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Match Reports

Match Report : 18/04/2015

18 April 2015

After the highs of the last few weeks, Palace came back down to earth as Tony Pulis returned to Selhurst Park to pick up a 2-0 victory with West Brom.

On a frustrating day at the office for the home side, James Morrison headed Albion ahead after just 100 seconds and Craig Gardner added a stunning second eight minutes after the restart to end the Eagles' four game winning streak.

No sooner had the reception for the two sides' introduction died down, including a warm welcome for Pulis from the Selhurst faithful, than Palace fell behind. The Baggies won an early corner two minutes into the game and Chris Brunt swung over a delivery that found an unmarked Morrison who had the simple task of nodding the ball past Julian Speroni.

After his hat-trick last weekend at Sunderland, Yannick Bolasie nearly found another goal to restore parity when he spun inside the area to create mayhem, and after the ball ricocheted around it came back to the winger but he saw his effort blocked by Boaz Myhill, and from the resulting corner the Eagles were denied a penalty when Wilfried Zaha was pushed over by Gardner.

The in-form DR Congo international went closer on the half hour mark when Joel Ward whipped a cross into the box which was deftly flicked on by Glenn Murray, and Bolasie acrobatically connected with the ball with a bicycle kick and forced a great reaction save from Myhill who denied him what would have been Palace's goal of the season.

Despite being behind Alan Pardew's side were well on top for the majority of the half but were struggling to break a resolute defence down and Mile Jedinak saw an attempt from inside the area fly over after a Jason Puncheon delivery, and at the break Pardew shuffled his pack as Joe Ledley and Jedinak were brought off with Pape Souare and Dwight Gayle introduced in the hope of finding an equaliser.

But on 53 minutes that task was made harder when Albion doubled their lead. A corner was seemingly cleared to safety by Palace but Gardner took a touch 30 yards from goal and struck the ball brilliantly into the top corner past a helpless Speroni to give the visitors a cushion.

The Eagles nearly pulled one back straight away when the substitutes combined as Souare swept a cross in, which was left by Murray for Gayle but he hit the bar with his header from four yards out, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway as the linesman's flag was raised.

Things nearly got worse for the hosts when Saido Berahino managed to wriggle past a host of Palace players to stab the ball towards goal, and after he squeezed it through Speroni's legs he saw it flick off the keeper and deflect narrowly wide for a corner.

With 10 minutes to go Puncheon picked out Damien Delaney in the box but the defender's header was claimed by Myhill, and soon after substitute Yaya Sanogo put the ball in the net from three yards out from a Souare cross but was correctly ruled offside.

After scoring six in his previous six games, Murray had a late chance to extend that record but summed up Palace's afternoon as he blasted wide when well-placed inside the area as a frustrating afternoon came to its conclusion.

Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Dann, Ledley (Souare 46), Jedinak (Gayle 46), McArthur (Sanogo 79), Puncheon, Bolasie, Zaha, Murray. Subs: Hennessey, Hangeland, Kelly, Ameobi.

West Brom: Myhill, Dawson (Wisdom 71), McAuley, Lescott, Baird, Gardner (Olsson 80), Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison, Berahino (Baird 88), Anichebe. Subs: Rose, McManaman, Sessegnon, Ideye.

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