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Premier League

  • 30 November 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 26851

Norwich City 1-0 Crystal Palace: Hooper strike keeps Pulis' side rooted to bottom

Norwich City 1-0 Crystal Palace: Hooper strike keeps Pulis' side rooted to bottom

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The new Eagles manager's first game in charge ended in defeat at Carrow Road as Chris Hughton lifted some of the pressure surrounding his job with a three vital points

Tony Pulis' first match as the manager of Crystal Palace ended in a 1-0 defeat away to fellow Premier League strugglers Norwich.

The former Stoke boss – who was announced as Ian Holloway's successor last weekend – saw his men fall to their 10th Premier League loss of the campaign after a first-half goal from Gary Hooper.

The striker netted his second league goal for the hosts in the 30th minute, after some impressive build-up play from Wes Hoolahan.

By Theo Squires

Gary Hooper’s goal proved to be the difference at Carrow Road as Tony Pulis tasted defeat in his first game in charge of Crystal Palace. He has a tough task on his hands if he is keep up his record of never suffering relegation as a manager, as his goal-shy side once again struggled to create much in front of goal.

While Norwich too, offered little, they kept possession well and produced some lovely passing football at times. A deserved win for the Canaries, and one that could really kick-start their season.
Pulis will take some positives from the defeat, however, after a battling display - and he will have an almost immediate chance to seek a response when Palace host West Ham on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old opted to make just two changes from the side that he had watched beat Hull City 1-0 last Saturday, with Yannick Bolasie's suspension seeing Jason Puncheon called in, while Cameron Jerome replaced Dwight Gayle.

Injury concerns played into Norwich boss Chris Hughton's selections, with three changes from their 2-1 loss to Newcastle United including a return for Sebastien Bassong, who made his first appearance since November 2.

The 27-year-old almost marked his comeback with a goal within the first minute, but he headed wide.

Seven minutes later, the hosts looked to have taken the advantage when Leroy Fer jumped higher than the Palace defence to head at goal, only to see his effort bounce down off the crossbar and onto the line, with goalline technology showing that it had not crossed.

Hughton's men continued to apply the pressure, however, and they were eventually rewarded in the 30th minute when Hooper fired into an empty net after getting on the end of a fine pass from Hoolahan.

Palace responded and Barry Bannan was denied an equaliser by first the crossbar and then Martin Olsson in the 32nd minute as the visitors entered the break behind.

Pulis' words at half-time clearly had an effect, as his side quickly upped the pressure at the start of the second half,  although they struggled to carve out clear-cut chances.

Hoolahan squandered the best chance of the early part of the second period at the other end, as his weak shot was easily saved.

The hosts were almost made to rue that missed opportunity just a few minutes later, when Bannan's cross skidded across the face of goal before Bassong just managed to wrap his foot around the ball to send it over the crossbar.

Palace had another chance to grab an equaliser in the 82nd minute, but substitute Jimmy Kebe – who had come on just six minutes earlier – saw his strike graze the outside of the post.