Match Analysis: Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City

Match Analysis: Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City
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Sports Mole dissects what went wrong for Cardiff City in a 2-0 defeat to revitalised Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace were chasing a third win in four Premier League games this afternoon against Cardiff City, who travelled to Selhurst Park without a goal in three successive matches on the road.

The tone for a fairly one-sided clash was set early on as Frazier Campbell missed a glorious chance for the Bluebirds, before Cameron Jerome made no mistake at the other end to break the deadlock inside six minutes.

Three precious points for the Eagles were wrapped on the on hour-mark by Marouane Chamakh, who scored for the second game running with a measured drive hit with the outside of his foot.

Look back at a big win for the Eagles with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.

Match statistics:

Shots 19
On target 5
Possession 44%
Corners 8
Fouls 9

Shots 9
On target 2
Possession 56%
Corners 3
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Palace were worthy winners as an Eagles side transformed under Tony Pulis played with pace and purpose throughout. Cardiff were unable to get their creative options on the ball in midfield and failed to deal with the pace of Jerome in attack, slipping to a defeat which leaves them just a point ahead of Palace outside the relegation places.

Palace's performance

Pulis will be delighted with the passion and drive shown by his charges today, hustling without the ball all over the pitch and making things happen in the final third. The strike duo of Chamakh and Jerome were superb, stretching the game with pace and taking up intelligent positions to give Barry Bannan and Jason Puncheon consistent options going forward.

Cardiff's performance

Malky Mackay definitely has cause for concern after an inept effort from his side this afternoon, lacking the bite and verve that they have regularly shown in home games this season. If Campbell's header was not tipped over by Julian Speroni it may well have been a different story, but in truth the Bluebirds were well beaten and failed to cope with the newly-crowned fortress Selhurst Park.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Marouane Chamakh: The Moroccan just shades Jerome after matching a tireless work ethic to his third goal of the campaign. Chamakh's contolled half volley was just reward for a striker finally reminding Eagles fans of the promise he showed in his early displays for Arsenal, dropping off the front regularly to link play and win the ball back from two central defenders who never got a rest.

Biggest gaffe

Campbell will have to claim this unfortunate prize tonight, failing to connect properly with a header from close range despite being unmarked and having time to watch a wonderful cross reach the six-yard box. His effort hit the turf and bounced up kindly enough for Speroni to parry, with Palace never looking back from there.

Referee performance

Michael Jones enjoyed a relatively quiet game but angered Palace players when he refused a second look at an effort which came within inches of crossing the line, before David Marshall's last-gasp intervention.

What next?

Palace: Pulis power at Palace will be tested to the full next weekend, when the Eagles visit Stamford Bridge for a London derby against title contenders Chelsea.

Cardiff: Mackay will be desperate for a reaction from his side when they host West Bromwich Albion next Saturday, who sit just a point and a place ahead of them in the Premier League table.

Marouane Chamakh of Crystal Palace is surrounded by team mates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Cardiff City at Selhurst Park on December 07, 2013
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Palace 2-0 Cardiff - as it happened
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