Crystal Palace 4 Norwich City 1

Last updated : 25 February 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Crystal Palace strengthened their play-off hopes with a convincing 4-1 win over Norwich.

Nigel Worthington's Canaries were torn apart by Palace, as first-half goals from Andy Johnson and Ben Watson and strikes from Clinton Morrison and Fitz Hall after the break gave the Eagles their biggest home win of the season.

Norwich managed just one shot in the entire 90 minutes and indeed relied on Darren Ward's own goal for their late consolation.

A sunny, but bitterly cold, afternoon saw the Eagles make a lively start and they went in front on seven minutes.

An inch-perfect pass from star man Watson dropped into the path of Johnson who, after shaking off his marker, headed towards goal before slotting the ball neatly past Robert Green.

Norwich never truly recovered from this early blow and rarely threatened the home defence.

As Palace piled on the pressure, with Watson and skipper Michael Hughes bossing the midfield, Morrison went close and Jobi McAnuff fired over before Watson doubled the lead 11 minutes before the interval.

Hughes' free-kick from just inside the Norwich half dropped to Morrison, located on the edge of the box, and the Eagles hitman cleverly laid it off to Watson, who crashed a tremendous 25-yard shot that flew past Green.

The Canaries struggled on a difficult surface, but Darren Huckerby had a good chance on 40 minutes only to see Gabor Kiraly make a great save to turn it round the post.

Palace continued to dominate after the break and within nine minutes went further ahead following a classic move.

Johnson made good ground before feeding Tom Soares on the right. The Palace midfielder spotted Morrison in space and he perfectly finished from 10 yards out for his 10th of the season.

More misery followed for Norwich after 62 minutes when Hall added a fourth, glancing Watson's in-swinging corner from the left was beyond Green.

A rout looked on the cards as Norwich were being ripped apart. Johnson produced a fantastic volley and both Morrison and Watson had chances charged down.

Palace marred an impressive display when Kiraly's mis-kicked clearance fell to Paul McVeigh. The City sub quickly passed to Huckerby who crossed into the goalmouth for the unfortunate Ward to steer the ball past his own keeper.