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Palace 2-0 Cardiff: Goals from Jerome and Chamakh lift Eagles to 18th
12:36pm Sunday 8th December 2013 in Sport
By Andrew McSteen
Crystal Palace’s fledgling strike partnership of Cameron Jerome and Marouane Chamakh delivered a goal apiece as Tony Pulis and his Eagles notched up their second Premier League win in a week at Selhurst Park against a Cardiff City side who offered little threat throughout the 90 minutes.
Jerome, who made over 70 appearances for the Welsh side between 2004-2006, was full of life on the SE25 turf and was rewarded for his hard work of recent weeks in the Palace front line with a goal after just six minutes, heading home from the six-yard box after Palace winger Jason Puncheon had outmuscled and then Cryuff-turned the close attentions of a Cardiff defender to put in a cross.
But it could have been different for Palace as after just two minutes the visitors spurned what turned out to be their best chance of the game as Don Cowie’s ball found Fraizer Campbell unmarked in the box but his weak header was easily saved by Julian Speroni.
Kagisho Dikgacoi, the South African international, was amongst the players who observed a minute applause at the beginning of the game for the recent death of Nelson Mandela and alongside the rest of the Palace midfield, particularly Barry Bannan, they found themselves in space throughout the match, spraying the ball around and creating numerous chances.
Palace Co-Chairman, Steve Parish, watching alongside Palace Sporting Director Iain Moody who was recently sacked in controversial circumstances from Cardiff, would have been impressed with the vigour of Pulis’ side and they deserved to go in at the break more than one goal up as Bannan, Jerome and Puncheon were all afforded opportunities to strike on the Cardiff goal.
Mile Jedinak and Chamakh, sitting just in behind Jerome, dominated the game and provided chances time and time again for their side to attempt strikes with Puncheon firing over from 12 yards in the 27th minute and Jedi and Chamakh combining to provide Jerome with another chance on 35 with Ben Turner, in the Cardiff defence clearing to safety.
Even Joel Ward got in on the action combining with Jedinak in the 42nd minute to easily cut through the Cardiff defence only for his strike to be blocked away for a corner. Ward had swapped from his normal right-back position to left-back following Dean Moxey leaving the field in 25th minute to be replaced by Adrian Mariappa who slotted in on the right.
Malky Mackay’s side tried to address the slide in the second half, bringing on Craig Noone at half-time but Jedinak and Chamakh again combined with Puncheon just two minutes in although he could not trouble David Marshall in the Cardiff goal. Bannan was pulling the strings for Palace going forward and it was his cross that helped provide the opportunity for Chamakh to score his third Premier League goal of the season in the 58th minute after his cross was headed out by Turner under pressure from Jerome and Chamakh clinically slotted home over the prone Turner to make it 2-0.
Cardiff brought on Andreas Cornelius and summer Palace transfer target Peter Odemwinigie to try and provide some bite up front but the home side appeared to go 3-0 up with a close-range follow-up header from Jerome appearing to cross the line although subsequent TV replays showed that Marshall kept the ball out as referee Mike Jones confirmed no goal through the goal line technology.
Palace spurned further chances and Cardiff did not look like scoring except in their own net as the busy Turner nearly scored on own goal in the 88th minute under pressure from a dangerous Puncheon cross.
The result moves the Eagles onto 13 points, in 18th position, joint on points with West Ham. Their next match is away at Chelsea on Saturday (14th December).
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dikgacoi, Puncheon, Jedinak, Gabbidon, Moxey (Mariappa - 21), Delaney, Chamakh, Jerome, Bannan (O’Keefe - 84)
Unused Subs: Price, Phillips, Gayle, Williams, Kebe
Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker, Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Cornelius - 68), Bo-Kyung (Odemwingie - 60), Mutch, Cowie (Noone - HT), Theophile-Catherine, John
Unused Subs: Lewis, Connolly, Hudson, Gunnarsson Scorers: 6 - Jerome, 58 - Chamakh Attendance: 23,705 (2,596 Cardiff)
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