Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa - as it happened

Ryan Bertrand of Aston Villa tangles with Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace during the Barclays Premier League match on April 12, 2014
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Live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

Crystal Palace hosted Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon as both sides went in search of a victory which would edge them a step closer to safety.

A tight contest produced very few chances in the first half as both sides struggled to find a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

Jason Puncheon's broke the deadlock in the 76th minute to hand Palace the lead, and the hosts managed to survive a late comeback from Villa to hold on for the 1-0 victory.

Read below to find out how Palace climbed above Villa in the Premier League table.


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2pmGood afternoon everyone. A victory for either Crystal Palace or Aston Villa today will surely keep them in the Premier League for another season. In truth, both sides will feel confident of staying up but they have the opportunity to edge another step closer to safety at Selhurst Park. I'll be bringing you live text coverage throughout the afternoon.

2.03pmIt's 13th against 14th at Selhurst Park today, and Palace have the opportunity to jump above their opponents in the table with a victory. Who could have predicted that when Tony Pulis took charge?

2.05pmPaul Lambert's critics have been back out in force in recent weeks. Three defeats in a row have seen questions raised about the progress being made by the club. That shock victory over Chelsea at Villa Park seems a long time ago. Both teams start the day seven points clear of the bottom three.

2.08pmRemember, all fixtures will kick off at 3.07pm today as the game pays tribute to the supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago. There will also be a minute's silence before the match.

2.11pmPALACE: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bolasie, Puncheon, Ledley, Jerome

SUBSTITUTES: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Parr, Ince, Gayle, Murray, Chamakh


2.13pmVILLA: Guzan, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Bertrand, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Holt

SUBSTITUTES: Steer, Bennett, Sylla, Albrighton, Tonev, Bowery, Weimann


2.16pmNo surprises from Pulis this afternoon as he chooses to name the same side which comfortably beat Cardiff City 3-0 seven days ago. Palace are playing with confidence at the moment, and the supporters will be desperate to see another impressive display today.

2.20pmLambert reacts to his team's disappointing defeat to Fulham by making four changes. Gabriel Agbonlahor returns to the team to provide support for Grant Holt, who keeps his place in attack. There is no place for Andreas Weimann, Marc Albrighton, Joe Bennett or Leandro Bacuna.

2.23pmAgbonlahor's return could be crucial to Villa's hopes today. Although he may not be the most prolific, his pace will give Holt something to work with as the visitors continue to deal with the absence of Christian Benteke.

2.25pmRemember, we've got live text coverage of all of the Premier League games today. Click on any fixture in the live scores box to be taken to the game homepage, which will include previews, team news, and analysis later today.

2.27pm

2.30pmPalace supporters will enjoy this next statistic ahead of today's game. The Eagles are unbeaten in their previous 10 competitive fixture against Villa - a run which dates back to September 1980.

2.32pmThese teams last met on Boxing Day, when Palace earned a 1-0 victory at Villa Park thanks to a stoppage time winner from Dwight Gayle. If you offer that to Pulis today, your hand will be snatched off immediately.

2.36pmIt seems to be the same old story for Villa. An excellent performance in the win over Chelsea last month boosted the confidence at the club and the optimism was back once again. However, three defeats since then has seen Lambert criticised again. Should they be doing better in the Premier League? They're only six points off 10th spot.

2.39pmProgress seems to be the key word at Villa in recent weeks. At this stage last season, they were only one points worse off and they eventually finished 15th. Lambert should be applauded for attempting to give younger players a chance, but the fans want to see better results from this squad.

2.42pmThe mood at Palace is very different with just a few games left in the season. Amazingly, the team were written off before Christmas. Some felt that they were already relegated, but not Pulis. There seems to be plenty of candidates for the manager of the year award. Does Pulis have a chance? He's done an incredible job.

2.46pmIf Palace pick up three points today they will match their best record of victories in the Premier League with 11. It would also see them climb to 37 points, which might just be enough to keep them in the top-flight of English football for another year.

2.49pm"I'm not surprised by the turn around he's made there," Lambert told reporters in his press conference before this match. "They weren't too detached from anyone. Yeah, there was a lot of work to be done but I never thought for one minute Tony couldn't get them clear of danger."

2.54pm

2.56pmPalace's inability to stay in the Premier League for a long period gives us a great statistic ahead of this match. Villa have not scored at Selhurst Park since drawing 1-1 with Palace in November 1997. Who scored for the visitors that day? The one and only, Julian Joachim.

3pmPREDICTION: Just seven minutes away from the first whistle at Selhurst Park, so it's time for my prediction. Villa should improve today, but they're up against a Palace side full of confidence. I can't back against the hosts today. 2-1 to Palace.

3.03pmHoward Webb is the man in the middle today, and he leads both sets of players out to a great reception from the supporters. There's already a great atmosphere inside the ground.

3.05pmBefore we begin today, there will be a minute's silence as the English game remembers the 96 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough 25 years ago.

3.07pmThe minute's silence has been observed well. It's time to get started at Selhurst Park. Palace will get the game underway.

2 minBright start from Palace as Puncheon earns some space and whips in a ball which is collected by Guzan.

4 minVilla are seeing plenty of the ball in the opening stages, with Palace getting men behind the ball to make it difficult for the visitors to find space.

7 minPlenty of noise coming from the home supporters, but not much action on the pitch yet as both sides battle for superiority in midfield.

8 minGood defending from Clark as he sprints across to dispossess Jerome, who was looking to close in on goal after a clever pass from Puncheon.

9 minSHOT! First effort of the day comes from the lively Puncheon, but he doesn't come close to troubling Guzan as a volley sails over the crossbar.

12 minVilla supporters have seen their side dominate possession so far, but they're carrying very little threat as Palace continue to look to cause damage on the break.

14 minBolasie's pace causes some problems for the Villa defence as he eases past a couple of visiting players. He should do better with the final pass, but Ledley is unable to connect with the cut back.

17 minA promising Palace move comes to an end when Puncheon fouls Bertrand as the Villa defender looked to clear his lines. Needless challenge.

19 minSUBSTITUTION: Palace have been forced into an early change, with Dikgacoi heading off with an injury. Marouane Chamakh comes on as his replacement.

21 minGood pressure from Villas as they win a couple of corners. Delaney rises highest to clear the first delivery, and the visitors are unable to create anything from the next set piece.

23 minVilla looking far more dangerous now as the pace of the game picks up. No clear opportunity created as yet, so the first goal could be crucial this afternoon.

25 minExcellent work from Westwood as he picks out Holt, who heads over from a good position inside the box. It wouldn't have counted though, with Howard Webb blowing his whistle for a foul from the forward.

27 minOuch! Delph takes a painful blow to the ankle when Mariappa comes in for a tackle with his studs raised slightly. The Palace defender is fortunate not to be cautioned for that challenge.

29 minYou can understand why Pulis elected to bring on Chamakh when Dikgacoi was injured early on. Villa have lined up with three central defenders, which has made it difficult for Jerome. The two strikers need to get closer to each other.

30 minIt's difficult to say many nice words about this match. There haven't been many examples of high-quality football, with both sides struggling to produce their best form in the first half. A goal would surely change everything.

33 minPuncheon delivers a cross into the box, where Chamakh rises highest to win the header. However, he fails to find striker partner Jerome with the knock down.

35 minPlenty of fouls being committed, which is not helping the flow of the game at Selhurst Park. Can anyone make the breakthrough before the interval?

37 minPENALTY APPEAL! A short free kick is worked into the box. Bolasie collects the ball and appears to be fouled by Holt as he attempts a shot. The winger is convinced it's a penalty, but Howard Webb ignores the appeals.

39 minCHANCE! The best opportunity of the game falls to Chamakh, who heads just wide of the post following good work from Mariappa. Chamakh is annoyed with Bolasie for getting in his way slightly, but he should have done much better.

41 minPalace are finishing the first half very strongly as Bolasie heads a weak effort straight at Guzan. This game is finally coming to life.

43 minGuzan is being asked to do a bit more work now as he comes off his line to gather a low cross from Ward, who was gifted far too much space on the wing.

45 minWorrying signs for Villa as Lowton stays down after making a good challenge on Bolasie. It looks like he may try to continue until the break. Two minutes of stoppage time to be played.

45+2 minDelph is offered space to come forward from midfield and he takes the opportunity to unleash a shot, which is deflected into Speroni's arms.

3.57pmHALF TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-0 ASTON VILLA

3.59pmA poor first half comes to an end at Selhurst Park. Neither team will be too happy with how they have played in the opening period, but Palace showed signs of improving just before the break. Lambert will want to see a reaction from his Villa side in the second half.

4.02pmVilla had 58% of the possession in the first half, but they struggled to do anything with the ball. We've barely seen Agbonlahor, while Holt has been forced to chase down too many lost causes.

4.05pmIn truth, there was just one big talking points in the first half. Bolasie was convinced that Howard Webb should have pointed to the spot after being challenged by Holt inside the box. On a different day, it certainly could have been given.

4.08pmThe interval came at a good time for Villa. I wouldn't be surprised if Lambert made a change soon. Weimann and Albrighton could both provide some pace on the wings, but he may also consider shifting Agbonlahor into a central position.

4.11pmBoth teams are back on the pitch. It will be Villa who get the second half underway.

46 minNo changes for either side at the break, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see the benches used sooner rather than later.

48 minA long ball from Palace is flicked on by Chamakh. Jerome, who hasn't had the best of days so far, is penalised for handball as he looks to advance towards goal.

49 minAgbonlahor comes inside to find himself some space, but his effort from long range is easily saved by Speroni in the Palace goal.

52 minIt's been a good start to the second half for Villa. The visitors have settled well to play some nice football, while Palace are being forced to adopt a slightly more direct approach.

54 minCROSSBAR! Bolasie cuts in off the left to find some room. His deflected effort causes some problems for Guzan, who parries the ball into Jerome's path. The Palace supporters are almost celebrating, but Jerome miscues his shot from close range and hits the crossbar. What an incredible miss!

57 minPalace should be ahead, but they have taken confidence from that chance just a few moments ago. Bolasie sprints down the wing before firing in a cross, and Vlaar is forced to into a diving clearance.

59 minVery, very strange few moments. Guzan seems to be annoyed with Jedinak, who doesn't appear to be in his way as he looked to clear the ball. However, the American decides to kick the Palace skipper. It's a moment of madness, but he is not punished!

61 minBolasie is inches away from breaking the deadlock in stunning fashion! The winger is gifted too much space 35 yards from goal, and he targets the top corner with a powerful strike. Guzan is beaten, but the ball sails inches wide of the post.

63 minGood work from Guzan to punch the ball clear from Puncheon's delivery under big pressure in a congested penalty area. Baker is booked for a late challenge on the Palace forward.

65 minPalace are applying more of the pressure now, but we still haven't seen enough quality in the final third of the pitch. Bolasie may hold the key for the hosts.

67 minIncredible drama at Selhurst Park! Bolasie's cross strikes Baker in the chest, and Howard Webb responds by pointing to the spot. It looks like the referee may have thought his assistant had given the decision, but a quick chat with him results in Webb reversing his decision. Palace supporters seem confused. It looks the right decision has eventually been made.

69 minPalace have won a number of free kicks in good positions since the break, but the quality of their deliveries have not been good enough. Delaney becomes the next player to miss his teammates in the penalty area.

70 minYELLOW CARD! Bertrand is booked shortly after clipping Puncheon's heels as the Palace forward looked to break forward.

72 minJerome drifts out wide to collect the ball, before finding Puncheon on the edge of the box. A number of Villa defenders rush out to make sure the shot doesn't trouble Guzan.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: A difficult day for Jerome comes to an end as Glenn Murray comes on for the closing stages.

76 minGOAL! PALACE 1-0 VILLA (PUNCHEON)

76 minBreakthrough for Palace! Bolasie finds a yard of space, and he uses it brilliantly to pick out Puncheon inside the box. The forward makes great contact with his effort to leave Guzan with no chance as the ball strikes the post before finding the back of the net. Villa might not be safe yet!

78 minThe atmosphere at Selhurst Park is fantastic. Palace's supporters know that they are a step closer to securing Premier League football for another season. Villa need to find an equaliser.

81 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Lambert reacts to the goal by sending on Weimann and Albrighton to replace El Ahmadi and Bertrand. Can they claim anything from this game?

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Pulis chooses to use his bench with just seven minutes plus stoppage time remaining. Jonathan Parr is on to replace the impressive Bolasie.

85 minWOODWORK! Puncheon breaks forward before cutting inside and ignoring his options to drill a powerful effort against the post. So close to a second goal!

87 minSAVE! Speroni may have just secured three points for his team. Holt flicks the ball to Weimann, who hits an effort on the turn which is brilliantly saved by the Palace goalkeeper.

89 minVilla are piling on the pressure now, but it looks like they may have left it too late. Palace are happy to keep men behind the ball, and they still look dangerous on the break.

90+1 minThe fourth official confirms that there will be three minutes added on.

90+2 minSuperb defending from Dann as he dives in the way of a Vlaar effort. The ball rolls out for a goal kick. Time is running out at Selhurst Park.

4.59pmFULL TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-0 ASTON VILLA

5.00pmIt's all over at Selhurst Park following a dramatic finish to the match. Puncheon's strike proves to be enough as Palace earn the win to move up to 12th in the table on 37 points. Villa remain in danger, with other result meaning that they are just four points outside the bottom three.

5.03pmIt took a while for this game to get going, but there was plenty of action late on. Palace pick up a 1-0 win to earn a third victory in a row and edge another step closer to safety. That's all from me today. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage. Goodbye.

New Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis looks on during the Barclays Premier league match between Norwich City and Crystal Palace at Carrow Road on November 30, 2013
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