KENYA BROWN - Monday, May 7, 2018
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City said goodbye to the Premier League after a narrow loss to Crystal Palace while Tim Ream and Fulham fell short of automatic promotion as they lost to Birmingham City.
Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace
A late goal from Patrick van Aanholt sealed Stoke City's fate as relegation was confirmed for the team following their tough loss at the Bet365 Stadium.
Cameron would watch the team end its Premier League run from the bench.
It was quite simple, the Potters need all three points to keep them in the fight to avoid going down to the Championship as a host of teams battle for survival.
The host started the game off on the right foot and was rewarded with the opening goal in the 43rd minute when Xherdan Shaqiri's free-kick went over the Crystal Palace wall, taking a slight deflection off Ruben Loftus-Cheek's head, and curled into the top corner of the goal to the delight of the Stoke fans.
Despite taking the lead, Palace would change the game in the second half and found the equalizer in the 68th minute. Wilfred Zaha would launch a counter-attack from their end, pass the ball on to Loftus-Cheek, allowing him to pass it to James McArthur, who slotted past goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Stoke would gift Palace the game-winner in the 86th minute when Ryan Shawcross tried to intercept a pass from Ryan Shawcross. However, he could stop the pace of the pass, allowing van Anholt to pounce and put his shot past Butland to seal Stoke's fate.
Stoke City sits at the bottom of the standings with 30 points with nothing to play for when the final game of the season comes the following weekend.
Birmingham City 3-1 Fulham
Fulham will head to the promotion playoffs as they came up short in their pursuit of the second automatic spot following their loss to Birmingham City at St. Andrew's Stadium.
Ream started at center back for the Cottagers in the loss.
With the second automatic promotion place still on the line and Cardiff City playing at home to Reading, the stakes were certainly high for both teams.
Fulham would find themselves down a goal in the 15th minute when Wes Harding's cross from the right found teammate Lukas Jutkiewicz in the area as he volleyed his strike into the goal from close range.
The host doubled their lead two minutes before halftime when Harlee Dean headed in a cross from Jota Peleteiro.
Fulham was reeling but cut the deficit in the 84th minute when Tom Cairney collected a pass from Floyd Ayite, flicked the ball up and headed it past goalkeeper David Stockdale.
However, the host found their insurance goal in the 89th minute as Che Adams curled his shot around Marcus Bettinelli.
Fulham finishes the regular season in third place with 88 points. They will now head into the promotion playoff semifinals where they face Derby County.
DeAndre Yedlin came off the bench for Newcastle United in their 2-1 loss to Watford.
In the Championship, Antonee Robinson started while Eric Lichaj watched from the bench as Bolton Wanderers wrapped up the season with a 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest. Bolton finishes in 21st place with 43 points, thus avoiding relegation while Forest winds up in 17th place with 53 points.
Cameron Carter-Vickers started for Ipswich Town in their 2-2 tie with Middlesbrough. The Tractor Boys finish the season in 12th place with 60 points.
Lynden Gooch did not dress for Sunderland as they bid farewell to the Championship with a 3-0 win over champions Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Black Cats finish at the bottom of the standings with 37 points.
In League One, Duane Holmes did not dress as Scunthorpe United finished the regular season with a 1-1 tie with Bradford City. The Iron will now prepare for their promotion playoff semifinal encounter with Rotherham United.
Brendan Moore watched from the bench as Rochdale escape the escaped relegation to League Two with a narrow 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic. Rochdale finishes their season in 20th place in the standings with 51 points.