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November 24 2020 4.15am

Palace 3 - 2 Norwich City

Sun Oct 28 2001 - League

A Clinton Morrison double and one from Dougie Freedman helped Palace move up to second spot in the league after a 3-2 win over Norwich on Sunday.

Morrison's first came just before half-time. The striker had the last touch on a goalbound effort by Freedman.

In the 52nd minute, Morrison scored his second after Norwich failed to clear their defensive lines. The Palace number 10 sent the ball home from 15 yards out.

Morrison could have scored a hat-trick, but his third goal was disallowed for offside. However, it was Freedman who eventually scored the third for Palace on 66 minutes.

Eagles' goalkeeper Matt Clarke then gave Norwich a glimmer of hope when he misjudged a tamely struck free-kick by Marc Libbra.

Iwan Roberts then pulled a second back for Norwich from the spot after Dean Austin had brought down Libbra, but Palace held on for their 10th win of the season.

Man of the Match: Morrison

Chant of the Match: Are you watching Alan Smith?!

Post match comments:

Steve Bruce praised his two front men, Clinton Morrison and Dougie Freedman after their goals moved Palace up to second place in the league.

He said: "If there is a better strike partnership in the division, then I've yet to see them. The front movement was just too much for Norwich.

"They have a great understanding, pace and movement. They can play in the Premiership that is how highly I rate them.

"They have scored 24 goals between them this season. But I challenge them to hit another 25 and I will be wrapping them up in cotton wool for the rest of the season.

"We know we need to strengthen in this area and find another forward to give them a hand.

"But getting one is not an easy job because no-one really wants to come and sit on the bench."

Norwich started the better of the two sides, but Palace took control of the game and went in front four minutes before half- time.

Freedman turned two Norwich defenders inside out by the byline and his cross was headed in by Morrison.

In the second half, Morrison netted his second and Freedman made it three after a one-two with Morrison and Palace were in cruise mode.

But Norwich got back into the game when Matt Clarke let a free-kick slip over the line and Dean Austin gave away a penalty with four minutes to go, to leave Eagles fans, and Bruce, with a nervous final few minutes.

Bruce added: "We conceded two goals, which were from mistakes and the guilty players know who they are. But apart from that we played some fantastic football."

Norwich manager Nigel Worthington said: "I thought we controlled the first half. We conceded the second and third goals through sloppy play.

"Palace have got two quality strikers in Clinton Morrison and Dougie Freedman. They are a bit of a handful with good balance, Freedman has the experience and Morrison the pace and ability to get on the end of anything in the box.

"I think those two will carry Palace this season. But looking ahead we have a lot of positives to take from the match."

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 19553)

Palace: Clarke, Austin, Popovic, Mullins, Smith, Riihilahti, Rodger (Hopkin 82), Gray, Kirovski, Morrison, Freedman.

Subs not used: Kolinko, Black, Berhalter, Routledge.

Goals: Morrison 41, 53, Freedman 65.

Bookings: Austin, Gray, Mullins.

Norwich City: Green, Drury, Mackay, Fleming, Nedergaard (Sutch 66), Holt, Mulryne, McVeigh, Russell (Libbra 55), Roberts, Rivers (Llewellyn 66).

Subs not used: McGovern, Crichton.

Goals: Libbra 70, Roberts 86 pen.

Booking: Rivers.

Referee: G Poll (Tring)

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