English Premiership

Norwich send Palace sinking

2013-11-30 20:28
Gary Hooper (AFP Photo)

Norwich - Tony Pulis's debut as Crystal Palace manager ended in disappointment on Saturday after his side lost 1-0 at Norwich City and slipped to the bottom of the Premier League.

Pulis was taking charge of the London club for the first time since succeeding Ian Holloway on a two-and-a-half-year contract, and he saw his team beaten by a 30th-minute strike from Gary Hooper.

It was Palace's first defeat in three games and saw them slide below Sunderland to the bottom of the table, six points from safety after 13 games of the season.

In contrast, Chris Hughton's Norwich are now four points clear of the relegation places, having claimed only their second victory in seven league games.

Pulis, the former Stoke City manager, made two changes to the Palace starting XI, with Jason Puncheon and Cameron Jerome coming in for Dwight Gayle and the suspended Yannick Bolaise, while Norwich recalled Sebastien Bassong, Johan Elmander and Wes Hoolahan.

Norwich came within millimetres of opening the scoring in the 10th minute, when Leroy Fer saw a header hit the crossbar and bounce on the goal-line, but Hawkeye's goal-line decision system showed that the ball had not crossed the line.

Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni then had to save from Norwich winger Nathan Redmond, before Martin Olsson produced a timely block at the other end to thwart Jerome.

The hosts made the breakthrough in the 30th minute, with Elmander helping Redmond's right-wing cut-back into the box and Hoolahan steering the ball back across the face of goal for former Celtic striker Hooper to tuck home.

Palace responded impressively but goal-line technology came into play again to deny them an immediate equaliser after confirming that Olsson had brilliantly diverted a shot from Barry Bannan up onto the bar with his head when standing on the line.

Pulis's new charges continued to press in the second period but the closest they came to an equaliser was when Bassong sliced a low cross from Dean Moxey narrowly over his own crossbar.

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