C Palace 2-0 West Brom: Palace finish season 11th after comfortable victory over the Baggies
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 13/05/18 6:12pm
Crystal Palace finish the Premier League season in 11th after easing past West Brom in a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park.
Palace finish the season unbeaten in their last six matches as second-half strikes from Wilfried Zaha and Patrick van Aanholt helped the hosts to a deserved three points against Darren Moore's side.
After a scrappy first half, Zaha broke the deadlock in the 70th minute before Van Aanholt scored for the third successive match (78') to ensure Palace finished the campaign on a high note.
Moore suffered his first loss as caretaker manager of West Brom, who will be playing Sky Bet Championship football next season.
C Palace: Hennessey (6), Wan-Bissaka (7), Sakho (6), Tomkins (6), Van Aanholt (8), McArthur (7), Cabaye (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Milivojevic (6), Zaha (8), Townsend (6)
Subs: Benteke (6), Lee Chung-Yong (N/A), Souare (N/A)
West Brom: Foster (7), Nyom (5), Dawson (6), Hegazi (5), Gibbs (4), Brunt (5), Krychowiak (6), Livermore (5), McClean (4), Rodriguez (5), Rondon (5)
Subs: Chadli (N/A), Robson-Kanu (N/A), Sturridge (N/A)
Man of the match: Patrick van Aanholt
West Brom almost took the lead in the third minute when James McArthur's cross was stabbed towards goal by Chris Brunt, but Ben Foster did well to reach down and batted it away. Moments later at the other end, Grzegorz Krychowiak's driven volley whistled narrowly wide of Wayne Hennessey's right post.
The closest chance of the half fell to Zaha who, off-balance, poked a shot on goal from close range which Foster stopped with his trailing leg in the 17th minute.
Palace continued to stroke the ball around for the remainder of the half but lacked the finishing touch as West Brom soaked up the pressure in a scrappy opening 45 minutes.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka came in for Joel Ward at right-back.
Grzegorz Krychowiak replaced Matt Phillips in the West Brom starting XI.
In the 55th minute, Ruben Loftus-Cheek's shot was caught by Foster from close range six minutes before Andros Townsend missed a golden opportunity to put Palace a goal up. With the West Brom defence scrambling, he slipped over when he tried to connect with Zaha's squared pass.
But fortunately team-mate Zaha atoned for Townsend's error by putting Palace a goal up. Van Aanholt drilled the ball across for the 25-year-old to deftly volley home his fifth goal in his last six matches.
Then, just eight minutes later, the provider turned goalscorer as Van Aanholt latched onto Townsend's incisive pass before rounding Foster and slotting away to complete what has been a remarkable turnaround by Roy Hodgson and his side in the second half of the season.
- West Bromwich Albion have finished bottom of the top-flight for a record 10th season and the second time in the Premier League era (also 2008-09).
- Crystal Palace won three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since April 2017.
- Wilfried Zaha has been involved in six goals in his last six Premier League games (5 goals, 1 assist).
- Patrick van Aanholt has scored five goals in his last 10 Premier League games and scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time.
- The Baggies won none of their 17 Premier League games when they conceded first this season (D2 L15).
- Darren Moore suffered defeat as West Brom manager for the first time in his sixth match (W3 D2 L1).
Roy Hodgson: I thought we played well. In the first half, we had a lot of possession but they are a hard team to break down. They work very hard and are very organised defensively but I was hoping if we could up the tempo a little bit and keep going.
The longer the game went along the more chances opened up and I'm really proud of the players. We've been safe for two games. And now to win all three is a fantastic achievement.
Darren Moore: They're [Crystal Palace] an excellent team as we know, they've got some match-winners all over the pitch. It was a difficult afternoon today for us against a really good team.
We knew we had to keep going until the end because of the threat they possess. They kept asking us questions. It was a hurdle for us which was a bit too high to get over.
Man of the Match - Patrick van Aanholt
The Netherlands international grabbed a goal and assist on a highly productive day for the left-back, who caused West Brom's defence serious problems down the flank with his pace and power.
England World Cup watch
Ruben Loftus-Cheek produced a steady display and looked lively when Palace pushed forward. However, he will likely be ruing a missed opportunity to convert from close-range in the second half as his attempt was caught by Foster.
Jake Livermore had a disappointing afternoon in the West Brom midfield as he struggled to assert his authority on the match.