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Match Reports

Report: Palace 3-1 West Bromwich Albion

8 February 2014

Debut goals for Thomas Ince and Joe Ledley, a penalty from Marouane Chamakh and the comeback of Glenn Murray ensured this afternoon will live long in the memories for Palace fans as they ran out 3-1 victors at Selhurst.

Deadline day arrivals Ince and Ledley both found the scoresheet in the opening half hour, but seconds into the second half the Baggies reduced the deficit via Thievy Bifouma, but Chamakh's coolly-taken spot-kick sealed a third successive home victory in the Premier League since December 1992.

In a game littered with great chances the first took just six minutes to arrive. A slide-rule pass by Chris Brunt allowed Victor Anichebe to slip behind the Palace defence but produced a woeful attempt when one-on-one with Julian Speroni, and moments later Youssouf Mulumbu was forced to clear off his line after a Joel Ward corner caused havoc when the ball struck Brunt and headed goalwards.

But after 14 minutes Ince was celebrating the perfect start to his career in red and blue as he opened his Eagles account. A raking ball by Ward was flicked on by Marouane Chamkah into the path of Yannick Bolasie, and after the ball ran free Ince, who had run from deep, latched onto it and clipped it over the sliding Ben Foster.

But after Craig Dawson had blazed over after Gareth McAuley knocked down a Brunt corner, the afternoon got even sweeter for the host's debutants on 27 minutes. Palace won a corner of their own on the right and Ince swung it into a dangerous position to find the unmarked Ledley who bulleted a free header into the net.

With his side two goal down at the break Pepe Mel sent on new signing Thievy Bifouma and 40 seconds a third debutant was celebrating finding the net. Picking the ball up on the left he cut inside before laying the path into Anichebe. The burly striker held the ball up and tucked it back into the Espanyol loanee's path to lash past Speroni at his near post.

The visitors looked rejuvenated as the second half progressed and continued to cause Palace a few nervy moments, but just after the hour mark once again a scramble from a corner resulted in West Brom clearing off the line when a flick by Damien Delaney crept towards the target but Billy Jones was in the right place to clear.

But the Eagles were indebted to Speroni when he made two brilliant saves to keep his side in front, firstly pushing away a James Morrison howitzer for a corner, and then when it wasn't effectively cleared Mulumbu drove it back into the box which resulted in yet more pinball but Scott Sinclair couldn't beat the Argentinian shot-stopper from close range.

Those stops proved pivotal in the game as minutes later Palace were awarded a penalty. Chamakh broke clear and raced towards goal before being brought down by Foster, however replays suggested that the England keeper seemed to get to the ball first. Unfussed, the Moroccan picked up the ball and casually slotted the ball in the corner to restore the two goal cushion.

The stage was then set for Murray to appear from the substitutes bench, ending his nine month layoff and receiving a superb ovation from the Selhurst faithful, but with nine minutes to go the Eagles received a let-off when Anichebe powered past Delaney but fired the ball over the bar from just outside the box.

Mile Jedinak nearly completed the perfect day for Palace but Foster was equal to his late free-kick as for the third home game in a row the Eagles saw off one of their many relegation rivals to continue their climb up the table.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Ledley, Puncheon (Murray 71), Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bolasie (Parr 76), Ince, Chamakh (Thomas 83). Subs not used: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Bannan, Gayle.

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Dawson, Ridgewell (Sinclair 46), Yacob (Berahino 71), Mulumbu, Gera (Thievy 46), Morrison, Brunt, Anichebe. Subs not used: Myhill, Lugano, Vydra, Dorrans. 

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