Ian Holloway's Crystal Palace reign got off to a fantastic start at Selhurst Park as Palace saw off bottom of the league Ipswich with ease thanks to a Glenn Murray hat-trick and Yannick Bolasie and Andre Moritz's first goals for the club.
It was almost the dream start to the game for Palace's new boss as Murray swivelled on the ball inside the box after good work from Bolasie but could only find the side netting with his snapshot. Murray had an early shout for a penalty that was waved away and the visitors began to grow into the game with Nigel Reo-Coker and Lee Martin combining well down the right hand side.
Palace were ahead inside half an hour when Joel Ward's powerful headed clearance was flicked on by Owen Garvan and, with Murray returning from an offside position, Bolasie ran through to calmly loft his finish over the advancing Stephen Henderson in the Ipswich goal. Murray then had the ball in the net from Garvan's pass but saw his effort chalked out for offside, while at the other end DJ Campbell fired wide as the visitors kept the Eagles honest in the first half.
The second half began even better than the first for Palace. Zaha beat two men out wide and, as he lost his footing, was taken out leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot. Murray stepped up and made no mistake, placing his penalty into the top corner. Things soon got better for Palace and Holloway as Garvan won a second penalty and Murray again obliged, firing under Henderson to take the Eagles 3-0 up.
Garvan had been economical and neat in possession and he soon won Palace a barely believable third penalty in 11 minutes. Henderson had done well to beat Murray to a through-ball but as Garvan pounced on the ball in the box he was crudely taken out by Luke Chambers. This time though Henderson got the better of Murray who could only fire a weak penalty down the middle. The in-form striker was only denied his hat-trick a matter of minutes though as Joel Ward burst past three defenders on the right flank and whipped a cross along the six yard box that Murray was on hand to tap home.
Brazilian Andre Moritz was introduced from the bench and the midfielder almost made an immediate impact, heading Bolasie's dangerous centre just over. And the substitute did manage to get on the scoresheet in injury team when Dean Moxey started a lightning break and Moritz exchanged passes with the tireless Jonathan Parr to tap into an empty net. The Eagles hadn't won by more than two goals for 31 games (against Watford) but Mortiz's goal put the gloss on a 5-0 victory that put them top of the league for the first time in more than five years.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Parr, Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Garvan (Moritz 67), Jedinak, Zaha, (Moxey 87), Murray, (Easter 69), Delaney, Ramage.
Subs: Price, Blake, O'Keefe, Appiah,
Bookings: Dikgacoi, Zaha
Ipswich: Henderson, Cresswell, Chambers, Campbell, Higginbotham, Edwards, Martin, Wellens (N'Daw 82), Drury (Emmanuel-Thomas70), Reo-Coker, Murphy (Smith 70)
Subs: Loach, Chopra, Scotland, Mohsni
Bookings: Wellens, Reo-Coker