Fonte double downs Canaries
Palace extend unbeaten sequence to eight
Last Updated: 26/12/08 3:25pm
Fonte: Palace double
Jose Fonte scored twice in the first half to help Crystal Palace extend their unbeaten run to eight games with victory over Norwich.
The Portuguese defender opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he headed Patrick McCarthy's free-kick beyond goalkeeper David Marshall.
Glenn Roeder's Canaries responded when Gary Doherty converted David Bell's cross, but Fonte restored the Eagles' advantage before substitute Danny Butterfield grabbed a late third.
The Carrow Road club have not won in London since a 2-0 victory at Millwall in March 2003 and their last win over Palace at Selhurst Park came in a 1-0 victory on the last day of the 1995-96 season.
The Canaries' bid to overturn that dire sequence got off to the worst possible start when Fonte opened the scoring for the promotion-chasing Eagles.
McCarthy crossed dangerously from the right flank and Fonte dispatched a fine header to put the Eagles in control.
However, the response from the Canaries was encouraging and they drew level in style 13 minutes later when Bell swung the ball in from the left and Doherty arrived to head home.
Norwich's Sammy Clingan then tried his luck from distance but Shaun Derry made a fine block to avert the danger.
Palace striker Alan Lee threatened in the 28th minute when he drove in a right-foot shot from 18 yards which drew a smart stop from Marshall.
Canaries playmaker Wes Hoolahan saw a 20-yard shot flash narrowly wide on the half-hour mark and a minute later Palace regained the lead.
Ifill did well to create space on the left flank and find Fonte 18 yards from goal and he drove a superb shot into the net.
Hoolahan came close to an equaliser in the 39th minute when he hit a shot from 25 yards which Julian Speroni needed to be alert to repel.
Norwich came even closer a minute later when Leroy Lita fired a left-footed shot against the bar from six yards when he should have done better.
Doherty sought to find a response again in the 49th minute when Speroni caught his headed effort.
In the 54th minute, Lita found the space to drill a shot towards goal from 20 yards and Speroni was able to make a comfortable save.
Palace's Nick Carle then saw an effort blocked by Jon Otsemobor before Norwich midfielder Mark Fotheringham tested Speroni with a 20-yard shot.
Ifill and Hoolahan both went close but Butterfield added a third in the 90th minute when he collected Carle's pass and rifled a right-footed volley into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
Sky Bet Championship
Fri 26th Dec
Watford2 - 4Bristol C
C Palace3 - 1Norwich
Charlton2 - 2QPR
N Forest2 - 4Doncaster
Plymouth2 - 0Southampton
Reading1 - 1Cardiff
Swansea0 - 0Coventry
Sheff Wed1 - 1Blackpool
Burnley1 - 2Barnsley
Wolves1 - 1Sheff Utd
Preston2 - 0Derby
Ipswich0 - 1Birmingham
Sky Bet Championship
|1||Queens Park Rangers||20||42|
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||20||31|