Saturday analysis: Relegation concertina squeezing out Sunderland and Norwich

An intriguing day in the Premier League brought joy to Fulham and Cardiff, agony to Norwich and Sunderland and increasing worry for a few teams just above the drop zone...

Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa

 
A vital three points for Palace, especially in concert with other results at the bottom, which have dragged Villa to within four points of the drop zone. Perhaps sensing their visitors' vulnerability, Tony Pulis's team stepped up the shot count considerably after half-time: of their 14 attempts came after the break, 10 came after the break, and half of those were from outside the penalty area. 
 
Pulis may have also used his half-time team talk to urge his men to get stuck in: having made 8 tackles before the break, Palace attempted 19 (winning 15) after the oranges. As the game got more frantic, passes got rarer: Palace dropped from 141 completed out of 173 in the first half to 116 of 155, while Villa, unused to having majority possession (57.1% overall), plunged from 204 of 243 to 153 of 204. 
 
 

 
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