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Match Report


Posted Fri 29 Mar 13 at 19:28 PM

Crystal Palace 0 Blues 4

Blues produced a stunning display to rout Crystal Palace in the capital – securing their third consecutive victory in the process.

Palace hadn’t lost at Selhurst Park since the first day of the season, but goals from Nathan Redmond, Nikola Zigic, Ravel Morrison and Shane Ferguson put pay to that record in emphatic fashion.

Lee Clark made a couple of changes to his side in the capital, with the fit-again Mitch Hancox (hamstring) and Keith Fahey both recalled.

The opening exchanges of the first-half were full of half-chances but neither side really threatened.

Kagisho Dikgacoi and Glenn Murray blasted shots wide of the Birmingham goal, while Redmond’s strike missed Julian Speroni’s crossbar by a couple of feet.

But on 24 minutes the Blues Academy graduate glided into Palace’s area and stroked a beautifully-weighted shot past Speroni’s outstretched hand into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later and the visitors doubled their advantage thanks to Zigic’s deflected header from Ferguson’s corner. Zigic’s glanced effort ricocheted off Damien Delaney into the top corner, but there was no doubting the Serbian’s effort was already on target.

Blues played out the first-half with relative ease, although the former St. Andrew’s marksman Kevin Phillips caused alarm when one-on-one with Jack Butland. Phillips couldn’t round the England international, however.

The Eagles came flying out of the traps the other side of the interval and created a couple of opportunities.

Jack Butland first palmed away Stephen Dobbie’s testing attempt from the edge of the area, then moments later Phillips stabbed Dobbie’s dangerous cross across the face of goal and past the far post.

But Ian Holloway’s men couldn’t stop Clark’s clinical charges from securing all three points, as Hancox’s inch-perfect pull back from the by-line found Morrison, who guided the ball past Speroni from inside the area.

As the contest moved into the final quarter, Ferguson punished Palace even further thanks to a delightful curling 25-yard free-kick that found the top corner, which was his first goal for the club.

Apart from Andre Moritz coming close to pulling a consolation goal back on a couple of occasions, the hosts didn’t threaten too often.

The St. Andrew’s outfit could have netted a fifth seven minutes from time, but Morrison’s swerving strike was stopped at the last minute by Speroni.

Nevertheless, Blues moved up to 10th in the npower Championship having lost just two of their previous 13 league fixtures.

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