Stoke 1-2 Crystal Palace: Patrick van Aanholt strikes to relegate Potters
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 06/05/18 12:11am
Stoke's relegation from the Premier League was confirmed after a crushing 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Xherdan Shaqiri put the Potters ahead with a brilliant free-kick in the 43rd minute but James McArthur levelled for Palace after half-time.
Patrick van Aanholt then capitalised on a defensive error to score a late winner and end Stoke's 10-year stay in the top-flight.
Stoke: Butland (5), Johnson (5), Shawcross (5), Zouma (5), Pieters (5), Bauer (5), Allen (5), Ndiaye (5), Shaqiri (6), Diouf (5), Crouch (5)
Subs: Sobhi (5), Campbell (5)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (6), Tomkins (6), Sakho (6), Van Aanholt (7), McArthur (7), Milivojevic (7), Cabaye (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Townsend (6), Zaha (7)
Subs: Kelly (5), Benteke (5), Schlupp (5)
Man of the match: Wilfried Zaha
Palace themselves are guaranteed to stay in the Premier League thanks to the result, while Stoke will look back with plenty of regret on the points they have dropped in the last month as, for the third time in four games, they failed to hold onto the lead.
In total, they have now lost 18 points from winning positions this season while Paul Lambert has managed just one victory since he was appointed manager in January.
Stoke had not finished below 14th in their previous nine Premier League seasons, but they could not get the victory they needed against a Palace side who have been revitalised under Roy Hodgson.
Neither side created much in a tight first half at the bet365 Stadium, with Mame Diouf glancing a header wide from Shaqiri's cross in the 22nd minute and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Wilfried Zaha missing the target for Palace.
However, Shaqiri broke the deadlock late in the first half when his free-kick deflected off Loftus-Cheek and flew into the top corner.
Victory would have seen Stoke survive in the Premier League for at least another day, but Palace dominated possession after the break and saw their pressure pay off in the 68th minute when McArthur slid past Jack Butland.
Zaha and Christian Benteke wasted excellent chances to put Palace ahead before Van Aanholt struck the winner with four minutes remaining.
Stoke made one change from their draw at Liverpool as Johnson came in for Martins Indi. Crystal Palace named an unchanged XI, which meant Benteke started on the bench again.
Ryan Shawcross slid to block Zaha's pass but only succeeded in playing it through for Van Aanholt, who finished under Butland.
Stoke had hardly threatened in the second half and they could not muster a late push as their fate was sealed.
- This is Stoke's first relegation from any division since the 1997-98 campaign, when they were relegated from the second tier alongside Reading and Manchester City.
- Crystal Palace are mathematically safe from relegation, and are therefore the first top-flight team since Liverpool in the 1899-1900 season to avoid relegation despite losing their first seven matches of the season.
- Since beating Huddersfield in his first Premier League match in charge, the Potters have collected just seven points from 13 games under Paul Lambert (W0 D7 L6).
- Crystal Palace haven't lost any of their last 13 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the bottom half of the division (W5 D8).
- Palace have won three of their last seven Premier League games in which they've gone in at half-time trailing (D1 L3).
England World Cup watch
Jack Butland didn’t have much to do aside from the two goals, but will this be his last home game for Stoke? There have been reports that newly-promoted Wolves are interested in signing England’s potential No 1 goalkeeper at the World Cup, and relegation could affect his future.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was impressive again for Palace and surely must be in with a chance of making Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Man of the match - Wilfried Zaha
Zaha continued his strong run of form with another positive display. He played a part in both goals and looked dangerous whenever he ran with the ball.
The only negative was his miss in the 77th minute when he blazed over the bar from inside the box.
Stoke finish their season with a trip to Swansea next Sunday while Crystal Palace host West Brom.