Palace stunned Manchester City 2-1 on Monday, and the south London club have also claimed the scalps of Tottenham and Liverpool this season. Slaying the Premier League giants is a habit Palace will need to continue with matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United still to come this season.
Striker Murray – who scored the first goal against City – puts the big wins down to the fact that there is little expectation of a victory, and therefore less pressure on the players.
“Those games at home against title contenders are almost free games for us,” Murray told Sky Sports News HQ.
“I think when we play the teams in and around us in the league there’s a lot more pressure on us to get the points and to get safety in the division.
“When we play the top teams the pressure’s off a little bit and you’re not really expected to get anything out of the game.”
A new formation played its part in the win over City, too, with Palace reorganising to free up space in the midfield, giving Murray the opportunity to take on City’s Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichellis.
“We had three in the midfield, we thought they would play two up front and so we thought that would give us an extra man in midfield. And I think that’s where we managed to get our foot on the ball a little bit more than we would have done if we matched them up 4-4-2,” he said.
“When the champions come to town you want to put up a good fight and you’ve got nothing to lose because you’re not really expected to win the game. So it was nice to play against those two (Kompany and Demechellis).”
Murray could have been forgiven for thinking his time at Selhurst Park was coming to an end when Neil Warnock sent him out on loan to Reading in September, but the 31-year-old has rediscovered his form in front of goal for Palace, scoring five goals in his last five games.