Football: Jansen glitters at the Palace

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE CLEAREST sign yet that Terry Venables' Crystal Palace revolution is taking shape came at Selhurst Park where they destroyed Norwich City, who were top of the First Division in August, 5-1, Matt Jansen scoring twice after Iwan Roberts had given the Canaries an early lead. Nicky Rizzo, Mathias Svensson and Attilio Lombardo also scored for Palace.

"Our best display so far," Venables enthused. "The quality of our game was very good against a team with the best defensive system in the division. There has been a big turnaround in the team in a short time. I'm happy with the group we have now, all the players are fighting hard for positions"

At the front of the pack chasing the leaders Huddersfield, Birmingham City beat Crewe Alexandra 3-1 at St Andrews and moved up to second. The quicksilver winger Peter Ndlovu put Brum ahead after eight minutes and although Seth Johnson equalised with a 30-yard drive the home side's power prevailed with Martin O'Connor's penalty on 45 minutes and Paul Furlong, eight minutes into the second half, sinking Crewe.

Ipswich Town moved up to third thanks to David Johnson's seventh goal of the season, which was enough to beat Swindon Town but although Bolton Wanderers maintained their unbeaten record they could only draw with injury- hit Oxford United despite having four strikers - Nathan Blake, Arnar Gunnlaugsson, Bob Taylor and Dean Holdsworth - on the pitch. Per Frandsen's sixth goal of the season put Wanderers ahead in the 37th minute but three minutes later Oxford were level when Andrew Thomson scored at the far post. "It's just a little hiccup," Colin Todd, the Bolton manager, said.

Too early to speak of relegation tussles, but Port Vale will be glad to have taken three points off Bristol City after their meeting at Vale Park ended in a 3-2 win. Vale led 2-0, Bristol hauled themselves level, but two minutes from time Gareth Ainsworth's second goal of the game won it for the hosts. Relief, too, at Prenton Park as Kenny Irons scored twice in Tranmere Rovers' first home win of the season, beating Watford 3-2.

Finally, at the allegedly unlucky 13th attempt, Wycombe Wanderers recorded a first win in the Second Division this season. A 3-0 win over Macclesfield at Adams Park doubled Wycombe's points total.

Comments