(Reuters) – CRYSTALPALACE 5 BOURNEMOUTH 3
Crystal Palace ended their season in style on Sunday with a thrilling 5-3 triumph over Bournemouth at Selhurst Park that ensured they completed their best campaign in the Premier League era.
Two goals midway through the first half from Michy Batshuayi set Palace on their way to a victory that saw them finish 12th on 49 points from their 38 games, equalling their best tally in a Premier League season, set in 1992-93 over a 42-game campaign.
The Belgian striker gave Palace a 24th-minute lead after Wilfried Zaha’s deflected cross fell into his path and doubled the advantage eight minutes later with a first-time finish from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s low cross.
Woeful Bournemouth defending then saw Zaha’s shot saved by teenage keeper Mark Travers only for the ball to rebound off the shin of Cherries’ defender Jack Simpson and trickle apologetically into the net for an own goal.
A thunderous 30-metre strike from Jefferson Lerma just before the break and Jordan Ibe’s deflected 56th-minute effort gave Bournemouth hope before Patrick van Aanholt’s neat finish to a fine team move saw Palace briefly repel the comeback.
Still, Bournemouth would not lie down as a Joshua King goal ensured a frenetic finish but Andros Townsend sealed the 100th victory of Palace manager Roy Hodgson’s Premier League career in the 80th minute, consigning Bournemouth to a 14th-place finish on 45 points.
(Writing by Ian Chadband; Editing by Toby Davis)