Palace ended the season with an impressive 1-1 draw against Europa League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur, with Roy Hodgson's side arguably deserving all three points.
- Luka Milivojević and Wayne Hennessey return to the matchday squad – Cheikhou Kouyaté replaces the injured Mamadou Sakho at centre-back.
- Harry Kane opens the scoring. 0-1.
- HT: 0-1.
- Jeffrey Schlupp deservedly levels for Palace. 1-1.
- FT: 1-1.
Roy Hodgson stuck to the 4-4-2 formation that the Eagles had adopted in recent games, and despite going in at half-time a goal down, Palace will have been satisfied with their penultimate 45 minutes of the 2019/20 season.
With Harry Kane’s arrowed finish past Vicente Guaita on 13 minutes – after Giovani Lo Celso had nicked the ball in midfield, before finding the England international with clever little pass – not curtailing Palace’s game plan and bullish approach.
Hodgson’s charges had clearly targeted set-pieces and the space in behind the Lilywhites’ full-backs – particularly Serge Aurier – with several diagonal balls looking to free Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha.
It was the former who had Palace’s first chance of the game, which would’ve provided an almost instant response from the south Londoners, but the long-range effort went over Hugo Lloris’ goal.
Jeffrey Schlupp continued his impressive return to action, with a performance in midfield not showcasing any suggestions of lacking match fitness, and registered a fine driven shot from the edge of the area just before the half hour mark. However, Lloris’ view was clear and the shot stopper positioned himself well to get behind – and hold – the shot.
It would’ve been unfair to see Jose Mourinho’s side double their lead on 32 minutes, such was the impetus and desire from the Eagles, however, it was a miracle they didn’t.
Lucas Moura danced into the box past two Palace players, before capitalising on a moments hesitation between Guaita and has back line and rounding the Eagles ‘keeper. The angle was too hard for the Brazil international to score but his cross was as inviting as they come, but thankfully for Hodgson’s side no Spurs players were in the six-yard box to tap home unimpeded.
Given the red and blue's approach to the first-half, it was fitting – and deserved – that Jeffrey Schlupp levelled up proceedings at Selhurst Park from a corner kick.
A deep corner from McCarthy found Scott Dann at the back post, the centre-back’s header back across goal found Jordan Ayew unmarked. However, slightly off balance, the striker could only scuff the ball to Schlupp, but the Ghana international welcomed the invitation to rifle home, unmarked, from the centre of the penalty box.
Ahead of the End of Season Awards, Joel Ward almost added an 11th hour nominee when the full-back’s cross almost on the byline hit the crossbar, with Lloris clearly misjudging the flight of the ball and seemingly thinking Ward’s effort was heading for the side netting – a let-off for Tottenham’s No.1.
Hodgson brought on fresh legs in Jaïro Riedewald for James McArthur, and Palace continued to push and look the most likely to take the lead, with Ayew next to try and test Lloris but the striker couldn’t find his 10th league goal of the season.
Palace pushed and pushed to end their season with a well-deserved three points and, just like at Chelsea a couple of weeks back, Scott Dann thought he was going to be the injury time hero. However, the centre-back's header went just the wrong side of the post.
Hodgson will be delighted with his side's performance in their final 90 of the season, with plenty of positives to take from today and across the whole of the unqiue 11-month season.
Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, Mitchell, Schlupp [Milivojević 85], McArthur [Riedewald 69], McCarthy, Townsend, Zaha, Ayew.
Subs not used: Hennessey, Kelly, Woods, Kirby, Meyer, Pierrick, Gordon.
Spurs: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies, Sissoko [Skipp 79], Winks, Lo Celso [Bergwijn 60], Lucas [Sánchez 90], Kane, Son [Alli 79].
Subs not used: Vertonghen, Lamela, Sessegnon, Gazzaniga, Tanganga.