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Match Report – Crystal Palace 0, Cardiff City 0

Match Report – Crystal Palace 0, Cardiff City 0

Neil Warnock just loves Selhurst Park – and Bluebirds fans simply adore their club’s manager.

Manager Warnock is now unbeaten in his last 10 visits to Palace as a manager and this time denied a home team who had shocked Manchester City by winning at he Etihad Stadium last weekend.

More than 1,800 City supporters made the trip to London and roared their team on in a pulsating Premier League clash.

This was the first time Warnock and former England manager Roy Hodgson. Both are aged 70-plus, but it was Warnock who finished the game with a huge smile on his face.

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City have now earned two away points in the Premier this season and the way this match went will lift everything at the Welsh club.

Palace will point out they had 63 per cent of the possessions and created chances with Wilfried Zaha at his fluent best.

Palace had 31 shots, although only five were on target, and City were restricted to nine with four on target.

Hodgson’s team also earned 12 corners – to City’s one. The visitors almost finished the game in sensational style when Bruno Manga fired over from a good position during injury time.

There were times when Palace overran Cardiff in midfield, but the visitors dug in

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Cardiff made five changes to their team following their 5-1 home defeat against Manchester United last time out with Peltier, Joe Bennett, Joe Ralls, Kadeem Harris and Bobby Reid stepping in, while Harry Arter, Josh Murphy, Aron Gunnarsson and Greg Cunningham.

Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore both had knocks and were not in the 18.

Warnock said after the match that Zohore will be out for a few weeks with a thigh strain, while Paterson could be available for Saturday’s fixture at Leicester City.

Warnock’s selections were designed to fire up team with energy and tempo in what was a difficult clash.

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Former City and Wales defender Danny Gabbidon watched the match and, speaking on BBC Radio Wales, said: “This was better and they used a system which looked more solid with an extra central defender at the heart of defence.

“Palace struggled in central areas because there were so many bodies in there.

“Cardiff had opportunities and Kadeem Harris had an outstanding chance, but his shot was at a nice height for the ‘keeper.

“Overall there were less individual mistakes, a polished team performance.

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“Zaha was sensational. He is a vast different player now than when he played for Cardiff more than four years ago.

“I played alongside him and it’s clear he has grown up, knuckled down . He was brilliant at times, a joy to watch.

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“Everything Palace did that was good went through Zaha.”

Warnock was delighted with that Manga tackle to deny Zaha, saying: “I have no idea were he got that from.

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“We were a little nervous in the first 10 minutes, perhaps thinking about Palace and how they have played at home.

“We grew into the game, had a lot more possession, moved the ball quicker and created some good chances.

“We went for the winner rather than hang on in there and their goalie made the best save of the game from Townsend.

“Overall we were strong and broke quickly. On another day could have taken points.”

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Palace were twice denied by the woodwork. Townsend hit the bar and Luka Milivojevic rattled the post with sweetly struck free-kick after the break.

Cardiff had chances of their own, with Bobby Reid wasting a golden opportunity after half an hour, while Bruno Manga fired narrowly over with the last kick of the game, but were otherwise on the back foot for much of the afternoon.

City are now three points clear of the relegation places following this result in South London. Warnock was applauded by City fans at the end, of course, but iota was also heartening that the former Palace manager was given a warm reception from home supporters.

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