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Premier League

  • December 7, 2013
  • • 23:00
  • • Selhurst Park, London
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 23705

Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City: Jerome & Chamakh maintain stunning start for Pulis

Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City: Jerome & Chamakh maintain stunning start for Pulis

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The Eagles secured back-to-back wins at Selhurst Park with victory over the Bluebirds, as the London side's strike partnership continues to thrive under the former Stoke boss

Crystal Palace have edged closer to safety with their second win in a week, as a 2-0 victory over fellow relegation contenders Cardiff City left them in the bottom three only on goal difference.

Cameron Jerome, once of Cardiff, gave the home side an early lead, powering a header into the back of the net after good work down the flank from Jason Puncheon, before Marouane Chamakh doubled the Eagles' lead with a confident finish.

The result gives Palace their first back-to-back league victories of the season as their resurgence under new manager Tony Pulis continues, while the Bluebirds are now winless in five.

By Liam Twomey
It is a mark of how Crystal Palace have improved under Tony Pulis that this was probably their most comfortable Premier League win in many a top-flight campaign.

Marouane Chamakh and, in particular, a rampant Cameron Jerome bullied the Cardiff City defence all afternoon and thoroughly deserved to score the goals which made the difference.

For Malky Mackay, this defeat means it is now just one win in nine matches and, with an employer as volatile and single-minded as Vincent Tan, the Scot could be forgiven for fearing for his job.

If he does survive, he will know he needs to restore Cardiff's formidable home form, and quickly. But the day belonged to Palace, and Pulis. The much-maligned former Stoke City boss has never endured a relegation in his career, and with every passing day he must be growing more confident of preserving that record.
Pulis made no changes to the side that beat West Ham 1-0 on Tuesday night, with former Cardiff duo Danny Gabbidon and Jerome included in his starting XI, while Kim Bo-Kyung came in for Aron Gunnarsson in the visitors' only alteration from Wednesday's goalless draw at Stoke.

Cardiff were quick out of the blocks as an unmarked Fraizer Campbell got his head to a Don Cowie cross from the right in the second minute, but should have done better as Julian Speroni pushed the ball behind for a corner.

However, it was Palace who broke the deadlock four minutes later, with Jerome netting against the club he left in 2006; Puncheon chipped the ball into the six-yard box and Jerome sent a downward header beyond a flailing David Marshall, ending his 21-game goal drought.

Palace continued to put pressure on the Cardiff defence, with Barry Bannan sending an effort high and wide of the target from the edge of the penalty area as he aimed to double his side's tally.

As Cardiff struggled to cope with the hosts' high-tempo start, Gary Medel drilled a shot from distance wide of the right-hand post in the 29th minute.

Joel Ward stormed forwards on the stroke of half-time, exchanging passes brilliantly with Mile Jedinak, but his eventual effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Palace continued to look threatening after the break, with Puncheon driving wide of the right-hand upright from 25 yards three minutes into the second period, before Jerome forced Marshall into a diving save – his low driven effort tipped around the post by the Scot.

But the Palace pressure paid off as Chamakh doubled the home advantage in the 57th minute, when Ben Turner's attempted clearance fell kindly for the Moroccan, who fired a right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Goal-line technology was put to the test in the 69th minute as Marshall scrambled a Jerome header off the line, with replays suggesting the majority of the ball had crossed the line, although not enough to make it 3-0.

Jerome's inspired performance continued as he directed a left-footed strike narrowly wide of the target 10 minutes from time, while his former employers barely threatened as Cardiff left London empty-handed.