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    Pardew parties at the pub with Palace fans after edging Southampton

    By Scott Hunt

    Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew headed to the pub last night to celebrate with a supporters group after watching his side defeat Southampton at Selhurst Park.

    Pardew, and his assistant Kevin Millen, joined the Holmesdale Fanatics supporters group as they celebrated their 10th anniversary and their performance earlier in the day had given them all plenty of reason to celebrate.

    Yohan Cabaye’s first-half strike was enough to earn Palace all three points and cement their sixth-placed position in the Premier League table. The victory was their first ever Premier League triumph over Southampton and made it back-to-back home wins for a side who have picked up more points on the road than at Selhurst Park so far this season.

    Thanks to Manchester United’s defeat at Bournemouth, Palace moved to within three points of the top four and are now unbeaten in their last three – and have lost just one of their last six.

    Pardew spoke to the media after the match and singled out Cabaye for special praise, while expressing his delight that a strong performance at home was rewarded with a win.

    “It was a masterclass from Yohan Cabaye today – he did everything.” Pardew told his post-match press conference.

    “I wouldn't say we dominated it for the whole period. we could have handle the last minutes better. Both goalkeepers had to pull off some great stops.

    “No one listened to me. I kept saying our home form's been good, though results haven't always back that up. Important win today.

    “There's going to be a lot of pressure on us over the busy period. We're all in it together and I think that shows on the football pitch.”

    Paulo Gazzaniga came in to the Southampton side for the injured Maarten Stekelenburg and was forced to tip over after 19 minutes to stop Yannick Bolasie scoring direct from a corner.

    The Argentinian goalkeeper was then tested twice, first by Cabaye’s stinging shot, before keeping out a Connor Wickham header. His heroics were matched at the other end by Wayne Hennessey, who produced a terrific reaction save to push Steven Davis’ header over the bar.

    And those saves looked all the more important when Palace took the lead after 39 minutes as Bolasie’s cut back was stroked home by Cabaye from six yards.

    Photograph: Getty Images

    The hosts passed up a couple of chances to wrap up the points when Wilfried Zaha fired well over the bar before Gazzaniga twice denied the Eagles in the closing stages, first saving Wickham’s strike and then blocking Bolasie’s close-range effort.

    It looked as though the Saints were set to snatch a point late on when Shane Long broke clear of the defence, but Hennessey produced a match-winning save with his feet.

    Southampton are now winless in their last four league games, losing three of those, as their stuttering form continues.

    For Palace and Pardew however the positive momentum continues and his trip to the pub shows the rapport the former player has for the club and it’s fans. As he approaches a year in charge of the club, many will reflect on the progress that has been made. Pardew took over a club in the relegation zone and now has the fans realistically dreaming of a European place.

    They will hope to continue their form next weekend but face a tough assignment with a trip to Stoke – who have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine league games.

    Southampton welcome former manager Mauricio Pochettino back to St. Mary’s as they host Spurs – who will be desperate to bounce back from their home humbling at the hands of Newcastle. 

    Main Photo Source: @GIFS_CPFC on Twitter

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    Item Reviewed: Pardew parties at the pub with Palace fans after edging Southampton Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Scott Hunt
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