Cardiff City were officially relegated to the Championship with a game to spare, as Crystal Palace beat them 3-2 on Saturday evening.
Cardiff came within inches of taking the lead after 38 seconds, as Josh Murphy's long range effort deflected off the outside of the post. However it was Palace who took the lead, as Wilfried Zaha buried it into the bottom corner as he came back to haunt his former side.
Cardiff drew level three minutes later, thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Martin Kelly. Leandro Bacuna crossed the ball into the box, and as Kelly rushed ahead of his goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to clear, he sliced the ball into his own net to give the Bluebirds a lifeline.
Palace restored their lead soon after, as Michy Batshuayi finished off a nicely worked team goal. Zaha threaded the ball into Jordan Ayew who laid it off for Batshuayi, as the Belgian emphatically fired his shot into the roof of the net to score his fourth Eagles goal.
Crystal Palace wrapped up the three points with 20 minutes to play, as Andros Townsend's shot went in off the post. The Palace forward cut inside onto the edge of the box, and hit his curling shot goalbound and off the inside of the post to secure the win for the visitors.
Cardiff got a consolation in injury time, thanks to a long range shot from the edge of the box from Bobby Reid. However it was too little too late from Cardiff, who fell to defeat and saw their fate sealed as they were relegated to the Championship.
Key Talking Point
Cardiff knew that they simply had to win to stand any chance of survival, and that defeat would seal their relegation. They started the game in fine fashion, almost taking the lead inside the first minute. However as the game went on, mistakes started to slip into their performance.
While they were level for eight minutes after the visitors' opener, they continued to allow them to come forward and attack with freedom, and went on to concede three goals. It wasn't good enough, and although they fought hard it wasn't enough as their relegation was confirmed.
It brings an end to Cardiff's one season stay in the Premier League, following their promotion last season. It marks the end of a bitterly disappointing season for Neil Warnock's side, but they should certainly be proud of their efforts and now look towards rebuilding to one day return.
Starting XI: Etheridge (7); Bennett (6), Ecuele Manga (6), Morrison (5), Peltier (6); Murphy (7*), Camarasa (N/A), Gunnarsson (6), Mendez-Laing (6); Ward (6) Reid (7).
Substitutes: Bacuna (7), Zohore (60'), Hoilett (N/A).
STAR MAN - Despite falling to a devastating and decisive defeat, many Cardiff players fought very hard. Neil Etheridge made a string of important saves to keep the Bluebirds in the game, while Leandro Bacuna and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing played well in attack.
However it was Josh Murphy in particular who stood out. He worked tirelessly in attack as he tried to get a goal for the hosts, and was Cardiff's brightest spark on Saturday. Though they fell to a painful defeat, Murphy showed his potential in a decent performance.
Key Talking Point
While Crystal Palace had nothing to really play for, they were still eager to secure their third consecutive away win. The Eagles were outstanding all game long, attacking brilliantly and taking their chances as they scored three goals for the second away game in a row.
As well as attacking brilliantly, Roy Hodgson's side defended wonderfully throughout the 90 minutes. With the exception of the defensive mishap that resulted in Cardiff's first goal, they were solid in defence with a number of outstanding saves and crucial blocks keeping the hosts at bay.
It was an all round fantastic performance from Palace, who thoroughly deserved the win in south Wales. They can certainly be proud of their wonderful performance in defence and attack, and will head back to south London delighted with the result in their final away game of the season.
Starting XI: Guaita (7); Ward (6), Dann (6), Kelly (6), Wan-Bissaka (7); Zaha (7*), Milivojevic (6), McArthur (6), Townsend (7); Ayew (6), Batshuayi (7).
Substitutes: Sako (73'), Meyer (78')
9 - Nine of Wilfried Zaha's 10 Premier League goals this season have been scored away from home - only Harry Kane (11) and Jamie Vardy (10) have scored more on their travels. Inverse. pic.twitter.com/caT5PO1mw4— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 4, 2019
STAR MAN - Like with Cardiff, there were many strong performers from Palace. Goalscorers Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend scored some excellent goals, while Vicente Guaita and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were superb in defence.
However, it was Wilfried Zaha who stole the show in his first return to his former club. The Ivorian scored a wonderful goal and was outstanding in attack, as he was behind every single attacking move and played a key role in securing the win for the Eagles.
With Cardiff's relegation sealed and Crystal Palace having already secured their Premier League safety, the final day of the season next Sunday will have no real effect on either side's final position in the table.
Cardiff conclude their stay in the top flight with a trip to Old Trafford, as they face top-four chasing Manchester United. Crystal Palace are back at Selhurst Park to finish off their campaign, as they host Bournemouth in south London.