PREM: Crystal Palace 4-0 Hull City


Harry Maguire looks on dejected as Palace race into the lead

Crystal Palace secured their Premier League status and relegated Hull City in the process with an emphatic 4-0 victory


In a game they could ill-afford to lose, Hull got off to a nightmare start as Andrea Ranocchia's third-minute error presented Wilfried Zaha with the opener, before Christian Benteke notched his sixth goal in nine games on 34 minutes.

Hull were incensed Zaha was not penalised for handball in the build-up to Palace's second, while they were also denied a penalty for Jason Puncheon's clear handball.

Marco Silva threw two extra forwards on at half-time but it was too little, too late for the toothless Tigers as a Luka Milivojevic penalty and Patrick van Aanholt's late strike settled the contest.

The result sees Hull join Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship and maintains Sam Allardyce's record of never being relegated from the top-flight.

James Tomkins and Yohan Cabaye returned for Palace while Evandro and Michael Dawson - making his first start in four - were recalled as both managers made two changes ahead of the season-defining clash.

Palace entered the game knowing they would secure their top-flight status if they avoided defeat, while Hull needed to win away for only the second time to keep their survival hopes alive.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start as Ranocchia's mis-kicked clearance fell perfectly for Zaha, who settled the Selhurst Park nerves with a clinical third-minute finish.

One nearly became two on 10 minutes, but Tomkins' glancing header failed to punish Hull's motionless, zonal defence.

The same motionless rearguard would cost the Tigers shortly after the half-hour mark as an unmarked Benteke was allowed to attack a corner, and his towering header doubled Palace's lead.

Hull protests, for a Zaha handball in the build-up, fell on deaf ears, and further insult was added when Kamil Grosicki's free-kick was blocked by Puncheon's arm.

The offside flag came to Hull's rescue, preventing Palace from extending their lead before the interval, where Marco Silva sacrificed two defenders for forwards Shaun Maloney and Jarrod Bowen. And 20-year-old Bowen was presented with a great chance to spark a Hull revival on the hour, but, despite being unmarked in the area, he failed to steer Sam Clucas' cross on target.

But that was as close as Hull came to rescuing themselves as Milivojevic, after Dawson hauled down Jeff Schlupp in the area, made it three from the spot before Van Aanholt secured a fifth successive Premier League season for the Eagles with the fourth in the final minute.


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