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      Report & Highlights: Rak-Sakyi bags hat-trick as Palace steamroll Spurs

      Crystal Palace U21
      Mathurin 26'
      Rak-Sakyi 31' 44' 60'
      Williams 46'
      Tottenham Hotspur U21

      On a lovely Monday evening at the VBS Community Stadium, Crystal Palace Under-21s signed off the initial league phase of the Premier League 2 with a resounding 5-0 win over table topping Tottenham Hotspur. A hat-trick from Jesuruan Rak-Sakyi along with goals from Roshaun Mathurin and Vonnte Williams saw the Eagles win in style.


      • Ozoh, Rak-Sakyi and Reid came in as the three changes to the side

      • Rak-Sakyi and Imray combine well down the right and threaten early on

      • Mathurin puts Palace ahead from the spot 25 minutes in

      • Rak-Sakyi doubles the lead just four minutes later

      • Whitworth saves Kyerematen’s effort from a narrow angle

      • Rak-Sakyi gets his second and Palace’s third just before half-time

      • HT: Palace 3-0 Spurs

      • Vonnte Williams nets his first of the season 16 seconds after the restart

      • Rak-Sakyi completes his hat-trick on the hour-mark

      • Akinwale nearly flicks in a sixth from a corner after great work from Imray

      • Mathurin and Gibbard come close to adding a sixth in stoppage time

      • FT: Palace 5-0 Spurs

      Just three days on from securing their place in the Premier League 2 play-off stage against Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace Under-21s hosted Tottenham Hotspur in their final game of the regular league format.

      The new structure of the league in 20232/24 means that the top 16 sides qualify for a play-off stage in order to determine the winner of the tournament.

      Head coach Darren Powell made three changes to the side, with David Ozoh, Jes Rak-Sakyi and Dylan Reid all returning in place of Mofe Jemide, Jack Wells-Morrison and Trialist.

      Though Palace had already qualified for the play-off stage, they still needed to finish within the top 12 places in order to guarantee a spot in next season’s Premier League International Cup and therefore started brightly.

      Both Danny Imray and Rak-Sakyi were causing problems down the right hand side early on. The former dragged an effort narrowly across the face of goal, while the latter forced a corner which was almost converted and set up Noah Watson who couldn’t generate enough power on his effort.

      The early pressure paid off as the Eagles were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute. A delightful ball from Dylan Reid was picked up by Imray and the wing-back was brought down inside the box.

      Up stepped Roshaun Mathurin from 12-yards out against his former club and the Palace No. 10 netted his 10th goal of the season by sending Luca Gunter the wrong way.

      This opened the floodgates as the Eagles were wheeling away in celebration once again just four minutes later. This time it was Rak-Sakyi who got his name on the scoresheet as he squeezed in a first-time effort from the narrowest of angles.

      The north London outfit now had it all to do if they were to keep their unbeaten away record intact. Their best effort of the half came from Rio Kyerematen, who fired a fierce shot into the palms of Joe Whitworth.

      Just before half-time, Palace compounded the misery for Spurs as Rak-Sakyi netted his second. Pressing from the front, Ozoh forced a loose back pass from Will Andiyapan for Rak-Sakyi to pounce on and easily slot home.

      The three points were effectively sealed with Palace three goals to the good at the break, but they did not rest on their laurels. Instead, they came out in the second-half and immediately scored a fourth just 16 seconds after the whistle was blown.

      A long ball over the top from Kaden Rodney picked out Imray in behind, who in turn managed to cut it back across the face of goal into the path of Vonnte Williams who couldn’t miss from six-yards out.

      His first goal of the season, which meant a lot to him after a lengthy spell out with injury, only spurred the side on to add more to their tally. Ozoh smartly chased a ball that would’ve otherwise been offside and saw an effort saved, while Imray’s chest and volley inside the box was turned behind.

      On the hour-mark, Palace made it five. Another incisive pass from Rodney saw him pick out Ozoh in behind, and the bustling midfielder drove into space and cut it across into Rak-Sakyi for his hat-trick.

      If the game wasn’t over by half-time, it surely was now. The south Londoners saw off the remaining half hour with little-to-no threat from their north London counterparts. Late attempts from substitutes Victor Akinwale and Joe Gibbard nearly saw Palace add a sixth.

      The result means the U21s finish the 2023/24 Premier League 2 in ninth place on 31 points, however they now advance to face Liverpool away from home in the round of 16 in the play-off phase.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Imray, Rodney, Farquhar, Watson, V. Williams (Trialist, 81), Reid (Gibbard, 75), Ozoh, Rak-Sakyi (Akinwale, 61), Mathurin, Devenny.

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Jemide.

      Spurs: Gunter (GK), McKnight, Clinton, King (Baptiste, HT), Andiyapan, Ashcroft, Akhamrich (Black, 70), Kyerematen (Olusesi, HT), J. Williams, John (Ajayi, HT), Soonsup-Bell (Lankshear, 70).