Match Report: Glenn Murray makes merry after Ian Holloway gets angry

Crystal Palace 4 Middlesbrough 1

SELHURST PARK

When these teams met in the first month of the season, Crystal Palace slumped to a third successive defeat and there were serious concerns about where they were heading. That nadir in their fortunes seems even farther away after another comfortable victory inspired by the relentless and reliable Glenn Murray.

Murray added two more to his vast tally of goals as Palace made nonsense of the fact their lead over Middlesbrough was two points at the start of play. Although Boro reduced the arrears late on it was a token effort which the home side immediately answered at the other end to underline why Tony Mowbray's team have come off second best in every League fixture in 2013 before the narrow win over Leeds last Tuesday.

Yet Ian Holloway revealed it took a half-time rollicking to deliver a second-half performance from which he could derive satisfaction. "I wasn't happy at half-time and told them they were boring me," the Palace manager said. "We were not quick enough or sharp enough, we were too laborious. I want us to show the same energy that I have and I don't yet know the best way to get what I want from them."

With Wilfried Zaha choosing the presence of England manager Roy Hodgson to produce what Holloway called his best performance during his reign, Palace were unstoppable and hardly needed the assistance lent to them by the poverty of the visitors' defending.

Faris Haroun failed to clear cleanly in the ninth minute and invited Zaha to create havoc. Andrew Halliday tried to assist Haroun in making up for the error but two defenders proved incapable of stopping the cross which fell to Murray at the far post for an easy finish. He should have had two more before the break, failing to connect properly with two Zaha crosses.

Boro lacked energy despite the best efforts of Grant Leadbitter. Peter Ramage cleared off the line from Haroun and Josh McEachran wafted a golden opportunity over the bar. But Boro's defending was again awry for the second goal as a corner was needlessly conceded, Murray was left alone to meet the delivery and Ramage spun impressively to score for the second time in successive games.

In the 57th minute, Murray seized on a loose ball, took a couple of strides and unleashed a drive of such venom that Jason Steele was powerless to keep out. Astonishingly it took his total to 27 goals in 30 appearances.

Haroun's solitary reply was unexpected though Kevin Phillips quickly restored the three-goal margin after Zaha had set him up.

Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Richards, Delaney, Ramage, Parr; Zaha, Dikgacoi (Butterfield, 76), Jedinak, J Williams (Phillips, 71); Dobbie (Bolasie, 81); Murray.

Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Steele; Parnaby (Dyer, 58), Bikey, Friend, Halliday; McEachran (Bailey, 59), R Williams, Leadbitter, Haroun; Jutkiewicz (Miller, 59), Carayol.

Referee Oliver Langford.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before