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September 23 2020 11.22pm

Eagles claim first Premiership win

October 4 2004

Riihilahti: one goal and one assist

Riihilahti: one goal and one assist

Crystal Palace moved off the bottom of the Premiership table after a deserved 2-0 victory over 10-man Fulham.

The visitors got off to a nightmare start when Ian Pearce was shown the red card after only five minutes for blocking Andy Johnson's run when he was through on goal after Pearce messed up his back-pass.

Edwin van der Sar had previously saved well with his legs to deny Johnson in the opening seconds.

For all Palace's posession, they couldn't find the killer instinct in front of goal. Aki Riihilahti diverted a close-range header inches wide, as did Johnson.

Even right-back Emmerson Boyce, who was looking good going forward tested van der Sar with a long-range effort.

Palace got their noses in front in the 53rd minute following some good build-up play from the Eagles. Boyce passed to Riihilahti on the edge of the D and he flicked the ball over the Fulham defence for Johnson to fire home through van der Sar's legs.

The hosts, with the extra man advantage, kept pressing for another goal and it arrived on 69 minutes. Wayne Routledge's corner was powered home by Riihilahti with a bullet header for his first goal since November 2002.

Substitute Ivan Kaviedes created a lot when he came on after 74 minutes and had a strike saved and later hit the Fulham post.

Johnson was unlucky not not have been awarded a penalty after being hauled down in the box before he will surely be nominated for one of the misses of the season when he shot wide with just van der Sar to beat near the end.

Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Boyce, Popovic, Hall (Sorondo 45), Granville, Watson, Routledge (Lakis 72), Riihilahti (Kaviedes 74), Hughes, Kolkka, Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Speroni, Torghelle.

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