Premier League - Puncheon goes from zero to hero as Palace sink Stoke

Premier League, Selhurst Park – Crystal Palace 1 (Puncheon 50) Stoke City 0

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Jason Puncheon celebrates after scoring for Crystal Palace

Jason Puncheon put last week’s penalty howler behind him to fire Crystal Palace to a 1-0 win over Stoke.

The visitors’ miserable away form continued and they have now lost eight out of eleven on their travels this season.

Tony Pulis faced his old club for the first time, knowing that a lack of goals is still a problem for the Eagles, who have so far not been able to secure any new players in the transfer window.

Neither side were able to impress in a first half that was almost devoid of chances. The visitors did at least manage an attempt on target - Charlie Adam’s floated free kick being nodded across the Palace goalmouth by Marc Wilson. Julian Speroni had to be at full-stretch to palm wide.

Adam fired another 20-yard effort just wide early in the second half, but it was the home side who took the lead on 50 minutes.

A mix-up between Assaidi and Wilson in the Stoke box allowed Puncheon to skip past two defenders and fire hone a curling shot throw Ryan Shawcross’ legs.

Palace had the better chances for the rest of the game, with Jack Butland making three saves in quick succession from Joel Ward, Puncheon and Stuart O’Keefe to keep Stoke in the match.

Butland had to make another save from Puncheon late on, but the points went to the Londoners, lifting them off the bottom of the Premier League.

KEY MOMENTS

Pre-match: Tony Pulis, in his 200th game as a Premier League boss, pits his Crystal Palace side against the team he managed for nearly ten years; Stoke come into the game with only one away win all season.

13’ – STOKE CHANCE: A lofted Charlie Adam free-kick is nodded across the Palace goal by Marc Wilson, but it can’t beat an outstretched Speroni.

22’ – STOKE CHANCE: Erik Pieters breaks down the Stoke left, chests the ball past a Palace defender and breaks into the box, but his volley is high and wide.

46’ – STOKE CHANCE - Adam fires a fierce shot in from 20 yards - it goes inches past Speroni's left-hand post.

50’ – GOAL (Crystal Palace 1-0 Stoke): Jason Puncheon receives the ball in the box, makes himself space, and curls the ball home! Shoddy defending by Stoke - in their own area - after good work down the right by Mariappa.

73’- STOKE CHANCE: Crouch tries a curling effort from outside the box - it's not that far wide.

83’ – PALACE CHANCE: Three saves in quick succession by Jack Butland - from Ward, Puncheon and O’ Keefe – deny what looks to be a certain goal for Palace. Good work from the young 'keeper.

90 + 3’- PALACE CHANCE: Butland saves brilliantly from Puncheon after it seems certain that he will score – the goalscorer should really have done better.

KEY STATS

Stoke City have won none of their last nine Premier League away games (L7 D2) They now have just four away wins in two years, since January 2012.

Palace have kept six clean sheets in their last 11 matches, conceding only 10 goals.

No Premier League team has picked up fewer away points than Stoke this season (five, level with Hull).

Jason Puncheon’s goal was only Crystal Palace eighth from open play this season.

Despite this, they have conceded fewer goals than half of the teams in the bottom half of the league.

TALKING POINT: Why are Stoke suffering so badly from travel sickness? Mark Hughes will need to stop the rot quickly – the Potters’ home form is fine, but their away return is relegation-standard. With tricky trips to Sunderland, Southampton and Man City coming up in the next month, Stoke will need to recover their bite on the road – and fast.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH:

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) – put last week’s penalty woes behind him with a lively and committed performance, capped off with a winning goal to take his team out of the relegation zone.

PLAYER RATINGS

Crystal Palace: Speroni 7, Mariappa 7, Gabbidon 7, Delaney 7, Parr 6, Bolasie 7, Ward 6, Jedinak 7, Puncheon 8, Guedioura 7, Chamakh 6. Subs: Moxey 6, O'Keefe 6, Wilbraham 7.

Stoke City: Butland 7; Cameron 6, Shawcross 7, Wilson 6, Pieters 5; Walters 6, Nzonzi 5, Adam 6, Whelan 5, Assaidi 7; Crouch 6. Subs: Arnautovic 5, Guidetti 6, Ireland 5.

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