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Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea City
CRYSTAL Palace can have few complaints after suffering a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of a clinical Swansea City side.
The Eagles made the worst possible start by falling behind inside 90 seconds as prolific striker Michu was picked out by a low pass from Jonjo Shelvey and fired home a shot from inside the area which went through Julian Speroni’s legs.
Chico almost doubled the advantage with an effort which hit the post and was cleared off the line on four minutes.
Palace’s first real opening came on the quarter hour as Adrian Mariappa whipped in a cross from the right but unfortunately there was nobody there to get on the end of it.
The Eagles were awarded free-kick just outside the D five minutes later when Chico fouled Marouane Chamakh but Jason Puncheon’s effort hit the wall and then Mariappa fired over.
Swans keeper Wichel Vorm had a lucky escape when he dropped the ball under pressure from Mile Jedinak as a free-kick was played into the box but luckily for him the ball was hacked clear by a defender.
Mariappa made a crucial block to deny Michu a second as Swansea continued to look dangerous every time they burst forward.
Dean Moxey went into the book for a clumsy late challenge on former Eagle Wayne Routledge, while Michu again went close with a volley from just outside of the box that was deflected over by Danny Gabbidon.
Swansea had a penalty claim ignored when Shelvey’s cross from the byline hit the hand of Moxey, but in fairness the Palace defender didn’t know anything about it so it would have been harsh if given.
Adlene Guedioura’s 30-yard shot went straight at Vorm after fellow deadline day signing Barry Bannan had played a short free-kick into his path.
Speroni produced an excellent save to put behind Angel Rangel’s 20-yard volley seven minutes before the break, while Chamakh’s head came agonisingly close to connecting with another dangerous looking Mariappa cross at the other end moments later.
Damien Delaney failed to appear at the start of the second half after picking up an injury in first half stoppage time.
Jose Campana came on as Jedinak dropped back to the centre of defence.
But just as in the first period, Swansea struck early on as Alvaro Vazquez beat the offside trap, seeing his low shot pushed out by Speroni into the path of Nathan Dyer who made no mistake from close range.
A minor scuffle in the Palace box ended with yellow cards being produced for Rangel and Chamakh as tempers briefly flared.
Ben Davies tested Speroni with a stinging 25-yarder and Vazquez should have put the outcome beyond all doubt when he blasted over from 10 yards despite being completely unmarked.
Puncheon saw an effort go harmlessly wide before Ian Holloway made his final changes midway through the half by taking off Bannan and Cameron Jerome for Jerome Thomas and Dwight Gayle.
Gayle’s first involvement was to produce a low drive from outside of the area which was deflected behind for a corner.
Shelvey blazed an effort high over the bar and Guedioura had a shot easily saved by Vorm shortly after Michu had seen a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside.
Michu could have added to the home side’s despair three minutes from the end but he hesitated on the ball slightly and his eventual shot was blocked.
Campana had a decent 25-yard effort fly just over in added time but by then Palace were well and truly beaten on a day where they were always second best.
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