Wilfried Zaha inspired Crystal Palace to a hugely entertaining win over Bournemouth on the last day of the season at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles talisman set up three of his side’s five as Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth proved worthy opponents in a game with little on the line.

A Michy Batshuayi brace, a Jack Simpson own goal, and a strike a piece from Patrick van Aanholt and Andros Townsend secured a 12th place league finish in a game that had a party-atmosphere to it way before kick-off.

The Cherries, starting the day a place below their hosts, kept Palace honest through a Jefferson Lerma piledriver just before the half, whilst Jordan Ibe and Joshua King efforts kept the visitor in the contest in the second 45.

Quick Start

With less than five minutes on the clock Milivojevic struck a fierce long-range effort against the post after some slick passing down the left.

On 25 minutes the Eagles did ramp up the party dial.

Palace’s on-loan forward Batshuayi acrobatically finishing a deflected Zaha cross leaving defenders Steve Cook and Jack Simpson blaming each other for ball-watching.

There was no let up for the Bournemouth defence and with their tails up and a bouncing Holmesdale end behind them they deservedly doubled their lead on 32 minutes.

The on-loan Chelsea man with the simplest of tap-ins after a cut back from the flawless Aaron Wan-Bissaka who was set free down the right by the busy Max Meyer.

It was three five minutes before the break and it came in comical fashion.

Zaha faced with a one-on-one scuffed his effort directly at the much-hyped Mark Travers in goal who flapped the ball against the retreating Simpson who could do nothing than watch the ball roll in to the back of the net.

There was time for another before the break and it was a contender for goal of the month.

Lerma picked the ball up and lashed home a 30-yard thunderbolt that clipped the post as it whistled past a despairing Guaita in goal.

A strike that Andros Townsend would be pleased with.

No Let Up

For Palace’s early domination in the second period it was Howe’s men who got back in to the game through a deflected Ibe strike on 56 minutes.

Zaha carelessly lost possession in an attacking position and Adam Smith’s cut back from the left found the former Liverpool man waiting on the edge of the box to pull the visitors to within one.

Zaha himself made amends ten minutes later as his neat touch and lay-off set up an on-rushing van Aanholt who cooly slid it under Travers to make it 4-2.

Bournemouth struck back eight minutes later as the newly introduced Chris Mepham flicked on a corner to King who tucked away at the back post to narrow the lead once again.

Palace’s fifth may read Townsend but he owes so much to Zaha after the Ivorian ran the length of the field being hacked, pulled and taunted before laying it on a plate to surely make the game safe for the home side.

What a player.


Crystal Palace: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Ward, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Meyer, Townsend (Tavares 90’) , Zaha (Sako 85’), Batshuayi (Wickham 86’)

Subs: Hennessey, Tavares, Benteke, Wickham, Sako, Dreher, Riedewald,

Bournemouth: Travers, Cook, Ake, Simpson (Mepham 68’), Clyne, Smith, Lerma, Fraser, Ibe(Moussett 68’), King, Wilson