Wilfried Zaha strikes as Crystal Palace brush aside West Brom

This game ended up a celebration of Roy Hodgson, with the affection bellowed by both sets of supporters. The home support in the Holmesdale end waited until early in the second half to unfurl their banners of appreciation, with the ground then united in chorusing the former England manager’s name. He looked almost sheepish acknowledging the adulation. West Bromwich Albion remember Hodgson fondly from his time at the Hawthorns, where he ensured survival and then consolidation over a 15-month tenure prior to taking up the reins of the national side. He has galvanised Palace in similar fashion, with a team who were goalless and pointless after seven matches ending the campaign outside the top half only on goal difference. The rise has been remarkable. Hodgson, Croydon-born and content in familiar surroundings, can plan progression from now on. Continue reading...

Premier League of stasis still has a compelling magic all of its own | Barney Ronay

Somehow, with no title race since 2014 and Manchester City all but wrapping up this one in October, it has still been enthralling
And now the end is near. And so we face the final curtain or at best a rather demob-happy, oddly tension-free final flutter of a curtain that fell some time ago for most of English football’s top tier. Sunday’s final fixtures of the Premier League season will be played out in the usual conjoined fashion, simultaneous kick-offs designed to offer last-day drama and a level playing field to the final jostle for air and space. Continue reading...

Crystal Palace v West Brom: match preview

Two of the division’s form teams meet on the final day, with the occasion little more than a celebration of the two managers. Roy Hodgson’s feat in steering Crystal Palace to safety, despite a chronic injury crisis, having been pointless in mid-October has been remarkable. Darren Moore, even only in his capacity as a caretaker, has mustered 11 points from five matches, claimed the manager of the month award for April and endured relegation on Tuesday. The hope – and it is only a hope as yet – is he is given a chance to take up the reins on a permanent basis. Dominic Fifield Sunday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the final day

A wake is in store in Swansea, Klopp faced with a juggling act and a swansong for Conte and Benítez? This feature, you will note, is called ‘10 Things to Look Out For’ rather than ‘10 Things to Look Forward To’. Thank goodness for that, because there might not be much to look forward to at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. The match between Swansea and Stoke is likely to be a wake, with both clubs wondering how the hell they got into this mess. A number of players will be making their last appearance for both sides, seeing no contradiction in the belief that they are far too good to play in the Championship. Swansea could still stay up, but they need snookers, a miracle and, most unlikely of all, at least one goal. RS Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Aubameyang can revive Arsenal, Butland lays bare Stoke’s shameful truth and West Ham would be foolish to ditch Moyes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might not be a classic Arsène Wenger signing because he cost a lot of money and is already close to his peak but at 28 he is certainly a man who can lead the next incarnation of Arsenal. Alongside Alexandre Lacazette the duo showed how exciting Arsenal can still be even if Burnley looked like a team packed for their summer holidays as they made up the numbers, offering less energy than the post-match speeches, in what was effectively a testimonial at the Emirates. Wenger might rue the fact he missed bringing the Gabonese international Aubameyang to England earlier – a striker not deemed good enough by Milan in his youth would have made the perfect project for the outgoing manager – but he is still leaving behind something Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert ‘gutted’ after relegation from Premier League – video

Stoke City's manager, Paul Lambert, said his team's lack of a 'natural instinct of a goal scorer' contributed to their eventual relegation from the Premier League after a 10-year stay, as the Scottish manager spoke after their 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace. Their 10-season spell in the top flight is now over Stoke relegated from Premier League after Van Aanholt strikes for Crystal Palace Continue reading...

Stoke relegated from Premier League after Van Aanholt strikes for Crystal Palace

Exactly a decade ago on Friday, Stoke won promotion to the Premier League with a tense draw against Leicester. Their 10 season spell in the top flight is now over, after a 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace confirmed their relegation. At full-time they remained three points from safety with one game to play, but because Swansea face Southampton on Tuesday, one of those teams’ tally will increase beyond what is available to Paul Lambert’s side. Continue reading...

Stoke City v Crystal Palace: match preview

It is do or die time for Stoke. A fourth successive draw would not be enough: Paul Lambert’s side must win this match if they are to have any chance of going into their final match of the campaign with survival still possible. Crystal Palace, though technically not safe yet, arrive in buoyant mood thanks to last week’s thrashing of Leicester. Paul Doyle Saturday 12.30pm Sky Sports Premier League Continue reading...

Crystal Palace match is ‘a war we have to win’ says Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri

• Swiss forward will discuss his future whatever the outcome
• The most important thing is to stay up then rebuild, he saysXherdan Shaqiri will hold talks with Stoke City about his future in the summer regardless of whether they retain their Premier League status, with the Switzerland forward determined to do everything in his power to help the club survive this season but honest enough to admit that fighting relegation is not what he signed up for when he joined from Internazionale. Speaking in the lead-up to the critical home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Shaqiri sounded totally committed in the short term as he stressed the need for “11 warriors on the pitch” for a game that Stoke must win to have any chance of avoiding the drop, yet there was also no escaping his sense of disappointment at the way things have turned out at the Continue reading "Crystal Palace match is ‘a war we have to win’ says Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri"

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

José Mourinho needs to make drastic changes, Rafael Benítez is getting best out of his players and Jordan Ayew is on a mission Having so meekly allowed Manchester City to claim the Premier League title, a process of rebuilding Manchester United into future champions starts now. The non-inclusion of Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw in José Mourinho’s match‑day 18 for this game at Old Trafford indicated where a long-awaited clear-out of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal recruits is likely to begin. But it will take more than that to revitalise United. The shapeless sludge of this performance against West Brom was no anomaly. Chief among the reasons United have been left in City’s wake is Mourinho’s inability to get the best from his purported stars. Paul Pogba lasted less than an hour before being substituted, while Alexis Sánchez waits to reveal anything like the form Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"