English Premiership

Cardiff's relegation woes mount

2014-04-05 20:22
Crystal Palace (AFP)

Cardiff - Crystal Palace followed up last weekend's defeat of title-chasing Chelsea with a 3-0 win at Cardiff that compounded the struggling Welsh club's relegation woes.

While Palace pulled seven points clear of the drop zone, this loss in front of their home fans left Cardiff deep in trouble.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side slid down a place into second from bottom, six points from safety with only five games left to save their top flight status and avoid a quick return to the Championship.

Jason Puncheon scored a double in either half with Cardiff old boy Joe Ledley, who played for Cardiff in the 2008 FA Cup final, also getting on the scoresheet.

This was a big match for both clubs in their respective bids to stay in the Premier League.

But Cardiff struggled to contain the more cohesive Palace, the visitors unlucky not to go into an early lead when slack marking left South Africa midfielder Kagisho Dikg alone in the penalty area only for his shot to fly over the crossbar.

Palace took the lead on 31 minutes when Puncheon's shot flew through the massed area past Cardiff keeper David Marshall and into the bottom corner.

More poor defending led to Palace's second goal on 71 minutes, with Morocco's Marouane Chamakh, back after one month out with a hamstring injury, rising alone to meet a free kick.

His effort was kept out by Marshall but he was unable to stop Ledley stabbing in the rebound against his former club.

Despite his part in their downfall the home fans gave Ledley a warm reception when he went off injured shortly after.

Puncheon produced a great second goal two minutes from time, the former Southampton winger curling a 25 yard shot into the top corner.


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