West Brom 0 Crystal Palace 2: Zaha and Townsend lift Eagles out of bottom three
Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend were on target as Crystal Palace moved out of the relegation zone with a crucial 2-0 win at West Brom on Saturday.
After an uneventful first half at The Hawthorns it was Palace that took a 55th-minute lead through Ivory Coast winger Zaha following a great ball from Yohan Cabaye for his first Eagles goal since January 3.
Palace then put the game beyond all doubt in the closing stages when Townsend completed a swift break from the visitors.
It marks another huge boost for Palace following their 1-0 win over relegation rivals Middlesbrough last week, and Sam Allardyce's side now leapfrog Aitor Karanka's men into 17th.
West Brom had plenty of cause for optimism heading into the match having taken 11 points from their past league matches and going unbeaten since a 4-0 loss to Tottenham on January 14.
Tony Pulis had little to shout about against his former club, though, and West Brom - who remain eighth in the table - can have few complaints about the result.
Big Ben's effort, cleared off the line... pic.twitter.com/8yRe63nvTs-- Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) March 4, 2017
There was little action in a tepid opening, but Palace had the first chance of note when Christian Benteke beat his marker from Cabaye's corner, only to see his fine header cleared off the goalline by Chris Brunt with goalkeeper Ben Foster well beaten.
The hosts struggled to create anything of note going forward with Palace's defence marshalling Salomon Rondon well, and the striker was fortunate to escape punishment for a dive late in the first half following a duel with Cabaye.
Palace found another gear after the break and they got the goal their play deserved when Zaha brilliantly controlled Cabaye's sublime pass before drilling his effort into Foster's bottom right-hand corner.
West Brom seemingly awoke from their slumber and Nacer Chadli tested Wayne Hennessey with a low shot from outside the area.
The impressive Zaha continued to cause the hosts problems, though, and he was unlucky not to double his side's lead after a superb dribble from which Foster did just enough to save his shot, with Jason Puncheon failing to find the net from the rebound.
Pulis brought on Hal Robson-Kanu for Allan Nyom in an attempt to force an equaliser, but there would not be a comeback as Townsend doubled his side's lead in the 84th minute.
The winger had failed to beat Foster from close range with 10 minutes left on the clock, but he made amends when he fired home from inside the box after a rapid counter-attack to seal the win.