Cardiff City will make an instant return to the Championship after their Premier League relegation was confirmed with a 2-3 home defeat against an impressive Crystal Palace.
Needing to win this game to keep intact their faint hopes of staying up, Cardiff hit the post inside the first minute through Josh Murphy but then fell behind when their former loanee Wilfried Zaha fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The Bluebirds equalised less than two minutes later as Martin Kelly turned a Leandro Bacuna cross into his own net, only for Palace to regain the lead as Michy Batshuayi applied an emphatic finish to a fluent passing move.
Cardiff rallied with a handful of second-half chances but Andros Townsend crushed any lingering hopes the hosts had of avoiding relegation when he cut inside from the right wing and struck with a low effort that went in off the post.
Bobby Reid scored in the 90th minute to reduce the Bluebirds’ deficit but they were ultimately well beaten by a confident Palace side, who climbed up to 12th in the Premier League table.
In a quirky twist of fate, the Eagles’ victory also secured top-flight survival for their bitter rivals Brighton.
Cardiff, meanwhile, are left to reflect on their second successive Premier League stint the that has ended after a single season. BBC