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Moments Of The Decade: 2013 Play-Offs

25 November 2015

All this week we are giving you the chance to vote for your favourite Palace moment of the last decade. Here we look back at the 2013 Championship Play-Offs that booked the Eagles' place in the Premier League.

After a turbulent 2012/13 campaign that saw Dougie Freedman poached by Bolton Wanderers after guiding the Eagles to the top of the Championship table by November and Ian Holloway appointed as his successor, Palace managed to remain among candidates for promotion but a late season dip saw them fall away from the automatic positions.

Indeed their place in the four-team competition to determine who would ultimately be promoted alongside Cardiff City and Hull City was in jeopardy by the end of the campaign, however a last-gasp 3-2 victory against Peterborough United ended any fears and set up a mouthwatering two-legged play-off tie against arch rivals Brighton and Hove Albion.

The first leg at Selhurst Park was tense and ended goalless, but it was overshadowed by an injury to Palace's 31-goal man Glenn Murray who ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments and would be out of action for nine months.

Three days later Holloway took his side to the Amex Stadium without their main man, but they dampened the electric atmosphere with a fine first-half performance. In the second half Jonny Williams missed a golden chance when sent one-on-one with Tomasz Kuszczak, and Ashley Barnes saw an effort cleared off the line before hitting the bar, but in the 69th minute the breakthrough finally arrived.

Having agreed to join Manchester United in January, Wilfried Zaha was seemingly on a one-man crusade to steer Palace into the Premier League with him, and he stooped to head home a Yannick Bolasie cross to hand his side the lead.

And the win would be wrapped up two minutes from time when the winger got the ball 25 yards out, turned past a defender and lashed the ball into the net to send the travelling hoards crazy, and set up a Wembley final against Watford two weeks later.

Another tight contest would be in store and the sides would go into extra-time locked at 0-0, but in the dying moments of the first half of the additional 30 minutes Zaha drew a foul from Marco Cassetti and Kevin Phillips fired the penalty into the top corner.

Palace held on to claim the victory but only after Joel Ward had headed Fernando Forestieri's goalbound curler off the line in the final seconds, allowing Mile Jedinak to climb the Wembley steps and hoist the trophy that signified the Eagles' return to the top-flight after an eight year absence.

Was this your favourite Eagles moment from the last 10 years? Vote for yours online here where you can watch this and the all the other contenders now!

Read more about the other nine contenders here.

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