Alan Pardew hailed Yohan Cabaye’s performance in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 victory over Southampton as a “masterclass”.
The French midfielder scored what proved to be the winner seven minutes before the break at Selhurst Park, finding the net from close-range after excellent approach work from Yannick Bolasie.
Palace’s first victory over the visitors in the top flight since 1991 solidified their position in the Premier League’s top six and left Pardew understandably delighted.
“We showed all the qualities that we have today,” he told Sky Sports.
“Our spirit was high, our teamwork was great and we had a masterclass in terms of the midfield performance from Cabaye who got our goal as well and that saw us home.
“It wasn’t his role today, to get in the box, but he gave us the lead and that was important because it was a tight game.
“In the first half we were the better team and should have been in front, we might even have had two.
“Then, in the second half, we started well, probably should have scored, but didn’t and then had to see it through.”
The result extended Southampton’s winless run to five games, but they did create several decent chances, with Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey producing two fine saves to deny Steve Davis and Shane Long.
“Southampton did nothing wrong today,” said Pardew. “They pushed and pushed and showed the qualities that they’ve got, but we held on.
“There were some fantastic saves today.
“Our goalkeeper has made two world-class saves in the last two games which will give him great confidence; the one at Everton and the one in the first half today.
“But the one at the end from Long was also great.”