Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman savoured the best comeback of his managerial career after Glenn Murray's hat-trick gave the Eagles an unlikely 3-2 home victory over high-flying Cardiff.

The hosts were two goals behind at half-time thanks to efforts by Aron Gunnarsson and Don Cowie, before two penalties and an acutely angled shot by Murray hauled them to three npower Championship points.

"As (a) manager it was the best comeback," Freedman said.

"I don't think we deserved to be two down. To show the character and energy we did, it was a correct result. If you were watching the game, you saw we didn't deserve to be down. We played with fantastic approach play, with crosses.

"In the second half, the shots were coming off and we were causing them a lot of problems. Cardiff are a good side and we've stood up to good challenges with them and Forest this week [1-1 draw on Tuesday]."

The Bluebirds stunned their hosts in the 13th minute when Peter Ramage failed to control a through ball by Gunnarsson and the Icelander slotted home from just inside the box. Don Cowie delivered a second blow two minutes later when he capitalised on some slack marking in the box to strike home from a similar position.

The home side came out strongly in the second half and pulled a goal back seven minutes after the restart, when Murray slotted home from the penalty slot after Gunnarsson handled. Murray pulled the game level soon after the hour mark, squeezing a shot past David Marshall after a shot from Andre Moritz deflected to him at the back post.

The comeback was complete on 72 minutes, too, when Murray slotted his hat-trick goal from the penalty spot again, when Jonathan Parr was fouled by Heidar Helguson.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay agreed that the defeat was a self-inflicted one, following their impressive midweek win at Millwall.

"We committed suicide by gifting Palace two penalties. The first one, one of our players raised his arm. With the other one Helguson made a rash challenge," he said. "I was disappointed and delighted at Millwall. If we don't give two penalties away we would have sat top of the table."