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Chamakh howler sets Palace on way to United defeat

PUBLISHED: 15:56 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:56 24 February 2014

Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace. Nick Potts/PA

Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace. Nick Potts/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A dreadful mistake by Marouane Chamakh sparked the end of Crystal Palace's tremendous home run in the Premier League.

Champions Manchester United won 2-0 at Selhurst Park, but the game was in the balance until the Moroccan striker needlessly tripped Patrice Evra in the corner of the penalty area.

Robin van Persie dispatched the spot kick and six minutes later Wayne Rooney, fresh from signing a new £300,000-a-week, smashed in a superb volley from the edge of the area.

It was the Eagles’ second defeat in eight home games since Tony Pulis took charge and it leaves them two points and two places clear of the relegation zone.

Pulis gave last season’s top scorer Glenn Murray his first start in nine months but the hosts lacked a cutting edge.

Damien Delaney had to be alert to head Rooney’s cross off the line and Marouane Fellaini fired wide.

After United took the lead substitute Cameron Jerome brought a decent save out of David de Gea but Rooney’s brilliance clinched the points.

Pulis said: “Chamakh has done fantastic since I’ve been here.

“For the penalty he is totally committed and mistimed the challenge. The penalty was a real kick in the teeth but there are no excuses at all.”

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