Result: Crystal Palace edge out Aston Villa

Crystal Palace secure a vital win over Aston Villa in their Premier League clash at Selhurst Park as a Jason Puncheon strike decides the contest.

Jason Puncheon's 76th-minute strike handed Crystal Palace a narrow 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in their Premier League clash at Selhurst Park.

Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

Palace began the game in confident fashion and Puncheon nearly bagged his third goal in a week when he fired an effort just over the bar from 25 yards out.

Villa responded with a solid play but as soon as they entered the final third of the pitch, they struggle to carve out any openings as the Palace backline tightened.

Nathan Baker of Aston Villa out jumps teammate Ciaran Clark and Cameron Jerome of Crystal Palace during the Barclays Premier League match on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

Just before the break, Palace had an appeal for a penalty when Yannick Bolasie went down in the area when he was challenged by Grant Holt, but referee Howard Webb waved play on much to the frustration of the winger.

Palace had the best chance of the game when Adrian Mariappa raided down the right and dug out a cross which found Marouane Chamakh in the area, but he could only head his effort wide of the post.

Ryan Bertrand of Aston Villa tangles with Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace during the Barclays Premier League match on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

After the break, Palace should have taken the lead when Bolasie's effort was parried into the path of Jerome by Brad Guzan, but the striker could only fire his close-range effort against the bar.

The home side did take the lead when Bolasie raided forward and found Puncheon in the box and the striker managed to turn his man and fire an effort past Guzan into the top corner.

Villa had a chance to draw level late on when Andreas Weimann latched onto a loose ball in the area, but his effort was well saved by Julian Speroni who tipped the ball past the post.

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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