Crystal Palace 1-0 Norwich City

Jason Puncheon

Jason Puncheon scored his first goal of the season

Crystal Palace boosted their top-flight survival hopes with victory over fellow strugglers Norwich, recording their first Premier League win of 2016.

Jason Puncheon scored his first goal of the season, cutting in from the left to score from 20 yards and lift Palace 10 points above the relegation zone.

Norwich will point to a penalty appeal when Matt Jarvis was barged over, but they had few clear-cut chances.

They lie four points above 18th-placed Sunderland, who have two games in hand.

The Canaries claimed a late win over Newcastle last weekend but, with 16th-place Palace increasing the gap between the teams to six points, Norwich’s home game against Sunderland next Saturday could prove crucial.

After Aston Villa neared relegation and Newcastle’s defeat at Southampton, Palace now have a sizeable gap and another point should be enough to ensure survival.

Relive Crystal Palace’s crucial win over Norwich


Jason Puncheon scored from 20 yards after a smart move from the right flank

Emotional Puncheon ends barren run

Having missed what he described as a “sitter” in the first half when he sliced a chance wide from 12 yards, Puncheon appeared to be in tears after his game-winning goal.

He was later withdrawn as Palace hung on, but a first goal since May 2015 earned a first Palace win since 19 December, a time when they appeared to be pushing for a European place.

Their barren run since has included six straight home defeats but having earned a point at West Ham last weekend, there were signs that Alan Pardew’s side were beginning to turn their form around.

The returning Dwight Gayle and Yohan Cabaye added pace and poise to Palace’s play, but despite a succession of crosses the hosts could not find a killer blow.

That changed when Puncheon scored a goal all of his own making to send waves of relief around Selhurst Park at the final whistle.

More to follow.

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