- Cardiff relegated from PL
- Zaha, Batshuayi, Townsend score for Palace
- Bluebirds will finish in 18th
Cardiff City’s second season in the Premier League ended the same way as their first: relegation after one season.
Cardiff lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, as the Welsh side are four points from safety with one game to go and Neil Warnock‘s newly-promoted side have joined Fulham and Huddersfield as the three teams who were relegated this season.
With Cardiff’s relegation confirmed, Brighton & Hove Albion are now secured of being in the Premier League for the 2019-20 season.
Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi scored for Palace, who had handed Cardiff brief hope in the game through Martin Kelly‘s own goal. Then Andros Townsend made it 3-1 before Bobby Reid scored late on to make it 3-2, but that wasn’t enough to save Cardiff.
With the win Palace move on to 46 points for the season, while Cardiff have 31 points and now travel to Manchester United on the final day knowing it will be their last in the top-flight for at least 12 months.
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Palace started the game well as Zaha went close and the visitors were soon ahead via their main man. Zaha controlled the ball, cut inside and placed a low finish past Neil Etheridge to put the Eagles 1-0 up as Cardiff’s slow start was punished.
But no sooner had they went behind, Cardiff equalized in bizarre circumstances. Leandro Bacuna whipped a ball into the box which was harmless, but Kelly got his clearance all wrong and shanked the ball into his own net. 1-1. Game on.
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Batshuayi then scored to regain the lead for Palace, as he played a one-two with Jordan Ayew and then slotted home to make it 2-1 in a frantic first half.
Moments later James McArthur ran down the right and found Zaha who struck a shot at goal but his effort was blocked by his own player Ayew. At the other end Bruno Manga headed over and then Vicente Guaita made a fine stop to deny Bobby Reid, while Palace then went close again but Neil Etheridge saved bravely.
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In the second half Palace looked dangerous on the counter, as Cardiff pushed forward to try and save themselves from relegation.
The Bluebirds were causing problems from set piece situations and Josh Murphy somehow shanked his effort wide after Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found him at the back post.
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Murphy’s shot was blocked and Kenneth Zohore‘s shot was saved by Guaita as Cardiff pushed hard, but that led to Palace scoring another as Townsend’s low strike hit the post and went in to make it 3-1.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing had a shot cleared off the line, then Junior Hoilett missed a great chance as the home side threw everything at Crystal Palace to try and keep their hopes of a dramatic survival alive.
Reid curled home to make it 3-2 late on, but that was how the game finished as the Eagles sent the Bluebirds back down to the second-tier.