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Report: Palace 3 Cardiff 2

PUBLISHED

17:04 22nd September 2012

Palace came from behind to take all three points against Cardiff City at Selhurst as Glenn Murray's hat-trick saw Dougie Freedman's side turn around a 2-0 half-time deficit.

Freedman made four changes to the side that drew with Nottingham Forest on Tuesday as Jonathan Parr, Darcy Blake, Andre Moritz and Yannick Bolasie returned to the side, and Palace picked up where they had left off against Forest with a bright start to the game noticeable for good link-up play between Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha.

Two efforts from Moritz from the edge of the box were blocked Cardiff captain Mark Hudson before Kagisho Dikgacoi almost marked the early stages with his third goal in as many games but saw David Marshall spring to his left and tip his long-range effort over the bar.

A string of corners came and went for the Eagles before, against the run of play, Cardiff struck. Aron Gunnarrson picking up the ball in midfield and taking advantage of a ricochet off Peter Ramage to burst into the penalty area and place his shot past Julian Speroni. If Freedman's side weren't stunned by that, they soon found themselves two behind despite their impressive start to the game. Gunnarsson's long throw-in was only half cleared and when the visitors put the ball back into the box, Don Cowie held off Damien Delaney and fired a stunning volley into the bottom corner.

It was almost three within 25 minutes when Craig Bellamy found himself free in the box only to badly misjudge his volley before Palace began to get to grips with the game once more. Ramage hobbled off to be replaced by Joel Ward and Zaha and Bolasie linked well with the full-back to work the ball down the pitch, Dikgacoi's diving header from the eventual cross flying wide. The South African continued to prove an attacking threat but saw his close range effort cleared off the line as the Bluebirds maintained their first half lead.

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The next goal looked vital and it went the way of the home side when Andrew Taylor handled Moritz's free-kick in the box and Murray stepped up to send Marshall the wrong way and reduce the deficit. Delaney had to be alert down the other end as Bellamy wriggled free and delivered a brilliant cross but the Eagles were soon level with Murray the scorer again. Moritz's looping cross finding Murray at the back post and the forward forcing his effort home from a narrow angle.

The striker's afternoon was about to get even better, Parr reacted quicker than Heidar Helguson to a loose ball, was upended, and the referee pointed to the spot, although the foul looked to take place just outside the box. Up stepped Murray again, making no mistake to give Palace the lead as the game turned on its head in ten second half minutes.

Cardiff huffed and puffed for the last 20 minutes but a Peter Whittingham effort from distance was the closest they came to an equaliser as Palace held on comfortably to record a brilliant 3-2 victory.

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Jonathan Parr, Yannick Bolasie (Dean Moxey 86), Kagisho Dikgacoi, Darcy Blake, Mile Jedinak (c), Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray, Damien Delaney, Peter Ramage  (Joel Ward 29), Andre Moritz (Jonathan Williams '77)

Subs Not Used: Lewis Price, David Goodwillie, Owen Garvan, Aaron Wilbraham

Bookings: Zaha

Cardiff City: David Marshall, Kevin McNaughton, Andrew Taylor, Mark Hudson (c), Peter Whittingham, Don Cowie (Craig Noone 75), Matthew Connolly, Tommy Smith (Kim Bo-Kyung 88), Aron Gunnarsson, Heidar Helguson, Craig Bellamy (Joe Mason 82)

Subs Not Used: Joe Lewis, Filip Kiss, Ben Turner, Etien Velikonja

Bookings: McNaughton, Gunnarsson, Bo-kyung