Crystal Palace ended the 2017/18 Premier League season on a high as the Eagles dismantled an already relegated West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in front of their home fans.
Wilfried Zaha continued his incredible second-half of the season form with the opening goal 69 minutes in when Patrick van Aanholt spotted the Ivorian in the area, and the attacker finished past Ben Foster with ease.
Van Aanholt turned from provider to scorer eight minutes later as the former Sunderland left back was put through one-on-one with the West Brom keeper, and after rounding the Baggies keeper, the Dutch defender had an easy tap in into an open net to seal the win for Crystal Palace.
A friendly encounter
Both sides’ Premier League stories had already been wrapped up before a ball had even been kicked this afternoon. West Brom were guaranteed relegation into the Championship despite an incredible late run of form that saw interim manager Darren Moore lead the Baggies to wins against Manchester United and Tottenham.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, had secured Premier League survival for another season and the Eagles were today looking for a win that could see Roy Hodgson’s side finish in the top half of the table.
But like most final days of the season with not much on the line, both teams took a relaxed approach to this game. Palace were far and away the more dominate side in the opening stages of the match, with Luka Milivojevic testing Foster early.
Zaha had the best chance of the half when a break down the right wing resulted in the Ivory Coast international being teed up with a golden opportunity to open the scoring six-yards from goal, but the former Manchester United winger’s effort was well saved by Foster, who reacted well with an outstretched foot to thump the ball out of danger.
Tributes to Roy
As the second half kicked off, a massive array of banners were lofted into the air around the stadium in the 51st minute, as the passionate Crystal Palace fans paid tribute the man who came in at the start of the season and turned their fortunes around.
“There’s only one Roy Hodgson” echoed around Selhurst Park, and the man in the dug out that was the reason behind this level of admiration applauded his home fans.
The home supporter’s good spirits in turned produced a more compelling performance from Palace. The Eagles played with more risk and danger, which in turn led to more chances for them but nothing was good enough to test Foster in the Albion goal.
Zaha finally opens the scoring
Zaha had been a thorn in West Brom’s side all game, and his danger in the attacking third final paid off 69 minutes in when the Palace danger-man opened the scoring for the hosts.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek played in van Aanholt down the left wing, resulting in the Dutch fullback to deliver a precise ball into the penalty area. The ball found it’s way to Zaha, who did well to improvise with his finish but it was enough to roll past Foster, to give the hosts the lead.
Van Aanholt doubles the scoreline
The crowd were ecstatic following Zaha’s opening goal, and eight minutes later the home fans were celebrating even more when van Aanholt doubled Palace’s lead with 11 minutes to go.
A passage of neat passing outside the West Brom penalty area saw Andros Townsend punt the ball into the area towards van Aanholt, putting him one-on-one with Foster, and the Dutch defender coolly rounded his man, and tapped the ball into the now empty net to make it 2-0 to Palace.
The result sees that Palace finish the season in 11th place, whilst West Brom go down into the Championship dead last.