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Norwich City 1 Crystal Palace 3: Debutant Cabaye rounds off controversial win

Yohan Cabaye marked his Crystal Palace debut with an injury-time goal, but Norwich City were left incensed by two controversial decisions in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Carrow Road. 

France midfielder Cabaye, who joined Palace for a club-record fee from Paris Saint-Germain in the close-season, saw off Premier League new boys Norwich when he swept home James McArthur’s pass in the 94th minute.

However, Norwich saw a Cameron Jerome goal controversially ruled out with the score at 2-1, before Sebastien Bassong had strong claims for a penalty rejected in a dramatic end to their first game back in the top flight.

Earlier, goals either side of half-time from Wilfried Zaha and captain Damien Delaney had put Alan Pardew’s Palace into a commanding 2-0 lead.

Norwich were rewarded for their positive display when substitute Nathan Redmond’s long-range effort brought them back into the game with 21 minutes remaining.

The home side were unable to find the equaliser, though, and Cabaye’s late strike put the final nail in their coffin.

Norwich acquitted themselves well throughout and missed a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring in the 10th minute.

A wonderful flowing move ended with Steven Whittaker rolling the ball across the six-yard box, but Lewis Grabban somehow hit the outside of the post with the goal of Palace debutant Alex McCarthy unguarded.

Palace began to enjoy a spell of pressure and John Ruddy made a good stop from Murray’s close-range prod after Joel Ward had nodded down Pape Souare’s cross, before the visitors went in front six minutes before the break.

Puncheon beat Norwich debutant Robbie Brady down the right and stood up a great cross to the back post, which Zaha finished with a controlled volley.

Ruddy then did well to parry Jordon Mutch’s shot from the edge of the area to keep it at 1-0 at the break, but Palace extended their lead four minutes into the second period with a well-worked set-piece routine.

Puncheon’s deep corner was headed down by Souare and the unmarked Delaney swept home from close-range, with Ruddy furious with Norwich’s lax defending.

At the other end, McCarthy stopped Grabban’s near-post shot before springing up to parry Bradley Johnson’s follow-up diving header.

Alex Neil then introduced Jerome and Redmond, and the latter brought Norwich back into the game with a 20-yard daisy-cutter that nestled in the bottom-left corner.

The Carrow Road faithful were on their feet again when Brady’s free-kick sat up in the area and Jerome acrobatically put the ball in the net, only for the goal to be chalked off for a high boot.

Whittaker then had a shot hooked off the line by Scott Dann, before Bassong was shoved to ground in the penalty area by Connor Wickham – who came off the bench for his Palace debut – only for referee Simon Hooper to wave away home appeals.

And Norwich’s frustration was compounded when Cabaye wrapped up Palace’s win deep into injury time.

Sat 8 Aug, 2015
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