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2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Wilfried Zaha (70')
  • Patrick van Aanholt (78')

Wilfried Zaha strikes for Crystal Palace to end West Brom's eight-year stay

West Brom's eight-year stay in the Premier League concluded with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

Despite their recent improvement under caretaker manager Darren Moore, goals from Wilfried Zaha and Patrick van Aanholt meant they finished bottom of the table.

Zaha again impressed for the hosts and was rewarded with his ninth goal of the season in the second half, ensuring that what could have been a damaging season for his team finished positively - only goal difference keeps them outside the top 10.

The in-form van Aanholt also scored his third goal in three games, securing all three points in a further show of the remarkable job Roy Hodgson has done in leading Palace to an 11th-placed finish.

The Eagles had until recently also been worried by the threat of relegation - but despite their safety they began with a purpose largely inspired by on-loan Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

In what could be his final appearance for them - he is due to return to parent club Chelsea, although Palace hope to sign him permanently - Loftus-Cheek consistently demonstrated his desire to make the England squad for this summer's World Cup by largely dictating their tempo.

James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic both went close with early efforts, as did Grzegorz Krychowiak for West Brom before, as has often been the case this season, Zaha was again influential and forced a fine save from Ben Foster.

When Aaron Wan-Bissaka dispossessed Ahmed Hegazi on the right wing and fed McArthur, the midfielder squared to Zaha who, from in front of goal but while struggling for balance, aimed towards the bottom corner before watching Foster stick his leg out to save.

That was in the 18th minute, and from then until the second half - perhaps to be expected in a fixture with so little at stake - there were few noteworthy goal attempts.

Palace returned after half-time with renewed intent, when Loftus-Cheek and Van Aanholt began to impressively combine.

The midfielder began the move that almost put McArthur through on goal, forced a further save from Foster, and again contributed when Zaha just missed the target from close range.

When Zaha then broke and sent Andros Townsend through one-on-one with Foster, the winger slipped as he struck, sending his effort wide.

However, in the 70th minute Palace took the lead. With Van Aanholt's overlaps on the left repeatedly stretching West Brom, the left-back found time and space to cross towards Zaha, who tidily volleyed home.

Eight minutes later, Van Aanholt then scored the goal he deserved by finishing a classy passing move. In a show of one-touch football, Yohan Cabaye, Townsend and Loftus-Cheek combined to send Van Aanholt one-on-one with Foster, who he casually rounded before firing low and into the back of the net.

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