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SPORTS

Edouard inspires Palace to 3-0 win over lowly Norwich

FOOTBALL By Reuters | December 28th 2021 | 2 min read
December 28, 2021 Norwich City's Brandon Williams shakes hands with Crystal Palace's Odsonne Edouard after the match Action Images via Reuters

Crystal Palace moved up to ninth in the English Premier League after Frenchman Odsonne Edouard scored one and assisted two goals in a 3-0 win over struggling Norwich City at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.

Palace scored all three goals in the first half to stamp their authority on the game and now have 23 points from 19 games. Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the standings after a fifth straight loss without scoring.

It was only a second win for Palace in eight games but a welcome three points after losing to Tottenham Hotspur only two days ago.

"The win was needed off the back of the last couple of results and with a diminished squad. Our quality shone through in the end," Palace midfielder Will Hughes said.

"When you're 3-0 up at halftime, it's about managing the game. You don't want to give them a sniff because in the Premier League when a team gets a goal back, they're right back in it."

Palace started poorly with many wayward passes but earned a penalty in the sixth minute when Kenny McLean tripped Hughes in the box. With Wilfried Zaha suspended, Edouard stepped up to the spot and steered a side-footed effort into the bottom corner.

"I don't think we started great in terms of intensity, but the penalty calmed us down," Hughes added.

The home side doubled the lead in the 38th minute when Edouard turned provider from the left flank, finding Jean-Philippe Mateta with a cut-back and the French forward beat goalkeeper Angus Gunn with a shot into the far corner.

Norwich barely had time to recover when constant pressure helped Palace win the ball back minutes later. Edouard danced into the box through a crowd before the ball fell to Jeffrey Schlupp, whose venomous shot from an acute angle beat Gunn.

Palace took their foot off the gas in the second half and though Norwich managed to create a few chances, Patrick Vieira's side kept a clean sheet to move into the top half of the table.

"On the back of Sunday's game... and playing at home, it was important to come back and start well and have good energy," said assistant manager Osian Roberts, deputizing for Vieira who tested positive for COVID-19.

"The important thing when you score early is to build on that and not go flat. It was professional and disciplined in the second half."

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