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January 16 2019 3.57am

Palace see off Stoke to seal safety

May 5 2018

James McArthur

James McArthur

Crystal Palace guaranteed their Premier League status with a 2-1 win away at Stoke City.

The Eagles came from behind to secure the victory that puts them on to 41 points and are mathematically safe from relegation, while sending Stoke down.

Boosted by the 5-0 win over Leicester City, Palace began the match in confident fashion with Ruben Loftus-Cheek curling over the bar.

Stoke's best opportunity was a header from Mame Biram Diouf that whisked past Wayne Hennessey's post.

Two minutes before the break, the home side went in front with a Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick that deflected off Loftus-Cheek in the wall and into the net.

However, Palace were on level terms in the 68th minute through a well-worked team move involving substitute Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Loftus-Cheek, who slipped in James McArthur to slot into the far corner.

Zaha, Benteke and Loftus-Cheek all had decent chances to add to the scoreline as the Eagles pressed for a second goal. It duly arrived four minutes from time from Patrick van Aanholt.

Zaha's square pass to Benteke on the edge of the area was cut out by Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross but the ball failed to reach keeper Jack Butland and Van Aanholt took advantage to fire home for 2-1 and relegate the Potters.

The result secured a sixth consecutive season in the Premier League for the Eagles, which is a remarkable feat considering they had zero points after the first seven games.

Stoke: Butland, Johnson (Campbell 77), Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters, Shaqiri, Allen, Ndiaye, Bauer, Diouf, Crouch (Sobhi 67).

Not used: Haugaard, Cameron, Adam, Fletcher, Adam.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward (Kelly 40), Sakho, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Cabaye (Benteke 63), Milivojevic, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend (Schlupp 88), Zaha.

Not used: Cavalieri, Wan-Bissaka, Lee, Sorloth.

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