They might not be out of the danger zone just yet, but Crystal Palace can be forgiven for looking a bit smug about the hiring of Tony Pulis. Palace beat West Ham on Tuesday and now have brought in another three points, leaving them behind the Irons in the standings due to goal difference. Dare they dream of a win against Chelsea next time out?
The hosts started things off quickly, scoring after less than ten minutes had passed. It was Cameron Jerome, getting his head on the end of a cross from Jason Puncheon, who put Palace ahead at the expense of his former club. With the early lead for Palace, the question quickly became: can this new Pulis side hang on and defend?
But even when forced into an early save — Adrian Mariappa replaced Dean Moxey in the 25th minute thanks to injury — the hosts, playing Pulis-ball, stayed strong. In fact, they were even able to double their lead before the hour was out. Marouane Chamakh pulled off his second of the week, after scoring the winner against West Ham on Tuesday. The forward got his foot on the end of a cross from Barry Bannan to slot the ball into the bottom right corner, doubling the hosts’ lead.
It must be said that things looked mighty grim for the visitors. Only the new goalline technology system prevented Crystal Palace from getting a third, as it looked like Jerome had managed to get the ball over the line once more. Cardiff, meanwhile, could barely get close to goal. Could this task prove not so impossible for Pulis?
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey (Mariappa 25), Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bannan (O’Keefe 84), Puncheon, Chamakh, Jerome
Subs not used: Price, Williams, Kebe, Gayle, Phillips
Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker (C), Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Cornelius 68), Kim (Odemwingie 60), Mutch, Cowie (Noone 46), Theophile-Catherine, John
Subs not used: Lewis; Connolly, Hudson, Gunnarsson