Football: Murray bags brace and sees red in Palace romp

Glenn Murray netted twice to fire Crystal Palace to a 3-1 win against West Ham before his memorable afternoon ended with a red card at Upton Park on Saturday.

Alan Pardew's side swept into a three-goal lead as Murray opened the scoring in the first half and struck again after Scott Dann had increased Palace's lead after the break.

Murray was then sent off for a second booking and Hammers striker Enner Valencia reduced the deficit, but Palace survived a late barrage to secure a sweet result for Pardew, who had been sacked by West Ham in 2006.

The fifth successive away win of Pardew's Palace reign lifted the south London club further away from the relegation zone, while West Ham are without a victory in their six matches in all competitions.

Sam Allardyce's men went close to taking the lead when Mark Noble's 20-yard free-kick cannoned off the woodwork with Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni rooted to the spot.

But Palace were soon in the ascendency and Murray fired straight at Hammers goalkeeper Adrian after running onto Jason Puncheon's pass.

Murray didn't need to rue that miss for long as he put Palace ahead in the 41st minute when he met Puncheon's corner with a header which Hammers defender Aaron Cresswell diverted into his own net with a woefully mistimed attempt to hack clear.

Murray's second goal in his last two appearances was even more frustrating for West Ham as he had escaped a red card earlier in the half after a crude challenge just moments after being booked by referee Mike Dean.

Palace doubled their lead six minutes after the interval when centre-back Dann climbed above Winston Reid to meet Puncheon's corner with a header that was too powerful for Adrian to keep out.

Allardyce sent on Brazilian winger Nene for his debut after an hour, but within three minutes Murray had ended the contest as he dived full length to head Puncheon's free-kick into the far corner.

Nene hit a post with a curling strike before Murray's day reached an unwanted conclusion when he was sent off for a second booking after lunging in on Reid in the 69th minute.

The Hammers got one back in the 76th minute as Valencia smashed home from the edge of the penalty area, but it was way too late to prevent a chorus of boos from the home fans at full-time.

smg/nr