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Barclays Premier League

Selhurst Park (ATT 24,440) 18th January 2014 - Kick off 15:00

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Stoke City Stoke

C Palace 1

J Puncheon (51)

ft

Stoke 0

Premier League: Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis emerges victorious over Stoke

By Pete Hall: @Pistolpeteh86.   Last Updated: 18/01/14 6:36pm

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Jason Puncheon: Netted only goal of the game against Stoke

Jason Puncheon: Netted only goal of the game against Stoke

Tony Pulis masterminded a 1-0 victory over his former club Stoke as Crystal Palace moved out of the bottom three of the Premier League.

All the attention was on Pulis as he tries to guide his new side to safety, and with Stoke also languishing in the bottom half of the table, it was a very tense afternoon.

Best of the Match

  • Man of the Match: Yannick Bolasie. Pace and trickery caused Stoke a real problem all match.
  • Moment of the Match: Jason Puncheon goal. Well-taken Puncheon strike changed the tempo of the game.
  • Save of the Match: Jack Butland. Wonderful triple save late on gave Stoke wistful hope.
  • Talking Points: Can Pulis save Palace? Would it be his greatest achievement? Could Stoke go down?

However, Jason Puncheon's strike early in the second half settled the home side down, and opened the game up somewhat.

But Palace held on, and the result sees the Eagles not only move off the foot of the table, but out of the relegation zone. Stoke slip to 13th.

In what was in truth a very poor first half, Julian Speroni was the busier of the goalkeepers, with a fine scrambling save from a Marc Wilson header the only time either side really went close to an opening goal.

Yannick Bolasie's accurate cross brought the game's first chance. Marouane Chamakh could not contort to connect and that was enough of a distraction to unsettle the better-placed Joel Ward.

Ward's header drifted wide then, and despite the slight impediment from his team-mate, he will still feel he should have tested Jack Butland.

Danny Gabbidon's miscued clearance had Speroni catching breath for half a second, but the ball drifted safely behind.

Jonathan Parr's incisive ball set Bolasie free down the left again, but this time there was no final ball.

Marc Wilson nodded Stoke's first chance from a well-worked Charlie Adam free-kick, only for Speroni to parry round the post.

Adam threatened with a pinpoint lofted ball into the area for Jonathan Walters, but the Stoke midfielder was so shocked he lost his footing and failed to power into the header, gifting Speroni an easy save.

Puncheon's excellently taken goal after poor defending from Stoke's Oussama Assaidi livened the game up just after the interval.

After his woeful penalty in last week's defeat at Tottenham, Puncheon's confidence needed a boost, and the 27-year-old, on-loan from Southampton, did really well to make room for the shot, before firing low into the bottom corner, through the legs of Ryan Shawcross.

The visitors were shocked into life, and several long-range attempts from Adam came mightily close to getting them back on level terms.

A curling Peter Crouch effort also whistled past the upright, but Speroni remained relatively untroubled in the Palace goal.

The home side really should have made the three points much more comfortable, and but for a string of excellent saves from Butland they would have done.

A stunning triple save in the dying moments thwarted the Eagles. Ward's deflected first attempt was brilliantly kept out by the young keeper, before he get up to block twice more to keep his side in the game.

Another fine stop late on from a close-range Puncheon effort denied the Eagles once again, but Pulis' new side held on for a vital win, on what would have been an emotional day for the former Potters boss.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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