Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton: 5 things we learned as the Eagles soar to sixth

Written by Robert Sutherland

What a great result! Palace continue to impress this season and get their first ever Premier League win over Southampton.

Yohan Cabaye got the winner but what else did we learn from Saturday's victory?

Here's Rob Sutherland...

1. Yannick has that killer instinct

There's a prevailing opinion regarding Yannick Bolasie - he's got all the skills but no end product. But with the work that seems to be going on in training, that view is having to be revised. Yannick has proven a threat in our last three matches - he's had a hand in a number of recent goals and has increased his potency from crosses and shots. His assist for Yohan Cabaye's goal on Saturday was richly deserved, and on another day, a keeper wouldn't have saved his shots either.

2. Puncheon is having a different season - not a bad one.

As with the Bolasie end product thinking, there's also a consensus among Palace fans that Jason Puncheon isn't as effective this season as he was last. It's fair to say that he hasn't contributed as much, but to say he's had a bad season is simply a case of not looking at the bigger picture. Puncheon has had to adapt to the introduction of Cabaye - just as Mile Jedinak and Joe Ledley have - in that it's meant that his role in the team has changed. No longer the pivotal player in Palace's midfield, Puncheon typically sees the ball less and, due to playing a more advanced role, is subject to greater scrutiny from opposition midfielders and defenders. Cabaye has made a remarkable difference to Palace - improving our quality and retention of the ball - but the knock on effect is that players who played big parts last season are ultimately less likely to make headlines.

3. It's good to see Joel Ward returning to form

It's not easy to keep Saido Mané quiet. But Joel Ward did that throughout Saturday's match - providing a performance that didn't make headlines but was worthy of credit. Skillful, quick and with an eye for goal, Mané is a powerful opponent who has made fools of plenty of decent defenders. Ward has played his part in all our recent wins, providing the dependable, strong defensive quality that we know he's capable of. Long may it continue.

4. Cabaye is a different kind of luxury

When Palace signed Yohan Cabaye, the media lavished Palace with praise for signing a player who could play in the number ten role, feeding our wingers and striker with incisive passes. But the player we've actually signed is very different - a grafter who shores up our defence alongside James McArthur, whose skill is used to read the game. The attacking ability he has - of which there is plenty - is used instead to make timely runs that, like on Saturday, result in rare but clear opportunities. While he didn't score from a similar chance against Chelsea, the goal against Southampton was richly deserved - but it also took the focus off what he's been doing well all season - contributing in the defensive portion of the pitch.

5. We've Enjoyed Ten Years of Glorious Noise

There have been times when we've not always seen eye-to-eye with the Holmesdale Fanatics, but there is a huge amount of credit due to them for their work in keeping the atmosphere at Selhurst Park ticking along. When all of the stadium joins in, there's nothing quite like it. The HF have persevered through early adversity and initial scepticism (some of which from us) to become a focal element of our support - and they deserve the accolades they're getting. It's also telling that opposition fans tend to single our hardcore supporters out for piss-taking (just read some of the responses to the BBC articles about Pardew going to the pub with them for a taster) - but these critics tend to be the ones who will happily sit in silence at their eerily quiet stadium,then boo when their side loses. The HF are a credit to our club - congratulations on your ten-year anniversary. Here's to many more.