Cardiff City 0 Crystal Palace 3 match report: Jason Puncheon has Palace punching their way out of trouble

Joe Ledley struck in-between a Puncheon double that gives Palace crucial back-to-back victories

Cardiff City Stadium

A Jason Puncheon double helped Crystal Palace to an emphatic away victory as Cardiff continued their spiral towards relegation.  Goals in each half from Puncheon and a strike from the former Cardiff midfielder, Joe Ledley, secured Palace’s first away win of 2014.

Tony Pulis’s side had scored just six goals on the road all season before their trip to Wales, but they were made to look like title contenders by a woeful Cardiff side. The win completed Palace’s first back-to-back victories since December, following last weekend’s shock result against Chelsea, and it virtually secured their top flight survival as they moved seven points from safety.

Pulis said: “We played well against Chelsea and I didn’t want to come here and have it be a case of after the lord mayor’s show. We had to follow it up with a result. I’m pleased the players have got the rewards for all their hard work.”

Puncheon had fired a couple of early warning shots which were easily dealt with by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall. But when the home side continued to give Palace’s 27-year-old forward space between the lines he put the visitors ahead with his third attempt just after half hour.


Puncheon was allowed time to exchange passes with Ledley at the edge of Cardiff’s penalty area before switching the ball onto his left foot and rifling a drive into the bottom corner.

Cardiff never looked like forcing their way back into the match and the former Palace striker, Wilfried Zaha, was withdrawn after an hour to a smattering of boos from his own supporters.

Many of those fans were soon heading for the exit when Ledley grabbed the visitors’ second in the 71st minute.

Substitute Marouane Chamakh met Puncheon’s free kick but when his header was well saved by Marshall, Ledley bundled the ball in from close range.

The Wales international, who joined Cardiff at the age of nine and made 226 appearances for the club, refused to celebrate the goal against his boyhood club.

Puncheon’s second goal – when he broke forward two minutes from time and thundered a strike into the top corner from 25 yards – was the pick of Palace’s goals.

The few Cardiff fans remaining in the ground at the final whistle left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in no doubt as to what they made of the performance. The Cardiff manager said: “We have to produce a miracle to stay up, but things will have to change.

“The only positive we can take is there are five games to go and we are six points behind.

“So if we produce a miracle, we are capable of getting out of it and staying in the Premier League. It has been a tough season for everyone at the club but I am still full of fight.”


Cardiff City (4-1-3-2): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor; Medel; Mutch, Daehli (Bellamy, 73), Zaha (Noone, 62); Campbell, Jones (Cowie, 78).

Crystal Palace  (4-4-1-1): Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Bolasie (Chamakh, 64), Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon; Ledley; Jerome (Murray, 83)

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)

Match rating: 6/10

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas