Murray inspires Palace comeback

Croydon Guardian: On the head: Crystal Palace's Glen Murray gets up for one against Cardiff on Saturday On the head: Crystal Palace's Glen Murray gets up for one against Cardiff on Saturday

Glen Murray bagged a hat-trick as Crystal Palace came from two goals down to stage a brilliant second-half comeback against Cardiff City at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Palace started the brightest against the visitors, Kagisho Dikgacoi showing no-signs of the concussion he suffered against Nottingham Forest last week to test David Marshall in the Cardiff goal. 

But the Welshmen would take the lead against the run of play when Peter Ramage attempted to stop Aron Gunnarson's run from midfield. 

The ball took a fortuitous deflection off the Palace defender's shin into the path of the Icelandic international who found himself one-on-one with Julian Speroni before slotting home.

Just two minutes later, Cardiff doubled their advantage in the 15th minute when Craig Bellamy dinked the ball into the Palace area for Don Cowie to smash home on the half volley as he held off Damien Delaney.

Bellamy could have made it three before the break when he found himself in the box only to blaze his volley over Speroni's bar.

The half-time lead was flattering for Cardiff as Palace had more than played their part in an entertaining first half, and so it proved after the break.

The impressive Andre Mortiz saw his free-kick handled in the area by Andrew Taylor in the Cardiff wall which allowed Palace to halve the deficit on 52 minutes when Murray converted the resulting penalty.

Ten minutes later and Murray had Palace back on terms, picking up a deflected Moritz shot at the far post before squeezing a shot past Marshall from a very tight angle.

Dougie Freedman's men were rampant and secured the three points their attacking play deserved when Heidar Helguson lunged at Jonathan Parr on the edge of the area, referee Gavin Ward pointing to the spot to allow Murray to beat Marshall for the third time in the 72nd minute.
 

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