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Selhurst Park (ATT 17,213) 16th February 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: O Langford

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough M'boro

C Palace 4

G Murray (9, 57)
P Ramage (48)
K Phillips (84)

ft

M'boro 1

F Haroun (80)

Crystal Palace thrashed fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough 4-1

Last Updated: 17/02/13 1:22pm

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Glenn Murray: Now the top league goalscorer in top four English divisions

Glenn Murray: Now the top league goalscorer in top four English divisions

A Glenn Murray-inspired Crystal Palace side thrashed fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough 4-1 to move up to fourth in the table.

Murray and Wilfried Zaha were the star men at Selhurst Park, the striker bagging two goals and one assist as the winger impressed with two assists.

Championship top goalscorer Murray made his mark after nine minutes, tapping home after good work from the excellent Zaha as Palace acquitted themselves well against the team just one place below them.

The former Brighton forward opened the scoring early on, but missed two more chances to complete a first-half hat-trick as Palace struggled to make their dominance count.

Though Murray scored a brace, Zaha endeavoured to steal the show as England manager Roy Hodgson watched on, keeping an eye on the Manchester United-bound starlet.

Ian Holloway's men continued to dominate the game with defender Peter Ramage scoring a second, while Murray smashed home his sublime second and Palace's third after 57 minutes.

Middlesbrough striker Faris Haroun combined well with Ishmael Miller to break through the Palace backline and slot home after 79 minutes, but the goal was only a consolation for a poor Boro side.

Boro were restricted to long-range efforts as Julian Speroni saved shots from Andrew Halliday and Mustapha Carayol.

New signing Stephen Dobbie failed to connect with Murray's cross before the former Swansea midfielder let Boro off the hook by opting to shoot rather than pass in a promising position as Palace laboured towards victory.

But Kevin Phillips starred as a substitute for promotion-chasers Palace, latching on to Zaha's through-ball and finishing well on 84 minutes to secure all three points for the Londoners.

Palace were rarely troubled by Tony Mowbray's men, who have now lost six of their last seven games in the Championship to put them in danger of dropping out of the coveted play-off positions.

Palace, meanwhile, sit 12 points behind leaders Cardiff, but nine clear of seventh placed Brighton.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 13 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 13 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Rotherham United 13 16
15 Leeds United 13 16
16 Huddersfield Town 13 16
17 Reading 13 15
18 Millwall 13 14
19 Wigan Athletic 13 12
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
21 Birmingham City 13 11
22 Fulham 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6