Blues comfortably beaten at Selhurst Park as Palace show their quality with four second-half goals
Town were comfortably beaten by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with Blues losing 5-0 to the Eagles.
Glenn Murray bagged a second-half hat-trick for Palace, which included two successful penalty kicks as well as a missed spot-kick, after Yannick Bolasie had opened the scoring for the hosts midway through the first-half.
In injury time, substitute Andre Moritz sealed the win with a breakaway goal to make it 5-0.
Mick McCarthy made one change to the side that beat Birmingham at the weekend, with Andy Drury replacing Guirane N’Daw in midfield, who dropped to the bench.
The home side, under new boss Ian Holloway for the first time, made a bright start to the game and an early snapshot from Glenn Murray whistled just past Stephen Henderson’s post after just two minutes.
The hosts then had claims for a penalty waved away as Murray went tumbling in the box under a Danny Higginbotham challenge, before Lee Martin was unable to get on the end of a Daryl Murphy cross at the back post at the other end.
Palace were playing some neat football which was rewarded in the 25th minute as they broke the deadlock through Bolasie.
Murphy was out-jumped by Joel Ward in the middle of the pitch and Bolasie nipped in behind Luke Chambers before lobbing the ball over Henderson and into the back of the net to score the opener.
11 minutes later and Murray thought he had doubled Palace’s lead with a neat finish through the legs of Henderson, before turning to see the linesman’s flag raised as he was ruled offside.
Four minutes later and Eagles ‘keeper Julian Speroni had to be alert to tip the ball over for a corner, as Martin and Palace left-back Jonathan Parr both challenged for the ball following a dangerous centre from Aaron Cresswell.
Richie Wellens then fired wide for Town a minute before half-time, before a good, mazy run from Wilfried Zaha saw him beat Carlos Edwards and Lee Martin in his wake before seeing his shot kept out by the legs of Henderson as the ref then blew for half-time.
Into the second-half and things got worse for Blues as Holloway’s men doubled their advantage after 49 minutes.
Chambers brought down Zaha inside the area, with the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot, as Murray coolly stepped up to slot past Henderson, who dived the wrong way.
Five minutes later and the hosts were awarded another spot-kick. Zaha was allowed to turn with the ball and cross to the back post, where Cresswell was adjudged to push Garvan in the back. As before, Murray stepped up and fired into the corner beyond Henderson to make it 3-0.
Campbell then tested Speroni with a half volley from a Nigel Reo-Coker cross, but his effort was tame and straight at the Palace stopper with 57 minutes gone.
Just before the hour mark, Higginbotham was unfortunate to see his shot on the turn pushed behind by Speroni, as Blues looked for a way back into the game.
But there were to be more twists and turns yet, as Palace were awarded a third penalty on 61 minutes after Garvan was spent sprawling in the area by Chambers. However this time Henderson was equal to Murray’s spot-kick and denied the striker his hat-trick with a good save.
However, Murray did grab his third and Palace’s fourth of the evening after 62 minutes. Bolasie showed his pace to escape the challenges of Murphy and Cresswell before drilling the ball across the six yard box where Murray was on hand to stab home from close range.
Substitute Jermaine Easter then wasted a good chance to add to the scoreline, firing over from eight yards out with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Cresswell, who had now moved into a left wing role, was then unfortunate to see a left footed drive rise over the crossbar, after Campbell had cushioned the ball into his path.
Palace substitute Moritz then curled the ball just wide of the target with five minutes remaining, after Bolasie had beaten Cresswell before laying the ball off to the midfielder.
Late on Henderson did well to keep out Easter’s effort, after the substitute raced through one-on-one with the Blues stopper.
However Palace did make it a five-star show in injury time, as a breakaway following a Town corner saw Parr play in Moritz who slotted past Henderson and into the corner.
That was the way it stayed as Town left south London with nothing to show and the defeat sees Blues sat at the foot of the table going in to the weekend clash with Burnley.
Palace: Speroni, Ward, Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Bolasie, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Garvan (Moritz 68), Zaha (Moxey 88), Murray (Easter 68). Subs not used: Price, Blake, O’Keefe, Appiah.
Booked: Dikagcoi, Zaha
Town: Henderson, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Martin, Drury (Emmanuel-Thomas 70), Reo-Coker, Wellens (N’Daw 82), Murphy (Smith 70), Campbell. Subs not used: Loach, Mohsni, Scotland, Chopra.
Booked: Reo-Coker, Martin
Att: 15,157 (1,261 Town fans)