Cardiff City suffers Premier League relegation after loss to Crystal Palace

In a thrilling contest, Crystal Palace condemned Cardiff City to an immediate return to the Championship.

Cardiff City mascot and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing of Cardiff City look dejected as their team are relegated from the Premier League.   -  Getty Images

Cardiff City has been relegated from the Premier League after falling to a 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Defeat for Neil Warnock's side leaves it four points behind Brighton and Hove Albion with only one game remaining – against Manchester United at Old Trafford next weekend.

Wilfried Zaha put the Eagles ahead after 28 minutes with a cool finish from 20 yards but the Bluebirds were given a lifeline when Martin Kelly put through his own net three minutes later. They were unable to take advantage of that reprieve, however, falling behind to Michy Batshuayi's strike after 39 minutes.

Despite an improved second-half performance, which saw them go close through Josh Murphy and Kenneth Zohore, their fate was sealed when Andros Townsend added a third 20 minutes from time.

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Bobby Reid netted in the last minute but the damage had been done as Cardiff turn its attention to another season back in the Championship.

Aron Gunnarson played his final home game for Cardiff City.   -  Getty Images

 

Key Opta Facts:

- Cardiff has been relegated, becoming the only team to play in more than one Premier League season and be relegated in every single one (also relegated in 2013-14).
- Palace has won 29 away Premier League points this season (W9 D2 L8) – only Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have won more.
- Warnock has suffered his third top-flight relegation, going down with three different teams in three different decades – Notts County in 1991-92, Sheffield United in 2006-07 and Cardiff in 2018-19.
- Only Jamie Vardy (10) and Harry Kane (11) have scored more away Premier League goals this season than Zaha (nine).
- Kelly has scored each of Palace's last two own-goals in the Premier League, scoring one today and against Chelsea in March 2018.

 

Wilfried Zaha celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace's first goal against Cardiff City.   -  Reuters

 

What does it mean? Bluebirds fail to outrun woeful start

The difficulty of Cardiff's task was made clear during an eight-game winless run to start the campaign. It found its feet after that chastening baptism but it has proved too little, too late and an immediate return to the Championship awaits. Whether Warnock, who received generous applause from the home fans after the full-time whistle, is in charge remains to be seen.

Palace, meanwhile, make it three away wins on the spin and can start planning for what it hopes will be a more consistent campaign next time out.

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Zaha hits new heights

The 26-year-old was at his mesmerising best, causing problems for Cardiff's defenders throughout. His strike takes him to 10 in the Premier League this season – his highest ever return in the competition.

Kelly's howler does not prove costly

The former Liverpool defender was starting just his 11th Premier League game of the campaign and it showed with his shocking own goal. He will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when Batshuayi hit the net soon after.

What's next?

Warnock faces the difficult task of lifting his players for the visit to United next weekend, while Hodgson's side finishes its campaign with the visit of Bournemouth.

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