FT: Crystal Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough

Glenn Murray took his goals tally to 27 for the season with a brace as Crystal Palace maintained their promotion push by brushing aside Middlesbrough, whose midweek win over Leeds proved to be a false dawn.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray

The former Brighton forward opened the scoring early on, but missed two more chances to complete a first-half hat-trick as Palace struggled to make their dominance count.

However, just after the interval, Murray set up Peter Ramage to double his side’s advantage before the in-form striker’s spectacular drive and Kevin Phillips’ effort ensured Palace extended their unbeaten league run at Selhurst Park to 15 matches.

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Faris Haroun netted a late consolation when Boro were three down and the visitors are clinging on to the final npower Championship play-off place after a fifth consecutive away league defeat.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray said: “We didn’t get started.

“If we are looking for reasons, the amount we put in against Leeds in such a physical game (1-0 win on Tuesday) appears to have taken it out of some.

“That appears to be the case. But there are no excuses. Individual errors cost us for the goals.

“We knew they had talented forward players going forward. But my players are sitting there disappointed.

“We lost four goals at Ipswich a few weeks ago. We can’t keep doing that.

“We are still in the top six and our ambitions are to remain there.

“We are capable of winning matches. We have to get back to our old form, but at the moment that seems a long way away.

“Three of our back four are out at the moment, but we have to get on with it. Justin Hoyte, Jonathan Woodgate and Seb Hines are injured and we have to take it on the chin.”

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Richards, Delaney, Ramage, Parr, Zaha, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Williams, Dobbie, Murray. Subs: Price, Butterfield, Bolasie, Phillips, Wilbraham, Moxey, O’Keefe.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Parnaby, Bikey, Friend, Halliday, McEachran, Leadbitter, Rhys Williams, Haroun, Jutkiewicz, Carayol. Subs: Leutwiler, McManus, Emnes, Bailey, Ledesma, Dyer, Miller.

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands)