Three well taken goals by Warnock’s on form Eagle’s piled more misery on the struggling Saints.
The home side found themselves 2-0 to the good in the first 15 minutes. The first was a superbly taken goal by Shefki Kuqi. The 32 year old gracefully took the ball in his stride with his chest to which he then delightfully lofted the ball over a stranded Kelvin Davis in the Southampton goal.
This sparked the home side into life and after the first minutes being dominated by the away side, Palace notched their second goal of the night. The Saints once again failed to deal with a set piece when the ball fell to Craig Beattie. The ex-Celtic Striker placed his volley just above Lloyd James’ head and into the top left hand corner.
Jan Poortvliet’s youngsters did their best to try and get back into the game, with a good chance falling to Bradley Wright-Phillips but his shot was only blocked when it seemed to be goal bound.
Andrew Surman, who has been linked with a move to either Stoke or Fulham in January, saw his ambitious 25 yard strike just sail inches wide of Julian Speroni’s goal.
The football the Saints were playing, you would not have thought that they would have been two goals down. Yet, the story of this young and promising side is the same – they cannot finish chances, and have nothing to show for their possession.
Just into the second half, the Saints had their best chance to pull one back. Similarly to Kuqi’s goal, Surman brought the ball down spectacularly on his chest, only to find Speroni charge out of his goal and the 22 year old could not generate enough power to lob the Argentine goalkeeper.
15 minutes before the end, more misery was inflicted on the Saints, when a mistake by Lloyd James allowed Paul Ifill in on goal and the ex-Millwall man smashed the ball past a frustrated Kelvin Davis.
This is now Southampton’s fourth game without a win, and leaves the Saints in 20th. Palace, on the other hand have rocketed into 5th, and the South London outfit have now won four out of their last five.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Fonte, Hill, Carle, Watson (Derry 30), Oster (Butterfield 48), Beattie, Kuqi, Scannell (Ifill 66).
Subs Not Used: Lee, Moses.
Southampton: Davis, James, Perry, Pearce (Wotton 46), Skacel, Surman, Lallana, Cork, Wright-Phillips (Gasmi 81), McGoldrick, Robertson (Mills 69).
Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Paterson.