Palace edge Saints in thriller

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:38

Palace edge Saints in thriller

Graziano Pelle ended a seven-match goal drought to give the hosts a ninth-minute lead but Marouane Chamakh bundled home on his return from a six-week injury lay-off just two minutes later and his second – shortly before the break – proved decisive.
A lot has changed since Saints travelled to Selhurst Park on Boxing Day, with that 3-1 defeat leading to Neil Warnock’s sacking and the appointment of the popular former Eagles midfielder.

But even the most optimistic of Palace fans could not have predicted Pardew’s impact, this 3-2 win – their second in succession – continuing his 100 per cent start to life at the helm and ending Southampton’s eight-match unbeaten run.

Both managers named strong line-ups and the hosts struck the first blow as James Ward-Prowse swung in a fine corner from the left, Wayne Hennessey unable to stop Pelle’s stabbed effort crossing the line.

It was far from a dominant Saints start, though, and Palace took just two minutes to strike back.

Sanogo had room to fire a low, powerful strike goalwards – an effort Forster could only fumble into the path of Chamakh, who duly bundled home in front of the raucous visiting support.

It was an impressive comeback which would have got better had Sanogo taken advantage of some sloppy play, only for Forster to recover the ball after the Eagles striker’s shot squirmed through his grasp.

It was a let-off Southampton capitalised on, launching an immediate break down the left which resulted in Bertrand firing in a low cross and Dann accidentally directing into his own goal (16).

Palace once again drew parity in the 21st minute as Sanogo coolly slotted home after being put through by Wilfried Zaha.

Ward-Prowse and Steven Davis both came close with fizzing 25-yard drives, while at the other end, Sanogo headed over from the corner Florin Gardos conceded under pressure.

Chamakh netted his second of the afternoon in the 39th minute, breaking behind the Saints backline and coolly rounding Forster before slotting home.

Ronald Koeman’s men were struggling to nullify attack-minded Palace, appearing rattled whenever the visitors poured forward.
But the goal flurry finally let up and while the Saints improved in the second half, they were unable to find the equaliser needed to force a replay.

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