Crystal Palace

Townsend smash v. Man City win Goal of Season (video)

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Even Vincent Kompany‘s thunderbolt couldn’t stop Andros Townsend from winning the Premier League’s Goal of the Season.

The winner was chosen by a public vote combined with a “panel of experts,” according to Crystal Palace’s web site.

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

Townsend walked onto a popped-up headed clearance well outside the 18 and smashed a volley home against Manchester City three days before Christmas.

Palace posted this quote from Townsend, “Everything about the game, the opponent, the strike, it was perfection. I think it was a strike like that needed to beat the champions away from home. I’m thankful it kind of dropped nicely for my left foot, I hit it clean and the rest is history.”

The goals were similar, and Townsend does have a knack for scoring beauties. Perhaps it shows something that beating Man City stands out a bit more to voters and the panel than a defender scoring for the champions. We think Kompany’s was a tiny bit better, but we’ll forgive the voters.

Report: $100M Zaha tells Palace he’s ready to leave

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Wilfried Zaha feels he’s reached his potential at Crystal Palace, and has told the South London outfit he wants UEFA Champions League football.

Zaha, 26, has successfully rebuilt his reputation after failing to make an impact at Manchester United, and bagged a career-best 10 goals in Premier League play this season.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

According to The Daily Mail, he’s told Palace he’s ready to leave Selhurst Park. The Eagles’ reportedly have a $100 million price tag on the Ivorian.

Zaha was one of three stars for Palace this season, joining youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka and center midfielder Luka Milivojevic in successfully moving the Eagles out of another relegation fight.

If Palace sells Zaha, it would make it even more difficult to allow the 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka to leave the club. Wan-Bissaka was sensational and would’ve been in many Best XIs were it not for Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s amazing campaign for runners-up Liverpool.

What’s next for the Ivorian? Man City and Liverpool don’t seem to fit the bill, but any of the other contenders could fit the bill. And if it needs to be the Champions League, maybe the long-mentioned links to Spurs or Chelsea become a reality.

Crystal Palace 5-3 Bournemouth: Zaha stars in eight-goal thriller (video)

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  • Wilfried Zaha involved in four of Palace’s five goals
  • Michy Batshuayi scores brace
  • Crystal Palace finishes on 49 points
  • Lerma scores stunner just before halftime

Crystal Palace and Bournemouth put on a show in the final match of the Premier League season, combining for eight goals in a 5-3 Crystal Palace win, Sunday afternoon at Selhurst Park. Wilfried Zaha, in what may have been his final game for the Eagles, was involved constantly in Crystal Palace’s attack and finished officially with two assists, though he played a role in two other goals as well.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe went again with 19-year-old Mark Travers in goal, and although he gave up five goals, he wasn’t at fault for nearly all of them, as the Bournemouth defense let Howe down.

With the victory, Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson finished with 49 points, the club’s highest total in the 38-game Premier League season era.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

This thrilling match for neutrals began with Crystal Palace in full control of the game. Luka Milivojevic came close to scoring inside five minutes, hitting the far post, but it was Batshuayi who finally put the Eagles in front. In the 24th minute, Zaha and Milivojevic worked together to create some space and Zaha’s cross into the middle took a deflection. The ball fortuitously fell right to the feet of Batshuayi, who slotted past 19-year-old Bournmouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.

Batshuayi scored again eight minutes later as Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s terrific cross on the ground from the right was put home to give Crystal Palace a 2-0 lead. Palace’s lead expanded to 3-0 in the 34th minute. James McArthur‘s pass found Zaha clear on goal. The Ivory Coast international’s shot was saved by Travers but re-directed off defender Jack Simpson in for another goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Just before halftime, Jefferson Lerma gave Bournemouth some life, as he unleashed an absolute blast from more than 30-yards out to make it 3-1, and give the Cherries some momentum heading into the break.

Despite more Crystal Palace pressure in the second half, Bournemouth scored again, as Jordan Ibe‘s low strike from just outside the box in the 56th minute took a deflection and went in past Vicente Guaita, making it a 3-2 game.

From then on, both teams traded goals as it was a wild, end-to-end affair in the second half. Zaha yet again made an impact on the goal, finding the overlapping run of Patrick Van-Aanholt, who fired home to make it 4-2. Joshua King‘s tap-in at the back-post off a corner made it 4-3, and yet Zaha found Andros Townsend on the counter attack, with the veteran attacker finishing past Travers to make it 5-3.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Zaha was subbed off late to a standing ovation at Selhurst Park, with plenty of speculation that he could be off to another club in the summer as he seeks a chance to play in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League.

Julian Speroni leaving Crystal Palace after 15 years

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Goalkeeper Julian Speroni will leave Crystal Palace this summer after spending 15 years at the club, it was announced on Thursday. Speroni’s contract expires this summer and it will not be renewed.

The 39-year-old Argentine will depart Selhurst Park this summer after joining from Dundee United back in 2004. He made 402 appearances for Crystal Palace, more than any other goalkeeper in the club’s history and placing him fourth all-time at the club overall. Speroni also owns a club-record 112 clean sheets.

“Julian has devoted the best 15 years of his playing career to our club, and will go down in the record books,” said club chairman Steve Parish, “but perhaps more importantly, will be remembered as a true club legend by all Palace fans and everyone at the club. You just don’t get many people like Julian in elite football any more – he is a model professional, ultra-committed, immensely loyal, and has set impeccable standards to his team-mates down the years. His contribution to this club cannot be overstated, and we will be eternally grateful for his service.”

Speroni had made just 14 Premier League appearances over the past four seasons, including just one this year as he rode the bench serving as third string to Wayne Hennessey and Vincente Guaita. He could get a final run-out in the last game of the season as Palace hosts Bournemouth, with little on the line sitting in 12th.

The Argentine was critical in securing Crystal Palace’s Premier League status in 2013, keeping clean sheets in both legs of the playoff semifinal against Brighton & Hove Albion, plus again in the final against Watford that saw Kevin Phillips score the extra-time winner in a 1-0 victory. He remained the starter for the club’s first two top flight seasons after promotion that saw them finish 10th and 11th, still the best table finishes for the club in its Premier League history.

It is unclear what the future holds for Speroni, but the release did not mention retirement, so it’s possible he has offers for a bigger role elsewhere, with both the Premier League and Championship likely in play.

Cardiff City relegated from Premier League

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  • 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.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

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.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

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.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

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.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

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.