Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic scored a first-half penalty on his 100th appearance for the club before Andros Townsend sealed the win for Roy Hodgson’s side over Norwich.
Serbia international Milivojevic struck confidently into the top corner after 21 minutes after Norwich defender Ibrahim Amadou fouled James McArthur.
Substitute Townsend then finished neatly in the bottom corner in second-half injury time after good work by Wilfried Zaha.
In a lively encounter, the hosts almost led after two minutes, but Zaha’s curling shot narrowly missed the target, while Jordan Ayew forced the visitors’ debutant goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann into action.
Schalke loanee Fahrmann – in for injured first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul – was himself replaced by fellow debutant Michael McGovern following Milivojevic’s penalty as Norwich’s injury problems continued to mount.
The visitors ended the first half in the ascendancy, with Emiliano Buendia drawing a fine save from Vicente Guaita. But they struggled to impose themselves after the interval and fell to a fourth defeat in five matches.
Meanwhile, victory saw Hodgson’s Palace equal their Premier League record of six unbeaten home matches.
Palace’s unbeaten top-flight home run stretches back to April, when they lost to eventual champions Manchester City.
Their home record would have been even better if Wolves had not scored a 95th-minute equaliser last weekend, but the reasons for their nonetheless impressive home run were evident once more in this astute victory.
Although Palace had scored the joint-fewest Premier League goals this season prior to kick-off, their steely, regimented defence has conceded just once in four home games.
Martin Kelly came in for the injured Mamadou Sakho, and his excellent sliding block to deny Todd Cantwell at a crucial stage of the match – as Norwich began to dictate the play – epitomised the defensive platform from which Hodgson’s side are able to go and win matches.
Zaha, oozing confidence, may have scored just once in his past 19 home league games, but he played a notable part in this win, which takes Palace up three places to ninth in the table.
The Ivory Coast international cut inside and found McArthur before the foul that rewarded Palace for their early dominance with a spot-kick. The tricky winger later wriggled free of his marker to set up Townsend in the closing stages as the substitute calmed the home fans’ nerves following last week’s late sucker-punch.
Questions undoubtedly remain over Palace’s profligacy, as McArthur, Patrick van Aanholt and Zaha all blazed over the bar when it good positions during the second half. McArthur and Milivojevic join Ayew and van Aanholt as their side’s only league scorers this term – but, with their sturdy defence, the Eagles will fancy their chances against anyone at Selhurst this season.
More to follow.