Cardiff 0-3 Crystal Palace

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Jason Puncheon scored a brace to help Crystal Palace beat fellow strugglers Cardiff City 3-0 and move seven points clear of the drop zone.

Joe Ledley also found the back of the net, scoring against his former employers.

Chances were few and far between in the first half. Palace looked the better of the two sides and broke the deadlock on 31 minutes.

Ledley found Puncheon and the on-loan Southampton man cut in and beat David Marshall with a low, well-struck drive.

Before that, Kagisho Dikagcoi volleyed over the crossbar from Puncheon’s corner, while at the other end Frazier Campbell’s downward header was deflected, making a difficult save for Julian Speroni.

The second half continued in similar vein as Jordan Mutch fired wide of the target, while Ledley’s drive was over the crossbar.

However, Ledley did score 18 minutes from full time. Marshall was unable to claim Marouane Chamakh’s downward header and the ball came off Ledley and into the back of the net.

Palace made sure of the points on 88 minutes when Puncheon grabbed his second of the game with a stunning strike.

The goal capped a great move for the Eagles when he put the ball on his left foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

The result is a hammer blow to Cardiff’s survival chances while Palace can now see breathing space between them and the drop zone.