Premier League - Palace ease relegation concerns with priceless win over Hull

Premier League, Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace 1 (Puncheon 16) Hull City 0

Jason Puncheon’s 16th minute strike gave Crystal Palace a priceless victory over relegation rivals Hull City at Selhurst Park.

Puncheon’s third goal in his last four Premier League appearances since 'that penalty' came just two minutes after Hull should have had a penalty. Shane Long completely out-paced Danny Gabbidon to a long ball and got his body in front of the defender. As they entered the penalty area the Welsh defender clumsily ran in to the back of Long but the referee gave nothing.

Just two minutes later Puncheon met a good cross from Yannick Bolasie with a header. It hit Marouane Chamakh in the back and deflected back to the winger, who was first to react as he lashed home from six yards out leaving Alan McGregor in goal no chance.

Hull toiled in the first half to create anything of note but in the second half were able to put pressure on Palace’s goal. With the introduction of George Boyd, they tested Julian Speroni’s goal properly for the first time. Boyd found space and let fly with a strike which Speroni got down well to save.

Minutes later and Palace allowed Jake Livermore the freedom of the right wing to walk in to the penalty area and find Leroy Rosenior at the near post but the wing-back was only able to poke wide when it appeared easier to score.

Hull continued to pile on the pressure but were unable to crack a stubborn Palace defence.

In the dying moments McGregor was sent off after kicking-out in petulance at a perceived late push from Stuart O’Keefe, leaving midfielder Tom Huddlestone to spend the final five minutes in goal.

KEY EVENTS

14’ – PENALTY PAIN – Shane Long sprints past Gabbidon in the penalty area and his legs appear to be clipped but the referee gives no penalty.

16’ – PALACE LEAD – Jason Puncheon scores two minutes later as his initial header, going wide, rebounds off Marouane Chamakh and falls back to him to smash home.

50’ – LIVERMORE MISS – Jake Livermore has time and space as the ball drops to him on the edge of the Palace area but he blazes over under no pressure.

61’ – ROSENIOR RUE – Leroy Rosenior will never miss an easier chance as Livermore finds him six yards out with the goal gaping but he pokes it wide under pressure from Damien Delaney.

90+2 – MCGREGOR MADNESS – The Scottish keeper loses his cool as Stuart O’Keefe gives him a late bump on the left touchline. He kicks out and sees red for his petulance.

90+5 – QUINN CLOSE – With just seconds to go Quinn sends a low daisy-cutter across goal from the left side of the penalty area but it goes just wide as Speroni can only stand and watch.

KEY STATS

Hull have now lost four consecutive games in the Premier League and have not mustered a victory in their last nine away matches.

Palace have recorded a double over Hull this season having beaten them at the KC Stadium in November. Both games ended 1-0.

The home side enjoyed just 38% possession to Hull’s 62% but were able to create 13 attempts on goal, the same as their visitors.

Jason Puncheon has scored three goals in his last four games since his infamous penalty miss against Tottenham.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Can Tony Pulis do the impossible and keep Palace in the Premier League for the first time? His personal record speaks for itself having never had a relegation season on his CV. But Palace were early season favourites to go down and Pulis looked to have drunk from the poisoned chalice when he took the job on. But with wins coming more easily and half the league embroiled in a relegation battle, Pulis will be confident he can keep this new look, organised Palace side safe from the drop.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace): He was tireless in his running and carried Palace’s threat every time he went forward. Took his goal well too as he didn’t have much time to react to the rebound.

PLAYER RATINGS

Palace: Speroni 7, Mariappa 7, Gabbidon 7, Delaney 7, Moxey 7, Puncheon 9, Ward 7, Jedinak 7, Bolasie 6, Chamakh 7, Jerome 7: Subs: McCarthy 7, O’Keefe 6, Wilbraham 6.

Hull: McGregor 4, Bruce 6, Davies 6, McShane 6, Rosenior 5, Elmohamady 7, Meyler 6, Huddlestone 6, Livermore 7, Jelavic 6, Long 6: Subs: Quinn 6, Boyd 7, Fryatt n/a.

MATCH IN A TWEET