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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/03/2015

21 March 2015

Palace fought back from a goal down to snatch victory at the Britannia Stadium thanks to goals from Glenn Murray and Wilfried Zaha just before half-time.

The victory was the Eagles' fifth out of their last six on their travels and once again saw them recover from a losing position to secure victory, with Murray's penalty and a well-taken strike from Zaha cancelling out Mame Biram Diouf's opener.

Their winning margin could have been even greater with Scott Dann striking the post in the second 45, but after absorbing plenty of late Potters pressure Palace left Staffordshire with all three points, helped by a fantastic backing from the hoards of travelling fans.

A bright start from the Eagles saw Yannick Bolasie blast just over after Jason Puncheon laid a free-kick into his path, and on 12 minutes a delicate backheel from Stephen Ireland set up Charlie Adam but his bending shot couldn't find the target.

But a minute later the Potters did find the net. After being given a free-kick in a central position about 30 yards from goal, Adam attempted an ambitious drive which skimmed along the floor, deflected off Damien Delaney and fell kindly for Diouf who prodded the ball past Julian Speroni to find the net in fortuitous circumstances.

The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Eagle for a while but they gradually began to settle again and get back into some rhythm, and two goals in the space of five minutes would see them edge ahead before half-time.

On 39 minutes they were handed a chance to score from the spot when Bolasie beat Ryan Shawcross to the loose long ball but he was bundled into by Asmir Begovic to concede a penalty. Murray stepped up and drilled the past past the Potters keeper to score his fourth goal in five games.

And on the stroke of half-time Pardew's side snatched the lead. A clearance by Speroni saw Murray brilliantly win the flick on and Wilfried Zaha sprinted past Erik Pieters and slid the past past the advancing Begovic into the bottom corner to score in successive games and hand his side a huge fillip before the interval.

They continued to pile on the pressure after the restart and James McArthur was a whisker away from grabbing a third six minutes into the second half with a blast from range, and soon after Puncheon had a glorious opportunity to extend the lead when Zaha cut the ball back to him around the penalty spot but he shanked the chance well wide.

Seconds later the woodwork was struck when Puncheon floated a corner towards the back post which was superbly controlled by Dann on his chest before pulling the trigger and he struck the base of the post, with the ball squirming away from the reach of waiting Bolasie and Murray.

The game was end-to-end stuff and the Potters nearly snatched an equaliser in identical fashion to their first, but this time were thwarted by Speroni. Marco Arnautovic cut in from the left and saw a weak grasscutter trickle into the path of Ireland who was one-on-one with the Palace keeper but he made a superb block the deny the midfielder.

As they pressed to get on level terms again, Stoke had a penalty shout turned down when Joel Ward inadvertently blocked a goalbound shot by Diouf with his hand as he dived wholeheartedly to block the Senegalese striker's attempt inside the area, and Speroni twice had to push over Arnautovic deliveries from set-pieces which flew towards goal after catching the wind.

But back came Palace and Bolasie embarked on a weaving run past three Stoke defenders before shooting straight at Begovic, and after Diouf had hit the side netting with five minutes remaining the Eagles clung on to clinch another well-deserved three points.

Stoke City: Begovic, Pieters, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron, N'Zonzi, Adam, Arnautovic, Ireland, Diouf, Crouch (Walters 78). Subs: Butland, Bardsley, Wollscheid, Whelan, Sidwell, Teixeira.

Palace: Speroni, Souare (Kelly 70), Dann, Delaney, Ward, Ledley, McArthur, Zaha (Gayle 80), Puncheon, Bolasie, Murray (Ameobi 86). Subs: Hennessey, Mariappa, Hangeland, Sanogo.

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