Crystal Palace 4-1 Stoke City: Potters embarrassed by fluid Palace
- James Tomkins and Scott Dann both struck inside 15 mins
- Geoff Cameron own-goal seals it with 18 mins left
- Andros Townsend picked up his first Palace goal
Crystal Palace appeared on the front foot immediately behind the vocal home fans, and they were rewarded immediately. James Tomkins opened the scoring on his full debut in the 9th minute, beating Jonathan Walters to a long free-kick at the back post and touching home.
Scott Dann then picked up the second just two minutes later as Jason Puncheon rifled a blistering cross in from the right edge, and the 29-year-old defender rose high above his mark to power home the header for a stunning 2-0 lead.
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The visitors didn’t look to be buoyed by their adversity, instead pushing forward only in small spurts. The game ground to a halt as the first half wore on, and the halftime break came without any more danger on either side. Dann continued to cause problems after the break, seeing yet another powerful header cleared off the line on 52 minutes, very nearly handing Palace a third.
0 - Stoke have never gone on to win a Premier League game when behind by two goals or more. Challenge.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2016
Again Palace should have had a third moments later, but again they were somehow denied at the line. Andros Townsend’s cross sailed over the head of Christian Benteke and right to the feet of Wilfried Zaha, but with the ball bouncing around in front of net, both attackers failed to get a final touch, and the ball was eventually cleared.
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Palace finally sealed the game on a free-kick with 18 minutes to go. The ball comes to James McArthur at the top corner of the box, and his shot took a massive deflection off Geoff Cameron and nestled into the back of the net, officially an own-goal with the original effort likely off target.
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Townsend put a cherry on top with a quality solo goal, dribbling through the attacking half, touching brilliantly onto his right foot, and passing a curler into the bottom corner for Palace’s fourth. The goal sealed the embarrassing 4-0 scoreline for Stoke City, who still remain on just a single point through five matches.
With the game already out of reach, Stoke struggled to put together a consolation as Wilfried Bony had the goal gaping on 83 minutes following a mistake by Mathieu Flamini, but he overran the ball and saw the chance evaporate. Walters had a chance himself in the final minute, but he fired wide after sending Martin Kelly flying by. They would get one finally at the death as Marko Arnautovic delivered a curler into the top corner.
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Meanwhile, the Eagles closer to the top half with their second win of the season, advancing to seven points which pushes them level with four other clubs but ahead of them all on goal difference.