Christian Benteke scored inside 70 seconds as Palace secured Premier League safety with a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Eagles took the lead inside 70 seconds after some magical dribbling from Eberechi, the midfielder weaving through the Blades midfield before playing in Benteke whose deflected shot found the net.
And the visitors were on top throughout the first 45, and only failed to increase their lead due to some bad passes in the final third and a brilliant save from Aaron Ramsdale.
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Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross was met by Benteke who looked certain to head home his second, but Ramsdale’s diving save kept the score line at 1-0 heading into the interval.
The hosts looked a much better side after the break and should’ve equalised when John Egan slashed Oliver Norwood’s corner over the bar.
Sheffield United responded in kind, and were desperately close to a second when Benteke dispossessed John Fleck before smacking the post with a fierce effort.
Chris Balham lashed the side netting as the Blades went hunting for a leveller, while Eze’s dribbles continued to torment his opponents and substitute Jordan Ayew’s effort was cleared off the line by Enda Stevens.
But the hosts couldn’t find the equaliser and the visitors doubled their lead late through Eberechi Eze.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Eberechi Eze
One moment of magic from the liquid midfielder was enough to get Palace out of the blocks inside 70 seconds. Looked a constant threat and created space out of nothing with his surging runs.
TALKING POINT – Blades must start from scratch
Second season syndrome is a well-documented phenomenon in the Premier League, but few have suffered it quite like the Blades.
They could yet be the worst goalscoring side in Premier league history, and the most beaten team ever too.
It’s been a rotten season, with a bad run of injuries, but the Blades have been relegated before and bounced back, and they will need to summon the spirit of last season when they’re back in the Championship in September.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale 7, Baldock 7, Basham 6, Egan 5, Bryan 6, Stevens 5, Berge 5, Norwood 5, Fleck 6, McGoldrick 4, Burke 4. Subs. Osborn 5, Jebbison 6, Lundstram n/a.
Crystal Palace: Guaita 6, Ward 6, Kouyate 7, Cahill 7, Mitchell 6, Milivojevic 7, Eze 8, Townsend 7, Schlupp 7, Benteke 7, Zaha 6. Subs. Riedewald 5, Ayew 5.
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2' - GOAL! SHEFF UTD 0 PALACE 1 (Benteke) How about that!? Palace are up inside two minutes after Eze glides through the Blades midfield before playing in an unmarked Benteke whose effort is deflected into the net.
42’ - GREAT SAVE! Oh my word. One of the saves of the season. Schlupp gets a cross in for Benteke whose header looks for all the world like hitting the back of the net. But Ramsdale dives down left to his left to claw the ball to safety. Inspired 'keeping.
51’ - CLOSE! Norwood's corner finds Egan at the back post in space, but he slices it over. Glorious opportunity.
59’ - POST! Benteke nabs the ball off Fleck and sprints into the box before whacking an effort onto the post.
78’ - WHAT A MISS? Ayew has an open goal with his first touch but whacks it at Enda Stevens on the line. Dear me.
88' - GOAL! SHEFF UTD 0 PALACE 2 (Eze) He has his goal! It's another deflection but Palace won't care. He runs all the way and finally gets the shot away which is a tame shot that bounces off Fleck and hits the net.
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