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June 23 2021 7.40pm

Palace edge it in five goal thriller

May 16 2021

Mitchell: The winning goal for the Eagles and his first for the club

Mitchell: The winning goal for the Eagles and his first for the club

Crystal Palace come from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at Selhurst Park.

Roy Hodgson made a surprise decision to give Jack Butland his first game for Palace in the Premier League.

Gary Cahill replaced Scott Dann in central defence, James McCarthy replaced Luka Milivojevic in midfield, who didn't feature in the squad at all. There were also starts for Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp.

The Eagles started the game very lacklustre, and found themselves behind after only 17 minutes - John McGinn's shot from outside the box took a slight deflection, which managed to elude Butland.

Palace leaped into life after going a goal behind, and in form Christian Benteke got an equaliser on 32 minutes. Tyrick Mitchell's excellent cross from the left setup the Belgian to head home a trademark goal.

Unfortunately the home side sat back and some sloppy defending resulted in Anwar El Ghazi getting on the score sheet. A looping ball in the box wasn't dealt with by the Palace defence, and a back header by Ollie Watkins found it's way to the Dutchman who slotted the ball under Butland.

In the second half the Eagles were far better and finally equalised on 75 minutes through a deflected shot by Wilfried Zaha.

Palace went searching for the winner in the last 15 minutes and Eberechi Eze came inches from scoring - his curling shot struck the cross bar.

However it ended in a Palace victory when Eze's bouncing ball in the box found it's way to Mitchell who shouldered the ball into the net from close range for his first goal for the Eagles.

Palace are now on 44 points, with two games remaining of the campaign - Arsenal at home on Wednesday evening and Liverpool away on the final day of the season.

Palace: Butland, Ward, Mitchell, Cahill, Kouyate, McCarthy (Tomkins, 73), Schlupp, Eze, Benteke, Zaha, Townsend

Subs not used: Hennessey, Ayew, Batshuayi, Dann, Riedewald, Guaita, Mateta, Kelly

Goals: Benteke (32), Zaha (75), Mitchell (84)

Aston Villa: Martinez, Hause, Konsa, Targett, Elmohamady, Traore (Grealish, 64), Ramsey (Davis, 85), Douglas Luiz, El Ghazi (Wesley, 88), McGinn, Watkins

Goals: McGinn (17), El Ghazi (34)

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