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New boys lift Palace while Sunderland slump

ESPN staff
February 8, 2014 « Szczesny: Defeat to Liverpool 'f*****g embarrassing' | Chartbeat test »
Tom Ince is congratulated by team-mates and the club mascot after scoring 15 minutes into his Crystal Palace debut © Getty Images
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Tom Ince and Joe Ledley both scored on their Crystal Palace debuts to secure another vital three points in the battle against relegation, while the bottom rungs were shuffled dramatically once again by victories for Hull and West Ham.

Monk silences doubters with debut win

Wayne Routledge curls home the opener © Getty Images
  • Garry Monk began life as a Premier League manager with an emphatic 3-0 win for Swansea against Cardiff in the Wales derby.
  • The first half was almost completely void of drama, save for the moment when Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall slid at the feet of Wilfried Bony and cleanly dispossessed him, with home appeals for a penalty waved away.
  • There was immediate improvement in the second half as Routledge pounced on a mistake by Fabio to sweep Swansea into the lead just a minute after the restart. Craig Bellamy came closest to equalising for Cardiff with a dipping shot from the edge of the box that glanced off the crossbar.
  • Swansea pulled clear in the closing stages, with Nathan Dyer heading home a Routledge cross before Bony planted another header beyond Marshall with five minutes to go.

Ince took just 15 minutes to open his Palace account against West Brom following a deadline day loan from Blackpool, clipping the ball over an onrushing Ben Foster after being sent through on goal by Yannick Bolasie. Ledley followed suit soon after, the former Celtic man - being deployed at left-back by Tony Pulis, being set up by Ince on 27 minutes.

West Brom hit back through half-time substitute Thievy Bifouma just 48 seconds after his introduction, but the match was sealed midway through the second half as Foster was adjudged to have brought down Marouane Chamakh in the area, and the Palace striker converted from the penalty spot. Palace are now 13th in the Premier League table, three points above the relegation zone.

At the Stadium of Light, Shane Long scored his second goal for Hull in three games since joining the club in January to help propel them to a 2-0 victory over Sunderland. Wes Brown was sent off for the second time this season after only three minutes as he hauled down Long when clean through on goal. It made for a long afternoon for Sunderland, who fell behind to Long's goal on 16 minutes and could not prevent Nikica Jelavic opening his account for Hull in the second half.

Two goals in the first three minutes of the second half by Kevin Nolan guided West Ham to a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. The result moves Sam Allardyce's side out of the relegation zone and within two points of their hosts, who slip to 11th.

Peter Crouch scored his 22nd league goal for Stoke - as many as he has scored for any other club - as his side drew 2-2 at Southampton. The hosts led twice, first through Ricky Lambert on six minutes and then Steven Davis, but Peter Odemwingie and Crouch both notched equalisers in the first half.

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