Cardiff relegated as away-day kings Palace hit three
Cardiff City’s brief stay in the Premier League ended on Saturday after they were beaten 3-2 by visitors Crystal Palace in a result that ensured Brighton & Hove Albion stay up.
Cardiff needed a win to stand any chance of catching 17th-placed Brighton, who are four points above them with one game remaining.
Goals from Cardiff’s former loanee Wilfried Zaha, who was jeered on his return to Wales, Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend sealed the home side’s fate after they were given brief hope by a comical own-goal equaliser by Martin Kelly.
Bobby Reid hit back in stoppage time but the goal came too late to make a difference.
Cardiff’s chances were not helped by an early injury to influential Victor Camarasa, who limped off after just 11 minutes.
Zaha’s opened the scoring on 28 minutes before Kelly sliced the ball past his own keeper three minutes later. But Batshuayi restored Palace’s first-half lead after rounding off a clever move with Jordan Ayew.
Cardiff rallied after the break with Josh Murphy and Kenneth Zohore both going close, and Kelly clearing another Murphy effort off the line. However, Townsend burst from the halfway line to shoot in off the post after 70 minutes as Palace won for the fifth time in six away league games.
REUTERS/Reporting by Neil Robinson Editing by Christian Radnedge