Second half strikes from Patrick van Aanholt and James McArthur dashed the hopes of a late Stoke City survival bid, as Crystal Palace came from behind to plunge the Potters into the Championship.


​Stoke started the afternoon in the knowledge that anything but a win could see their relegation all but confirmed, and a stunning free kick from Xherdan Shaqiri looked to have staved off any worries until the final game of the season at the least.


However, a reinvigorated Palace outfit struck twice in the second term to make the Potters' nightmare scenario come to life as yet another lead was squandered. 

Stoke City v Crystal Palace - Premier League

A sun enveloped bet365 Stadium welcomed a season defining game for Stoke, with anything but three points leaving the home side staring down the barrel of life in the ​Championship next season. 


​Crystal Palace, who themselves had mustered an escape from the clutches of relegation however, were not eager to share the jubilation of another season in the ​Premier League with their opponents.

The Potters early exuberance had the home faithful in fine voice as each ball was chased and every opponent harried, a direct yet simple approach which disrupted the Eagles just as they appeared to gain a foothold in proceedings through Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.


The duos' efficient and clean skills in possession were a level above the Potters' and they had continually threatened to break the deadlock for the visitors on the counter after spending much of the opening term penned in their own half. 

Stoke City v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Stoke, meanwhile, had initially let their burning desire to hit the scoreboard disrupt their decision making processes as they were left to rue the lack of composure needed in the final third, with a cushioned header poorly directed wide of the upright by an unmarked Mame Biram Diouf in what was their best chance in open play midway through the first 45. 


Free-kicks on the other hand were a completely different ball game for the Potters.


Merely two minutes before the break and Shaqiri stepped up to the plate in stunning fashion after whipping the ball over the Palace wall, taking a small deflection of Loftus-Cheek, before nestling in the top corner to breathe much needed life into their survival hopes. 

Crystal Palace had failed to match the home sides' energy levels in the opening term but Roy Hodgson's side emerged from the interval with renewed vigour as they seized their opportunity to pen Stoke in their own half, turning up the heat in the hope of forcing the home side to crumble under the pressure.


Wave after wave of balls were lobbed towards the Potters' back-line and after initially struggling to land the lethal blow, it was a counter attack with caused the Potters to come unstuck. 


As the Eagles flooded forward, McArthur was allowed to make an unmarked run on the outside of Loftus-Cheek before being played through and slotting the ball across Jack Butland with 22 minutes remaining to leave the home supporters in deafening silence as relegation loomed large.

Stoke City v Crystal Palace - Premier League

With time no longer on their side, the Potters left the back door open as they went in search for a winner - a required risk which came at the price of their Premier League status as van Aanholt converted from close range on the break with just four minutes left on the clock.


A comeback victory from Crystal Palace ensured a 10-year association with the Premier League was brought to a heartbreaking end for Stoke City, with one game still to play.

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