Relive Sports Mole's text coverage of a big win for Crystal Palace over relegation rivals Cardiff City at Selhurst Park.
By Liam Power, Reporter Filed: Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 14:00 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:44 UK
Crystal Palace went into this afternoon's Premier League clash with Cardiff City looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
The Eagles started full of confidence and took the lead through Cameron Jerome, before doubling their advantage after the break thanks to a strike from Marouane Chamakh.
Look back at a fourth win of the campaign for an Eagles side rejuvenated under Tony Pulis with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.
2.03pmAfternoon Premier League fans. Sports Mole live text coverage of each and every game continues this afternoon with an intriguing clash at the bottom of the table, as Crystal Palace host Cardiff City looking to continue a strong start to life under Tony Pulis.
2.06pmPalace got only their third win of the campaign against West Ham in midweek, moving off the foot of the table with a performance full of energy and spirit. The Eagles are now firmly back among the pack looking to survive and are aiming for back-to-back victories this afternoon for the first time this season.
2.09pmPulis has quickly instilled a more solid look to the Eagles backline, with a defence with more protection keeping two clean sheets in their last three games. The former Stoke City boss may often have to defend his methods, but Palace fans will care little if he can keep them up this season.
2.12pmCardiff meanwhile have relished their Premier League status this season, but have failed to match their strong home form with points on the road. Malky Mackay's side did manage to keep Stoke scoreless at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday though, a trait the Bluebirds will hope to match today.
2.15pmPalace are the form side heading into this clash between clubs up from the Championship, after collecting seven of their 10 Premier League points in their last four matches. Cardiff meanwhile have failed to score in three successive away games, although I'm sure they will be confident of breaking that barren run at Selhurst today.
2.18pmPulis is largely expected to name an unchanged team this afternoon, with no new injuries following the West Ham win. Long-term absentees Adlene Guedioura, Jack Hunt and Glenn Murray are still sidelined, while Mackay has a decision to make at left-back with Andrew Taylor back from injury.
2.21pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS!: We have just received word on the starting XIs and Palace are indeed unchanged, while Mackay sticks with Declan John ahead of Taylor at full-back. Team sheet's to follow in just a few moments.
2.30pmJust a single change for Cardiff then today, with Kim Bo-Kyung restored in central midfield ahead of Aron Gunnarsson. Peter Odemwingie is still unable to force his way into the side, while John's strong performance against Stoke has proved enough for the Scot to keep faith with the teenager.
2.36pmBENCH WATCH! Both managers have plenty of options waiting in the wings, which could prove vital between two sides who have struggled to score freely so far this season. Craig Bellamy is a notable omission though, with Odemwingie and Cornelius the most prominent potential additions in attack. A full list of subs coming up in a moment!
2.43pmPalace boss Pulis has spoke consistently since taking charge of the need to make Selhurst Park a fortress, a place away teams don't relish visiting. Beating Cardiff today would be the perfect way to preach that message, particularly if the result comes with the same purpose they showed in the second half against West Ham on Wednesday.
2.46pmCardiff have earned plaudits for their performances since coming up, particularly after battling in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United last month. Mackay's side are just four points above the relegation zone though, which makes a victory this afternoon an urgent priority.
2.49pmToday's game is the first top-flight meeting Palace and Cardiff, who have both been prepared to spend in their bid to stay in the Premier League. Picking up points against the teams also fighting for survival is absolutely essential, putting extra pressure on both sets of players.
2.52pmI'll be very interested to see how much-maligned Palace striker Chamakh fares this afternoon. The Moroccan's winner against former club West Ham on Wednesday was only his second goal for the Eagles, a return that surely has to improve if his side are to have a fighting chance of confounding critics to escape the relegation zone.
2.55pmGoals must also be a pressing concern for Mackay, with only three Cardiff players scoring more than once since August. Frazier Campbell is their top scorer with three this term and desperately needs support from a five-man midfield in the scoring charts.
2.58pmPREDICTION! At the risk of sitting on the fence I can genuinely see these two teams playing out a battling draw this afternoon, with Chamakh to get back on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw. Selhurst Park is rocking again and kickoff is just moments away!
1 minA minute's silence for the late, great Nelson Mandela precedes kickoff, with Cardiff getting us underway in a changed all-yellow strip. Here we go!
2 minStreamers behind the home goal just delay the start of the match further, but eventually Cardiff begin and win a free kick after Jedinak puts in a high foot on Caulker on the halfway line.
4 minSAVE! Cardiff should really be ahead, with Campbell presented with a header from close range unmarked after a glorious cross from Whittingham. His header goes down into the ground before bouncing up towards Speroni, who reacts quickly to parry over. Palace got away with one there.
8 minCameron Jerome's 21-match goal drought is over and Palace lead. The forward headed home with power from close range after Puncheon kept alive a move started by Jerome, flicking a quick pass to the near post. Jerome rose highest and had Marshall beaten with a firm header. Selhurst is rocking and rightly so!
10 minPalace are pressing high and why not after that confident start. Whittingham drops deep and looks to switch play with a crossfield pass, but only succeeds in putting the ball out for a throw-in.
13 minThe hosts win a corner kick thanks to the persistence of Joel Ward, taken by Bannan. His delivery is poor though, cleared by the first defender Whittingham at the near post.
16 minKim sends a teasing ball over the top for Campbell, but Speroni reads the danger and comes off his line to claim quickly. Palace then spring forward quickly with a long diagonal pass off their own, leading to Bannan cutting inside and skewing well wide of the target.
19 minFantastic hustle off the ball from Chamakh, who gets rousing applause from the home crowd after battling back to win possession before drawing a foul. Bannan's delivery from the free kick is a disappointment though, headed away by Kim with relative ease.
22 minCaulker puts in a fine covering challenge to stop Jerome breaking clear out wide, as Cardiff clear. Turner's long punt out of defence is blocked by Jerome, who can't quite get on the loose ball. The visitors are struggling to keep possession at this stage.
25 minPalace full-back Moxey looks to be struggling with a muscle problem, with Pulis telling Mariappa to warm up on the far side. Palace press forward regardless as Jerome's pace causes problems again, standing up a cross at the far post which needs hooking behind by Cowie.
27 minSUBSTITUTION: Moxey is indeed unable to continue and replaced by Mariappa. Cardiff are penned in as Chamakh drops deep to receive the ball before driving into the final third, but fails to pick out a teammate.
30 minAnother swift Palace attack sees Puncheon isolate John and jink inside the penalty area, but makes the wrong decision as he smashes well wide of the near post rather than look for Jerome inside.
33 minChamakh needs some treatment after a clash of heads as he leaves the field, but should be fine to continue. Ward has gone to full-back with Moxey off, with Mariappa playing at centre-back in a reshaped Palace defence which has been quiet since the early exchanges.
36 minBannan to Jerome proves an effective out-ball for Palace once again as a rare spell of Cardiff possession is broken up. The visitors come back though and win a free kick just inches outside the penalty area, as Mutch is sent to ground by a stray challenge from Gabbidon.
39 minTurner just about stops Puncheon breaking clear after a clever run through the middle, but only at the expense of a corner. Bannan gets two chances to cross out wide following the corner but fails to find a Palace player, with Caulker clearing at the second time of asking.
42 minSlick passing in midfield sees Ward take up a shooting position for Palace, with his drive from distance deflected wide for a corner kick. Marshall comes out but can only flap at an in-swinger from Bannan, with Medel deciding on safety first and smashing away for a fifth Palace corner.
45 minCaulker gets in the way of a Puncheon cross as Cardiff do just enough to scramble clear. The visitors would love half-time to come quickly so they can regroup at the interval.
3.53pmA thoroughly deserved lead for Palace then at the break, with an enterprising performance full of effort across the pitch enough to edge ahead. Jerome was the man who broke the deadlock, making no mistake from close range for his first goal since February.
3.56pmCardiff have been on the backfoot for pretty much the entire first 45 minutes, but still should have taken the lead inside three minutes. Frazier Campbell had a wonderful chance to put the visitors in front but failed to connect properly with a header from close range, something that Jerome managed ruthlessly at the other end.
3.59pmThe visitors have simply been unable to keep the ball in the opposition half for any sustained spell, with Campbell left largely isolated in attack. Mackay needs more from his capable midfield trio of Mutch, Kim and Whittingham to force a response after the break.
4.02pmBENCH WATCH! If Cardiff continue to struggle after the break expect changes. Odemwingie could offer pace and composure in the final third, while Bluebirds fans are still waiting to see the best from physical presence Cornelius. Palace have options too, with Gayle likely to come on and stretch the visiting defence further late on.
46 minSUBSTITUTION: We are back and with news of a Cardiff change, with Craig Noone replacing Cowie? Can that swap spark a revival from the visitors? We are about to find out.
47 minMore like it from Cardiff as they win a corner kick after pressing Gabbidon, but are unable to test Speroni with an underhit cross. Important for Palace to maintain the intensity they showed before the break and not rest on this advantage.
50 minMore strong hold-up play from Chamakh as he offloads to Puncheon, who lets fly from range. His effort takes a bounce off the turf but trickles well wide.
53 minThe challenges are going in thick and fast as Mariappa gets involved after coming out of defence, with Noone just unable to pick out Mutch as play continued. Cardiff have definitely upped the tempo but no end product from the visitors just yet.
56 minMutch concedes a cheap free kick outside the area, which Bannan sends towards Chamakh with a disguised pass. His cross falls just behind the striker though, turning a difficult header well wide of the far post.
59 minSAVE! Jerome chooses to go alone after driving at the heart of the Cardiff defence, aiming a low drive at the near post. His effort takes a deflection and needs a strong save from Marshall, who tips the effort behind for a corner kick.
62 minChamakh gets his second goal in as many home games and it's no less than Palace deserve. The Moroccan pounced on a flick in the penalty area as the ball sat up invitingly, turning a low half-volley into the bottom corner with a measured, controlled effort. It's a long way back for Cardiff from here.
64 minSUBSTITUTION: Cardiff are forced to change the game as Odemwingie comes on for Kim, going straight up front to partner Campbell. Caulker is then rather fortunate to get a free kick after winning a footrace with Jerome.
66 minCHANCE! Odemwingie has just spurned a great opportunity to reduce the deficit, after a superb cross from Mutch. The Nigerian ghosted between two central defenders but failed to keep his header down, flicking over the top from close range.
69 minSUBSTITUTION: Mutch throws himself to ground and is rather fortunate not to be booked for diving, with the referee choosing to ignore simulation. The visitors then make another change in attack, with Campbell replaced by Cornelius to add strength and height in attack.
72 minSAVE! Palace are adamant they should have a third as Marshall desperately claws an effort off the line from Dikgacoi. The decision looks a very close one but with the goal review system in place the referee decides that the ball didn't cross the line. That save from Marshall has kept Cardiff in the game.
75 minChamakh continues to work tirelessly as he closes down John with a spring in his step. Cardiff then win the ball back and find Conelius, who goes for goal from a very difficult angle. His effort has venom behind it but still finishes well wide of the far post.
78 minCaulker puts the ball straight out of play as he attempts to switch wide, with Cardiff frustrations growing after a difficult afternoon. Gabbidon has just taken a knock for Palace, leaving the field for treatment after Jerome had steered Bannan's cross just wide of the near post.
81 minPuncheon shoots straight at Marshall as Palace continue to dominate possession. The fight just looks to have done out of Cardiff a touch, resigned to defeat.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Palace opt for fresh legs in midfield as Bannan is replaced by Stuart O'Keefe, getting a warm ovation from the home crowd after a display full of craft and endeavour.
87 minTurner somehow hooks over the crossbar just as Puncheon looked destined to get a third for the Eagles. They settle for an eighth corner, which Cornelius clears at the near post.
90 minOdemwingie has a powerful strike well cleared and once again Jerome proves a willing runner to clear. An awful afternoon for the Bluebirds is nearly over.
4.55pmIt's all over at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace have defeated Cardiff City 2-0 in the Premier League. I hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of this match. Have a good evening; it's goodbye from me for now.