|Crystal Palace 5 v 0 Ipswich Town|
Tuesday, 6th November 2012 Kick-off 20:00
Crystal Palace 5-0 Town
Tuesday, 6th Nov 2012 22:10
Mick McCarthy tasted defeat for the first time as Town manager as Ian Holloway's Crystal Palace ran out comfortable 5-0 victors at Selhurst Park. Yannick Bolasie had put the home side ahead at half-time before an extraordinary 11 minutes early in the second half in which Palace were awarded three penalties, Murray scoring two and having one saved, the Eagles striker later adding his third and the Eagles' fourth before sub Andre Moritz made it five in injury time.
Andy Drury returned to the Town midfield in place of Guirane N’Daw. The Senegalese international, who was forced off with cramp late in the 1-0 victory at Birmingham on Saturday, was included amongst the subs.
Former Blues Damien Delaney and Owen Garvan were in the Palace starting line-up, while keeper Lewis Price and one-time Town academy schoolboy Stuart O'Keefe were on the bench.
Town, in all white, lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Daryl Murphy moving to the left of midfield from the front role he occupied on Saturday.
The home side threatened to go in front in the opening minute, Yannick Bolasie breaking down the left and cutting in before being dispossessed by a retreating Lee Martin. The loose ball ran to Glenn Murray, who stabbed wide from eight yards when he will feel he should have scored.
Palace had started the game the stronger and on six appealed for a penalty when Murray went to ground inside the area under the attention of Danny Higginbotham but referee Darren Sheldrake wasn’t interested. Soon after, Norwegian full-back Jonathan Parr sent in a cross from the left which Stephen Henderson was forced to tip over.
The Blues started to keep the ball better as the game reached the quarter hour mark, although skipper Carlos Edwards had to use his pace to get back and take the ball from the lively Bolasie after the Congolese winger had been found in space on the left.
By the 20th minute it was Palace giving the ball away too easily and the Blues having most of the possession but without threatening Eagles keeper Julian Speroni.
However, it was the home side who would go in front in the 24th minute as Bolasie made the most of a Town error at the back.
Garvan flicked a header on towards Murray, who held his arms in the air and left it as he was well offside. Luke Chambers dawdled on the ball, not realising Bolasie was running in behind him from an onside position and the winger dispossessed him before lobbing over Henderson and into the net.
It was a bad goal for Town to concede and at the time came against the run of play with the Blues having been in the ascendant for the previous few minutes.
Kagisho Dikgacoi got his name in referee Sheldrake’s book for a somewhat wild lunge at Aaron Cresswell in the 32nd minute. Soon after, Murray had the ball in the net, but having been found when in an offside position by a deflected Garvan shot.
DJ Campbell shot low to Speroni from 20 yards with the Blues still to seriously test the Argentinian goalkeeper.
On 37 Cresswell whipped in a dangerous cross from the left which Parr was forced to divert away from Martin rushing in from the right, Speroni tipping the ball over. Martin and the keeper subsequently collided but referee Sheldrake was happy with the challenge and awarded a corner, which came to nothing.
Two minutes before the scheduled end of the half, a Martin corner was cleared to Richie Wellens 25 yards out but the on-loan Leicester man mis-hit his strike well wide when he ought to have done better.
For Palace, goalscorer Bolasie twisted and turned his way past Edwards on the right of the Blues’ box as the period moved into injury time before hitting a low shot from a tight angle which Henderson bundled behind, although referee Sheldrake gave a goalkick.
Town couldn’t really argue with the scoreline at the break. Despite having been on top for spells, the home side had played more of the better football and had created pretty much all of the chances.
The goal was a gift of the type which has become all too familiar and which Mick McCarthy will be hoping to eliminate from Town’s game during his time in charge.
Martin saw an early shot blocked, but it took only five minutes of the second period for the home side to increase their lead from the penalty spot.
Wilfried Zaha, who had swapped flanks with Bolasie, cut in from the left and broke into the area, skipping past players as he went. Chambers challenged, Zaha went to ground and referee Sheldrake pointed to the spot.
Chambers and the rest of the Town players argued long and hard, the Blues defender may have got the ball and the winger may have been on his way down prior to the tackle. Reo-Coker picked up a yellow card for his protests before Murray slammed the ball high into the net to Henderson’s left to make it 2-0.
Within five minutes the Eagles had a second penalty. Parr whipped a cross in from the left towards Garvan at the far post. The former Blues midfielder was manhandled by Cresswell and fell to the turf, although how much the contact with the full-back had to do with that was debatable.
However, the linesman flagged and Mr Sheldrake again pointed to the spot. Murray this time shot low to Henderson’s left to make it 3-0.
Town looked to get back in the game, Campbell shooting weakly Speroni, then Higginbotham forced the Argentinian into a rare save to his left with a well-struck shot after a corner had reached him beyond the far post.
Unbelievably, the Eagles were then awarded their third spotkick in 11 minutes. Henderson dived at Murray’s feet as the striker broke into the area, then Garvan following up was tripped by the ponderous Chambers. This time Murray lashed the ball down the centre of the goal and the Blues keeper blocked.
But the ex-Brighton man wasn’t to be denied his hat-trick. On 63 one-time Blues target Joel Ward broke unchallenged down the Palace right and crossed low for Murray, who tapped home from close range.
Palace sub Andre Moritz, who had replaced hat-trick hero Murray who had been given an inevitable standing ovation, headed Bolasie’s left-wing cross over on 70, moments before Drury and Murphy made way for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who joined Campbell up front, and Tommy Smith, who went to left-back with Cresswell moving up into midfield.
Cresswell lashed over as the game moved into its final quarter hour with Town looking very much a beaten side. Moments later, a frustrated Martin was booked for dissent.
Moritz curled a shot wide as the match entered its final 10 minutes, then Zaha was booked for stopping the ball from going out of play with his hand, park match style. Wellens, who had been receiving treatment for a cut, was replaced by Guirane N’Daw for the final nine minutes.
Henderson saved as Jermaine Easter went through on goal in the 90th minute, while the Blues kept pushing at the other end but with little conviction and with Speroni never really under any threat. Late on, Delaney cut out a low Cresswell cross from the left ahead of Campbell.
Four minutes into injury time, the final nail was hammered into Town’s coffin when Palace broke from a Blues’ corner and Parr and Moritz exchanged passes before the Brazilian netted from close range, although having appeared to stray offside. Moments later, the whistle put the Blues out of their misery.
Town never recovered from the remarkable start to the second half. While the Blues had been on top at times before the break, Palace, who are now top, were dominant in the second.
The Town players may have felt there was some question about the first two penalties but the home side had already turned up the heat at that stage with Zaha looking increasingly dangerous.
There were few complaints about the third penalty with the Blues’ backline again overstretched, while Ward was allowed to skip past three Town shirts before delivering the cross for the fourth goal. The fifth came with Town searching in vain for something at the other end.
After the positivity of Saturday, tonight’s result is a jolt back to reality and shows new manager McCarthy quite how much work he has to do.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Dikgacoi, Jedinak (c), Bolasie, Garvan (Easter 69), Zaha (Moxey 88), Murray (Moritz 69). Unused: Price, Blake, O'Keefe, Appiah.
Town: Henderson, Edwards (c), Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Martin, Reo-Coker, Drury (Emmanuel-Thomas 70), Wellens (N'Daw 81), Murphy (Smith 70), Campbell. Unused: Loach, Mohsni, Scotland, Chopra. Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey). Att: 15,517 (Town: 1,261).
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