Crystal Palace 3
Hudson 26, Kuqi 29, Green 45
Norwich City 1
Earnshaw 45 pen

Crystal Palace signed off their festive campaign in style on New Year's Day with a resounding win over Norwich City at Selhurst Park.

First half strikes from Mark Hudson, Shefki Kuqi and Stuart Green did the damage, cancelling out Rob Earnshaw's penalty in an entertaining opening 45 minutes.

Palace rode their luck in a shaky first 20-minutes, where Norwich could and should have been two goals to the good.

Darren Huckerby should have put his side ahead as early as the second minute when he failed to capitalise on a defensive mix-up inside the Palace box, hitting the side netting with the goal gaping.

Minutes later Earnshaw popped up in the box but could not steer his effort past Flinders before Huckerby hit the bar from an acute angle.

But in keeping with both sides fortunes at present, it was the Eagles who took an undeserved lead.

Marco Reich's in-swinging corner found its way to Leon Cort at the back post and his header back across goal was headed home by Mark Hudson for this second goal in four games.

Palace were now firmly on top and doubled their lead three minutes later.

Inexplicable dallying on the ball by Gary Doherty was capitalised on by Kuqi who fed Dougie Freedman. The Scot made his way towards the edge of the Norwich box before returning the ball to Kuqi to slot past Canaries keeper Paul Gallagher.

As the home side started to cruise, Norwich were awarded a dubious penalty on the stroke of half-time after Carl Fletcher handled inside the box. Earnshaw calmly converted the spot-kick But Palace quickly restored their two-goal advantage by netting their third goal of the afternoon starlight from the re-start.

Kuqi took the ball to the by-line before pulling back to Stuart Green who fired past Gallagher into the roof of the net. There was to be no way back for Norwich after that.

After the break the Palace back-line remained tight to restrict Norwich's attacking threat.

Substitute Lee Croft had a late effort saved by Flinders as Palace sat back and settled for the victory which moves them up 15th place - nine points off the play-offs.

Palace Star Man: Shefki Kuqi. A threat all match, looks a different player alongside Freedman.
Crystal Palace: Flinders 7, Hudson 7, Ward 6, Cort 6, Lawrence 6, Reich 6 (McAnuff 46 6), Hughes 6, Fletcher 6, Green 7, Kuqi 7, Freedman 7 (Morrison 74 6)