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Palace and Norwich draw

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01 Jan 2014 18:02:43

Palace and Norwich draw

Crystal Palace and 10-man Norwich played out a New Year's Day draw in poor conditions at Selhurst Park - with a point not enough to prevent the Eagles slipping back in to the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

Norwich had dished out a 1-0 win over Palace to ruin Tony Pulis' first game at the helm in November but Chris Hughton's side have won just once in seven league outings since then.

With the Selhurst Park pitch subjected to an ongoing downpour, referee Mike Dean was careful to take several looks at the surface before giving the game the green light.

Bradley Johnson hammered the Canaries in front with a well-taken effort before Jason Puncheon levelled with a penalty late in the first-half.

Despite having the better of the second period and Leroy Fer seeing red late on for the visitors, Palace could not find the winning goal and are now back inside the bottom three - with Norwich down to 15th.

The first half-chance of the game fell to Puncheon as Joel Ward's deep cross dropped kindly for the Southampton loanee, who could not time his effort which was easily cleared.

Yannick Bolasie was tripped by Robert Snodgrass as he looked to turn away from the Norwich winger, with Eagles' skipper Mile Jedinak bending the resulting free-kick just over the crossbar.

Cameron Jerome had been passed fit to start despite suffering a knee injury at Manchester City on Saturday and he had a great chance to open the scoring on the half-hour mark - but he could not convert Puncheon's cross after he had robbed Nathan Redmond of possession on the edge of the Norwich box.

Norwich, who have not won at Palace in almost 21 years, had enjoyed pockets of possession without truly testing Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.

But, as half-time approached, the visitors started to look more dangerous as Wes Hoolahan began to pull the strings with Snodgrass and Gary Hooper also coming in to the game for the Canaries.

It did not take long for that pressure to pay off as Hoolahan and Hooper combined on the right before the latter cut the ball back to Johnson, who fired in off the post to put Hughton's side in front.

Marouane Chamakh, recalled to the starting line-up after being dropped to the bench at Man City, was then involved in an altercation with Hoolahan and was lucky to only pick up a yellow card after shoving the Republic of Ireland international to the ground.

Jerome saw a header cleared off the line by Martin Olsson shortly afterwards before Mike Dean pointed to the spot, with Fer booked after he was adjudged to have pushed Jedinak in the back from the resulting corner.

Puncheon stepped up and sent Ruddy the wrong way to level just before half-time.

The England goalkeeper was almost caught cold at the start of the second half as Bolasie's near-post corner almost eluded Ruddy, who could only scramble the ball behind for a corner.

Speroni was also called in to action as he did well to keep out Redmond's low shot six minutes after the break.

Turner then missed a clearance to gift Palace another corner which found its way to Jerome, who could only fire his shot well over the bar.

The mis-kick spelt the end of Turner's game as he left the field with what appeared to be a hamstring problem, with Ryan Bennett replacing the former Sunderland man in the Canaries' defence.

With the hosts on top for much of the second half, Pulis decided to introduce Dwight Gayle in place of Jerome - who had wasted two gilt-edged opportunities before coming off after 63 minutes.

With the rain still pouring and Palace on top, Norwich's defence was starting to creak under the strain of keeping the Eagles at bay, with Pulis' side unable to make the most of their constant string of corners.

Hooper was feeding on scraps for Norwich but he did test Speroni with a low effort at the mid way point of the half, before Johan Elmander was introduced at the expense of Hoolahan to give the visitors more of a physical presence in attack.

Any hopes Hughton had of leaving south London with three points took a blow when Fer was dismissed with seven minutes to go after picking up a second caution for a late challenge of Jedinak.

Russell Martin was called upon by the Norwich boss to keep things tight at the back in the latter stages as the Scotland defender replaced Hooper.

Palace could not muster up a clear-cut chance to secure all three points and, with Fulham beating West Ham, it means Pulis must now pull his side out of the relegation zone once again.


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