Kean, Orr, Ribiero, Rosado

Att: 16,774