Tony Pulis’ Palace side recorded its second win in a week after dominating Cardiff City from the get go in a display that will have pleased the gaffer and supporters alike.
Pulis allowed Palace to be a lot more expressive than recent games and his side were in the ascendancy for almost all of the game. The formation was a 4-2-3-1 that is similar to the 4-4-1-1 that has worked so well for Pulis since he joined with the main difference that Barry Bannan and Jason Puncheon were slightly wider and further forward than they were against both West Ham and Norwich.
Adrian Mariappa replaced the injured Dean Moxey half way through the first half, which meant that Joel Ward switched over to left back with Mariappa at right back.
The former Arsenal striker took this game by the scruff of the neck and made it his own. His influence in the attacking third was telling as the Cardiff back line couldn’t cope with him as he had the most successful attacking third passes of any player, was third in completed passes throughout the whole pitch, and even laid on three chances for his team-mates.
EXPLOITING THE FULL BACKS
You get the impression that Pulis had it in his head to target the two Cardiff full backs Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Declan John. Two of Palace’s most popular pass combinations were in the area covered by the right back Theophile-Catherine as Bannan, Chamakh and Ward all made the most of this area.
Both goals were made in these two zones of the pitch with Puncheon turning John inside out for the first goal and then a cross from the other side eventually leading to the ball falling to Chamakh.
Palace’s two centre halves Danny Gabbidon and Damien Delaney were again immense with the help of Mile Jedinak contributing to the third clean sheet in four games for Palace. Gabbidon won nine of 11 aerial duels and Cardiff were limited to just 10 attempts with only two of those on target.
Image Credit: FourFourTwo Stats Zone App and Flickr [paddy75]