One defensive lapse cost Palace dear as Jay Rodriguez's first half strike was enough to claim the win for Southampton on a frustrating afternoon at Selhurst Park.
The England international pounced on a loose ball after Jason Puncheon attempted to find Dean Moxey with a header and scrambled the ball home to net the only goal of the game, and despite plenty of effort from the home side they couldn't create a goalscoring chance of note to snatch a point.
The game was lacking in quality throughout, but opening stages made it look as though this would be a contest filled with goalmouth action. 60 seconds in Rodriguez blasted a volley over the top and soon after Glenn Murray produced a similar result with a hooked effort, but the following half hour saw neither goalkeeper troubled.
However just as the Eagles began to assert themselves by winning number of corners, a counter attack led to the Saints' opener on 36 minutes. After a set-piece was cleared, Puncheon attempted to head the ball back to the covering Moxey but Rodriguez nipped in to burst through on goal and won a 50-50 challenge with the on-rushing Julian Speroni before prodding the ball home from the ground.
Things nearly got worse a minute before half-time when Adam Lallana whipped a cross into the box which was poorly cleared by Joel Ward straight to Rickie Lambert, and the England striker nonchalantly clipped it towards goal and beat Speroni but not the far post.
In stoppage time Yannick Bolasie finally dirtied Boruc's gloves with a drive after Joe Ledley's corner fell to him on the edge of the box, and Luke Shaw forced Speroni to beat the ball away with a stinger from a similar position as the Eagles trailed at the interval.
Bolasie was in the thick of the action again at the start of the half and embarked on a mazy run as he beat two Saints defenders before being brought down on his way to goal by Dejan Lovren, but the defender escaped a red card for a professional foul as Howard Webb deemed Nathaniel Clyne to be covering, and Mile Jedinak couldn't find the target with the resulting free-kick.
The game was littered with niggly fouls and as such play struggled to flow at times but especially so at the start of the second period with Webb forced to dish out a number of cautions, with the only chance of note being another attempt by Shaw which was easily dealt with by Speroni.
Palace pushed for the final 10 minutes to find the goal that would seal the point they probably deserved but ultimately couldn't breach a stoic Saints defence as thy slipped to only their second home defeat of 2014.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Moxey, Dikgacoi (Jerome 66), Jedinak, Ledley, Puncheon (Ince 66), Bolasie (Thomas 83), Murray. Subs not used: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Bannan, Gayle.
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork (Wanyama 34), Schneiderlin, S. Davis (Ward-Prowse 89), Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert (Gallagher 75). Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Ramírez, Chambers.