Crystal Palace 4-1 Stoke City: Eagles rout Potters who remain rock bottom

18 Sep

Crystal Palace turned on the style at Selhurst Park to record a stunning 4-1 win over Stoke City to pick up their second successive win of the season.


An early double salvo from James Tomkins and Scott Dann put the Eagles in full control, before James McArthur and Andros Townsend rounded off the win in the second period.

It is now four defeats from five games for the Potters, and Mark Hughes’ men remain last in the Premeir League table with just one point.

The hosts started on the front foot, with Wilfried Zaha threatening down the right wing and earning a succession of corners.

And it was the tricky winger who played a key role in the goal, having drawn a foul from Marko Arnautovic.

Andros Townsend stepped up to the free-kick, curling it to the far post, and James Tomkins was there to scramble the ball home under pressure from Jonathan Walters.

And just seconds later, Palace had doubled the lead – from another set-piece.

This time it was a corner from the right wing sent into the area by Jason Punc heon, and free-scoring defender Scott Dann was there to thunder a header into the back of the net.

The hosts were enjoying their attacking dominance, and Puncheon forced a save from Shay Given after some great combination play from Zaha and Christian Benteke opened up Stoke’s horrific defence.

Playing with a swagger not seen since the early stages of last season, the Eagles threatened every time they went forward.

Townsend was fouled and sent a clever free-kick towards the near post which Given had to palm wide, before Zaha drew another foul and watched as Glen Johnson had to clear the resultant delivery from a dangerous position.

The visitors started to find some control after the half hour mark, although they failed to test Steve Mandanda in goal, ending the period without a single shot to their name.

They did open their shot tally two minutes into the second half, though Ryan Shawcross’ header was a weak effort easily held by Mandanda.

Palace went close again, with another Townsend free-kick causing chaos in the box and only just being cleared for a corner.

And from that corner, Puncheon delivered a ball which Dann headed at goal – only for Bojan to clear off the line.

The impressive Townsend again forced a chance, with Benteke going close and Zaha forcing a save from Given with a close-range backheel.

The former Spurs and Newcastle man then had a shot of his own which deflected just wide, before there were two penalty calls in quick succession – Benteke and Ledley both going down with no spotkick awarded.

But the Eagles finally got their well deserved third goal, securing all three points when James McArthur worked himself into some space and fired a deflected strike past Given from inside the area.

It was four not long after, Townsend curling in a low attempt from outside the area after wrong-footing Joe Allen and Shawcross to grab a goal he truly deserved after a man of the match showing.

Palace spent the final 10 minutes absorbing pressure without ever conceding serious attempts on goal; Wilfried Bony sent a chance over, and Diouf slipped when presented with an open goal.

Townsend was taken off to a standing ovation with five minutes remaining, and the applause for the hosts never ceased – even when Arnautovic curled a lovely effort past Mandanda to pull one for for the Potters with the final kick of the game.

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