Crystal Palace 3-0 Norwich: Canaries’ woes continue as Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp help Eagles to comfortable victory at Selhurst Park
- Crystal Palace cruised to a comfortable victory over Norwich on Tuesday
- Odsonne Edouard found the net from the spot after Will Hughes was fouled
- Jean-Philippe Mateta doubled the hosts’ lead with a clinical finish along the turf
- Jeffrey Schlupp put the result beyond doubt with a rifled strike across goal
The honeymoon period is over at Norwich. The once-loved ex, Daniel Farke, is gone and the new guy, Dean Smith, is trying his best but is it enough?
What a romantic marriage Smith and Norwich looked at the start, a win and two draws in his first three games. But what an ugly mess it’s been since, five straight defeats and 14 goals shipped.
Can they defend? No. Can they score goals? They can barely forge an attack. They’ve have scored just one goal in their last seven games, and that was against Newcastle, the side who have conceded an all-time record 80 League goals in 2021.
Crystal Palace coasted past Premier League strugglers Norwich to get back to winning ways
Odsonne Edouard made no mistake from 12 yards to open the scoring for the south Londoners
The former Celtic striker wheels away in celebration after scoring the opening goal at Palace
The penalty was awarded after Will Hughes was fouled by Kenny McLean after eight minutes
Referee Paul Tierney explains his decision to Norwich City stars after awarding a spot kick
A heavily-depleted Crystal Palace were the latest team to breeze aside Smith’s team, and they barely broke a sweat in the process.
The home side started without their three best players this season – Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher and Christian Benteke – and boss Patrick Vieira was recovering at home with Covid.
Their absences were soon forgotten. Palace, with Welshman Osian Roberts in the dugout, raced into an early lead and were three up by half-time.
Odsonne Edouard opened the scoring after eight minutes from the spot. It was his first goal in 11 matches and just his second since a debut brace against Tottenham.
But Norwich’s defence was an out-of-form striker’s dream. Edouard then turned creator to set-up a goal for Jean-Phillipe Mateta, who hadn’t scored since February. And then Jeffrey Schlupp added just his third goal of 2021.
‘We’re halfway there and have nowhere near as many points as we want,’ said Smith. ‘We’re lacking experience and leaders – they’re injured or ill.
‘I was quietly optimistic with the talent in the squad when I come in but it’s been decimated.
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-3-3):
Guaita 6.5; Ward 6, Andersen 6.5 (Tomkins 83min), Guehi 6, Mitchell 6.5; Schlupp 7, Kouyate 6.5, Hughes 7.5 (Milivojevic 73, 5.5); Edouard 8, Mateta 7.5 (Benteke 80), Ayew 7.
Subs not used: Butland, Matthews,
Ferguson, Kelly, Riedewald.
Manager: Osian Roberts 7.
Gunn 6; Byram 5, Sorensen 5, Gibson 4, Giannoulis 4 (Williams 46, 5); Lees-Melou 4,Gilmour 6, McLean 4; Tzolis 3 (Rowe 68, 5), Idah 5, Placheta 3.5 (Sargent 81).
Subs not used: McGovern, McCracken,
Dowell, Kabak, Mumba.
Booked: Gibson, Byram.
Manager: Dean Smith 4.
Referee: Paul Tierney 7.
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‘I need to go and lift my spirits. I’ll take the dogs out for a five-hour walk and forget about this!’
In fairness, Norwich have a long list of key men missing, starring names such as Teemu Pukki, Tim Krul and Max Aarons. None of the starting team or substitutes here had scored a single League goal this season.
But they looked like a team of eight-year-olds playing on a full-sized pitch – it seemed unimaginable that they could pass the ball all the way to the opponents’ goal.
It was still a big win for Palace. They didn’t need to be great but this was a potential banana skin noting their absentees. Edouard was in fine form and Hughes had his best game for the club. They are no longer reliant on Zaha and this was just their fourth win in the last 25 matches without the Ivorian.
Jean-Philippe Mateta doubled the lead with a clinical strike after Norwich wasted a chance
The Frenchman kicks the corner flag in celebration after piling misery on the visitors
Jeffrey Schlupp added a third just four minutes later with a thunderous finish beyond Gunn
The former Leicester City man holds his arms wide in celebration after scoring on Tuesday
‘It was a good day for us and really important to get the win,’ said stand-in boss Roberts. ‘There’s a great atmosphere here and it’s working very well. The fans and players are bouncing off each other. Long may that continue.
‘I want Patrick back now, though! I miss him at work and can’t wait to get him back with us.’
Norwich were marginally better in the second half but still didn’t look like scoring. An brainless thug ran on the pitch from the away end and fans joked he was the Canaries’ man of the match.
In reality, that was Jonathan Rowe, the 18-year-old who made his senior debut off the bench and looked lively.
Maybe we will see more of Rowe soon. Sadly for Norwich, that might be in the Championship.
It was another miserable afternoon for the travelling Canaries battling relegation this season
Dean Smith cuts a frustrated figure as his Norwich side fell to another defeat at Selhurst Park
Norwich owner Delia Smith watches on as her side’s struggles continued at Selhurst Park