(Reuters) - Dwight Gayle scored twice as Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Stoke City 2-1 in an entertaining game at Selhurst Park on Saturday to confirm their Premier League safety.
The win takes FA Cup finalists Palace up to 14th on 42points, eight clear of 18th-placed Newcastle United with one game to play, while Stoke are 10th on 48, having now gone six league games without a win.
“If you look at the history of the FA Cup and this division, getting to the final can cost you your status,” Palace coach Alan Pardew told the club’s website (www.cpfc.co.uk). “We were conscious of that.”
Gayle secured Palace’s second win in 20 league games with a magnificent 68th-minute free kick, curling the ball beyond Jakob Haugaard from 25 metres after Ryan Shawcross had brought down Connor Wickham.
“Gayley’s had a funny season,” Pardew continued. “Injuries and our form have limited his time. We secured his future because he scores goals; he’s put himself in contention for Wembley.”
The visitors took the lead in the 26th minute when Charlie Adam finished off a fine team move but Gayle levelled for Palace in their final home game of the season after being picked out by the dazzling Yannick Bolasie two minutes into the second half.
”Allowing them back in so quickly after the half-time break
knocked us sideways and we didn’t really get our game going until we were chasing late on,” Stoke coach Mark Hughes told Signal Sport.
Reporting by Ed Dove; editing by Clare Fallon