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Crystal Palace vs Norwich City. Premier League.

Selhurst ParkAttendance24,433.

Crystal Palace 3

  • O Edouard (8th minute pen)
  • J Mateta (38th minute)
  • J Schlupp (42nd minute)

Norwich City 0

    Crystal Palace 3-0 Norwich: Canaries suffer fifth straight defeat without scoring

    Report and free match highlights as goals from Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp punished hapless Canaries; Norwich will finish 2021 bottom of the Premier League table; Crystal Palace without Wilfried Zaha or Conor Gallagher

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's win over Norwich in the Premier League

    Crystal Palace condemned Norwich to a fifth straight defeat without scoring in the Premier League, running out 3-0 winners.

    Norwich started with good intent at Selhurst Park but shot themselves in the foot when Kenny McLean fouled Will Hughes inside the area on seven minutes which allowed Odsonne Edouard to score from the spot.

    From that moment on, Norwich wilted as Jean-Philippe Mateta fired home a clinical second for the hosts on 38 minutes before Jeffrey Schlupp followed suit from similar range four minutes later to make it 3-0.

    It was an impressive day at the office for Palace - who were without Conor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha, as well as manager Patrick Vieira - while it was more misery for the Canaries as they have gone the entirety of December without scoring.

    Crystal Palace have won their final Premier League game of a calendar year for the first time since 1992, propelling them above Brighton into ninth place. As for Norwich, they will see out 2021 rock bottom of the league table with a huge task on their hands to survive relegation.

    How Crystal Palace cruised to victory

    Crystal Palace's Jean-Philippe Mateta (R) celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game
    Image: Crystal Palace's Jean-Philippe Mateta (R) celebrates scoring the second goal of the game

    Norwich began well at Selhurst Park, but had the wind taken out of their sails when Crystal Palace were awarded a penalty inside seven minutes.Hughes looked to create space for a shot, but a dangling McLean leg sent the midfielder over. Edouard lined it up and dispatched into the corner, sending Angus Gunn leaping the other way.

    After a five minute delay due to the referee's malfunctioning technology around the half an hour mark, Crystal Palace added their second. It was a good break from the hosts, with Edouard fed down the left. His squared pass found Mateta in the middle, who swept home from close range.

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    Crystal Palace's third was not far behind either. Hughes caught Norwich out in possession again, feeding Tyrick Mitchell down the left. His pass found Edouard in the middle, who had three yellow shirts closing in as he laid the ball off for Schlupp on his left. It was an impressive finish from the forward too as he sent the ball across the face of goal and into the far corner.

    Player ratings

    Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (7), Andersen (7), Guehi (7), Mitchell (7), Hughes (8), Kouyate (7), Schlupp (8), Ayew (7), Edouard (7), Mateta (7).

    Subs used: Benteke (6), Tomkins (6)

    Norwich: Gunn (6), Byram (5), Gibson (5), Sorensen (6), Giannoulis (5), Lees-Melou (6), Gilmour (6), McLean (5), Tzolis (6), Idah (5), Placheta (6).

    Subs used: Rowe, (6), Sargent (6), Williams (6)

    Man of the match: Jeffrey Schlupp

    Norwich had their best chances of the half as five minutes of added time were shown. Vicente Guaita failed to stop a superb cross from Sam Byram down the left, which reached Christos Tzolis just behind. He tried to turn home into an open net, but Joel Ward threw his body in front of the ball to block. Then, Byram sent a header onto the crossbar from Przemyslaw Placheta's free kick as Crystal Palace's three first half goals went unanswered.

    Much like the first half, Norwich started the better, but both goalkeepers were soon called upon. Angus Gunn made a sensational double save just before the hour, firstly stopping Schlupp's low effort with his legs before a second similar save in quick succession to deny Mateta. At the other end, Guaita leapt to keep out Placheta's volley that had landed kindly in his path.

    Team news

    • Crystal Palace were without Conor Gallagher, who dropped out of the XI along with James Tomkins and the suspended Wilfried Zaha. Jack Butland also returned to the bench and was replaced by No 1 Vicente Guaita.
    • Marc Guehi also returned to partner Joachim Andersen in the centre of defence, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Jean-Philippe Mateta also coming into the side.
    • Norwich made wholesale changes. Angus Gunn, Ben Gibson, Billy Gilmour, Kenny McLean and Przemyslaw Placheta kept their spots, with six players coming into the XI. Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons were not part of the Norwich squad, missing out with a mix of injury and illness, along with Todd Cantwell.

    Crystal Palace thought they had scored a fourth late on as susbtiute Christian Benteke turned home from close range after Norwich failed to clear a corner. However, he was flagged for offside and the goal was ruled out. VAR briefly checked the decision, but it stood.

    However, the damage had been done in the first half despite improvements for Norwich after the break as they end the year bottom of the Premier League.

    Man of the match - Jeffrey Schlupp

    One of the big questions when the team news dropped was how much Palace would miss the influence and goal threat of Gallagher. Not much it turned out as Schlupp slotted in perfectly to Gallagher's role at the tip of the midfield, putting in an energetic showing full of quality and attacking intent.

    He took his goal in the style of a player very comfortable in the opposition box - one of six shots he had on goal during an all-action 90 minutes. Special mention to Hughes too. His clever passing in the heart of the Palace midfield set the platform for the convincing win.

    What the managers said

    Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts: "It was a good day for us. Performance wise and result wise, it was really important for us today, but especially after the result on Sunday and then coming back to play at home.

    "We made a good start to the game and we had good energy. The early goal sets us up nicely and the important thing is you build on that and don't go flat. We managed to do that and it was an excellent first half from us.

    "It was then a professional, disciplined performance in the second half to see us through.

    "I'm not sure on Conor yet [for Saturday against West Ham], we'll have to wait and see. There is a combination of injuries, Covid and suspension meaning players are out. At this point in time, I'm not in a position to be talking about individual players and disclosing any information that I'm not privy to anyway.

    "Patrick is doing well. He's delighted with the result, we're in constant dialogue with a good communication strategy to make sure we're able to follow his instructions during the game and throughout the week. We're waiting day by day to see when he'll be back at the training ground and at the helm.

    "We're working in a way where we're not reliant on one or two players to be match-winners for us. It's important that everybody contributes attacking wise and defensive wise. I'm delighted that the other players stepped up today, particularly JP Mateta who has been waiting patiently for his opportunity… The players stepping in today have done great for us again."

    Norwich head coach Dean Smith: "The result and the scoreline hurts. I didn't think it a 3-0 if I'm honest, but the manner of the goals we conceded was poor.

    "We conceded a soft penalty. Ken held his hands up, it might not be given in other circumstances. Does he make contact? Yes, but once he plants his foot, he doesn't do enough to send the lad over. But I can understand why it was given so I've got no complaints.

    "It was naivety in the box for the third goal. They take five or six touches without anybody getting anywhere close to them and Schlupp smashes it across Gunn.

    "What we had when I first came in, I was quietly optimistic, but it's been decimated at the moment and that's where we were today… We're lacking a lot of leaders in our group who unfortunately at the moment, are injured or ill.

    "I said to the players at half-time, you need to go out and show some character and pride in the second half. I didn't think the first half was a 3-0 first half, it was just the manner of goals that were disappointing and unfortunately, the result is the only thing people will talk about.

    "Could we have scored a goal today? I think we could, we created more than enough chances than we have done in a lot of other days, but at the moment, we're just falling short."

    Opta stats

    • Crystal Palace have lost just once and scored 18 goals in their 10 Premier League home games under Patrick Vieira (17 pts), after losing five and scoring just nine times in the 10 before that (11 pts).
    • Norwich have scored just eight goals in their 19 Premier League games this season, the joint-lowest tally in a top-flight season after 19 games alongside Leicester City in 1977-78.
    • Norwich have conceded six penalty goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
    • Odsonne Edouard was directly involved in three goals for Crystal Palace against Norwich (1 goal, 2 assists), just one goal involvement fewer than he managed in all of his previous 15 games in the Premier League combined (3 goals, 1 assist).

    What's next?

    Live: SNF

    Both teams are back in Premier League action on New Year's Day. Crystal Palace host West Ham, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm. Norwich will travel to Leicester on Sunday; kick-off 3pm.

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