Feb 16, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace
4-1
Middlesbrough
Ramage (48'), Murray (9', 57'), Phillips (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Haroun (80')
Williams (40')

Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough - as it happened

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway on November 27, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of today's Championship clash between Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the Championship, which today sees Crystal Palace take on Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park.

Both teams are still in the mix for automatic promotion to the Premier League, but are suffering from blips in form as the long season begins to take its toll.

The Eagles have taken just eight points from the last 18 available, while Tony Mowbray's men ended a run of five straight defeats with victory over Leeds United in their last outing.

Boro won the reverse fixture at the Riverside Stadium in August.

You can watch how all the action unfolds with us below. Please note that kickoff is 3pm.


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2.01pmGood afternoon. Welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the Championship. Today we're at Selhurst Park for Crystal Palace's clash with Middlesbrough.

2.02pmThis match could go some way to indicating which team has the legs for a promotion charge. Both really need three points to further their cause having struggled for consistency in the past few weeks.

2.05pmPalace could go within a point of second-placed Hull City by the end of play today, while Middlesbrough are two points behind their hosts and looking to usurp their spot in the table.

2.07pmTeam news just in...

2.08pmMIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Bikey, Williams, Friend, Haroun, Leadbitter, Halliday, Parnaby, McEachran, Carayol, Jutkiewicz

2.09pmPALACE: Speroni, Richards, Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Dobbie, Williams, Murray

2.15pmThe two teams cannot be separated from 46 previous encounters, with 17 wins apiece and 12 draws. Middlesbrough won the last meeting 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium in August.

2.20pmPalace have a superb home record this season, winning nine of their 15 matches at Selhurst Park and losing just once. Meanwhile, Boro have lost nine times on their travels.

2.27pmGlenn Murray has been in superb form this season, netting 24 times for the Eagles. He tops the Championship scoring charts. Boro's top scorer is Scott McDonald with 10, but he doesn't feature today. Lukas Jutkiewicz does however, and he is just one behind the Australian.

2.32pmIan Holloway's men have the second-best goals-to-games ratio in the league with 1.74. That is bettered only by Watford (1.94), who incidentally are the only team to win at Selhurst Park this season. Middlesbrough are sixth on the list with 1.61 goals per game.

2.36pmPalace's defence has been reasonably solid, as well. Statistically, it's the sixth best in the league. They have conceded 39 goals at an average of 1.26 per game. Boro are 16th on that particular list having shipped 46 goals at an average of 1.48. Both teams have kept eight clean sheets.

2.45pmAs you're most probably aware, there is FA Cup fifth-round action taking place today. We have coverage of Luton vs. Millwall and Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers, but that's not all. We're also on international duty with Rangers vs. Clyde and Mainz vs. Schalke. Enjoy.

2.50pmYou want more? Ok, well we'll be bringing you all the action from Boundary Park as Oldham look to pull off another giant-killing scalp when they take on Everton at 6pm. Then later, we have Roma vs. Juventus, Malaga vs. Athletic Bilbao, Granada vs. Barcelona and Osasuna vs. Real Zaragoza. Don't say we never give you anything.

2.59pmWith the players now entering the theatre of conflict, it's about time for a prediction... I'm going 2-0 Palace. I'm quite prepared to be proven wrong, as I often am...

0 minThe hosts get this game underway...

3 minIt's been a very scrappy start by both teams. Long balls aplenty so far.

3 minIt's been a very scrappy start by both teams. Long balls aplenty so far.

4 minSHOT! The first effort on goal comes from the boot of Josh McEachran, but a partial block takes some of the mustard off his shot and Speroni saves easily.

8 minGOAL! Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough (Murray)

8 minThe Eagles are in front and it's that man Glenn Murray! He was supplied brilliantly by Wilfried Zaha, who picked up a loose ball outside the area and made a dart to the byline, before firing the ball across goal for his strike partner to tap in. Fantastic work from the youngster!

12 minZaha is tormenting the Boro defence every time he gets on the ball. There's no art to Palace's style of play though, just long angled balls into Murray and Zaha. Still, it's working...

16 minPalace are completely bossing the game and the home crowd are in full voice. No more chances to speak of, just plenty of possession for the hosts.

20 minWe are yet to see anything of Middlesbrough as an attacking force. This is a side woefully short on confidence, despite ending a run of five straight defeats against Leeds United on their last outing.

23 minCLOSE! More great work from Zaha, as he gives Parnaby the runaround down the left. He gets a cross in for Murray, who was just inches from making contact.

24 minCHANCE! Zaha. This boy can play. He puts the ball on a plate for Murray, but his back-post header is too high. He should have done much better with that, especially considering his goalscoring record this season. It's still one-way traffic.

27 minJutkiewicz is on the floor clutching his ankle after landing awkwardly. He went up for a ball with Delaney and came off second best. He's receiving treatment, but it doesn't look too good.

30 minLovely interplay between Dobbie and Murray nearly creates an opening for the latter, but Halliday gets across just in time to quell the threat.

33 minSHOT! Dobbie tries to punish Steele for a poor clearance, but his long-range effort is rushed and flies just wide of the goal.

38 minOFF THE LINE! Ramage heads Haroun's effort off the line! The midfielder did marvelously to get his shot on target from a tight angle.

40 minBOOKING! Williams is the first man into the referee's notebook for a late challenge on Delaney.

42 minWell after 35 minutes of being on the back foot, Boro came so close to levelling with that Haroun effort. Ramage positioned himself excellently to head clear, but the visitors finally seem to have woken up.

45 minThere's going to be four minutes added on at the end of the first half.

45+4 minCHANCE! McEachran absolutely skies it from inside the box! The ball broke kindly for him following good work from Haroun down the right. Poor effort.

3.53pmHALF TIME: Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough

3.55pmIan Holloway will be wondering how his side have only managed to score one after dominating for a large portion of the first half, but they could so easily have been punished for not adding to their lead while on top. Haroun has had one cleared off the line, while McEachran wasted the visitors' clearest opening just before the whistle.

3.57pmClick here to read Sports Mole's Half-Time Report from Selhurst Park.

4pmCHAMPIONSHIP LATEST:


Birmingham 0-2 Watford
Derby 0-0 Wolves
Hull City 1-0 Charlton
Ipswich 0-0 Blackpool
Nott'm Forest 0-0 Bolton

4.01pmThere has already been one result this afternoon, as Cardiff City triumphed 2-1 over Bristol City.

4.04pmThe big difference between Palace and Boro has been Wilfried Zaha. He has been unplayable at times, making life difficult for Stuart Parnaby in particular. It's of little wonder why Roy Hodgson is so keen on declaring him for England. His speed and trickery will be a massive asset to Ian Holloway in the Eagles' push for promotion. No doubt they'll be sad to see him go when he leaves for Manchester United at the end of the season. Yet another exciting forward player for the Red Devils, who are already abundant in that area of the field.

45 minThe teams are back out on the pitch for the second half, which Middlesbrough get underway...

48 minGOAL! Palace 2-0 Middlesbrough (Ramage)

48 minPalace catch Middlesbrough sleeping at a set piece, as Murray heads Dobbie's corner back across goal for Peter Ramage to hit on the turn. Great finish, especially for a defender!

54 minNot much has happened since the second goal. There's a bit of a lull in the game, but Palace are still looking extremely comfortable.

56 minMIDDLESBROUGH SUBSTITUTION: Kieron Dyer comes on to replace Stuart Parnaby, who looks to be carrying an injury.

56 minGOAL! Palace 3-0 Middlesbrough (Murray)

56 minWhat a strike from the goal machine Glenn Murray! That takes his tally to 26 for the season! He hustled the ball from the Boro defence just outside the box before firing a left-footed shot into the top corner, giving Steele no chance. Surely that's game over!

60 minDOUBLE MIDDLESBROUGH SUBSTIUTION: Josh McEachran makes way for Nick Bailey, while Ishmael Miller comes on for Lukas Jutkiewicz.

64 minSHOT! Dobbie advances into the final third and unleashes a low right-footed drive, but Steele is behind it.

67 minPalace are playing keep ball now. The Boro players are chasing shadows as every touch is cheered by the Selhurst Park faithful.

70 minPALACE SUBSTITUTION: Kevin Phillips enters the fray, replacing Jonathan Williams.

73 minSHOT! A rare effort on goal from the visitors, as Halliday hits a stinging long-range effort. Speroni saw it all the way, though.

75 minPALACE SUBSTITUTION: Jacob Butterfield comes on for Kagisho Dikgacoi.

77 minBoro have not looked like a team in top six of the Championship. They've been easily outplayed today, offering very little as an attacking unit. Palace have been simply superb.

79 minGOAL! Palace 3-1 Middlesbrough (Haroun)

79 minAnd right on cue, they score. A lovely flick from Miller set Haroun racing clear, and he coolly slotted underneath Speroni. Nice finish, but too little too late.

81 minPALACE SUBSTITUTION: Yannick Bolasie comes on to replace Stephen Dobbie, who has been excellent.

85 minGOAL! Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough (Phillips)

85 minIt's another assist for Zaha, but that goal was all about Phillips. He received the ball to his feet, shimmied to make some space, and shot left-footed beyond Steele. It looks like Holloway's boys will have the final word.

90 minThere's going to be five minutes added on at the end of this game. I'll bet that Tony Mowbray wants the ref to blow up now.

90+3 minBoth teams are just playing for time now. This result has never looked in doubt.

4.57pmFULL TIME: Crystal Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough

Crystal Palace's Kevin Phillips scores heis side's equalising goal against Watford on February 8, 2013
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