Sheffield United 0 Crystal Palace 2 - Eagles rubber-stamp survival as Blades lose 28th Premier League game

Crystal Palace earned the win that mathematically secured their Premier League survival as they overcame already-relegated Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

RESULT: Sheffield United 0-2 Crystal Palace. Picture: Getty Images.

Christian Benteke’s early goal and Eberechi Eze’s late clincher ensured Roy Hodgson’s side won 2-0 in the rain on Saturday to end a three-match losing run.

The Eagles were all but safe before arriving in Sheffield but this victory made absolutely sure.

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The scoreline might have been more comfortable for the visitors had it not been for a combination of wayward finishing and good goalkeeping by Aaron Ramsdale, particularly in the first half.

RESULT: Sheffield United 0-2 Crystal Palace. Picture: Getty Images.

Palace scored after only 67 seconds. Eze’s driving run down the centre of the pitch from just inside the Blades’ half saw him skip between three defenders before rolling the ball to Benteke, who was unmarked down the left side of the penalty area.

His shot was tame and would have been a simple enough save for Ramsdale but a deflection off the studs of George Baldock left him stranded and with no chance as the shot looped over his despairing dive.

A deflection worked in Ramsdale’s favour midway through the first half when Luka Milivojevic’s fierce shot ricocheted into his arms.

Palace were dominant, allowing no room in midfield, and they had a couple of great chances to extend their lead as half-time approached.

Ramsdale produced a superb save to deny Benteke when it looked like the big forward would simply tap home Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross from close range, but the England Under-21 international got a strong arm on the ball to push it away.

Eze then wasted a clear opportunity after creating space for himself inside the box by cutting inside John Egan, dragging his effort wide of the far post.

The Blades improved after the break but still failed to register a shot on target. Egan should have done better than scoop his shot well over the crossbar following an early second-half corner.

Another fine save from Ramsdale just before the hour mark thwarted Benteke again as his driven shot was touched on to a post by the goalkeeper’s fingertips.

Benteke, Andros Townsend and Jordan Ayew all saw goalbound efforts blocked as Palace pushed for the second goal. Ayew also saw a driven shot from an angle well parried by Ramsdale.

The second and decisive goal came two minutes from time courtesy of another wonderful solo run by Eze, although it was another deflected goal.

The winger slipped away from John Lundstram midway inside his own half by the touchline and embarked on a driving run towards the Blades goal.

He had options to set up a team-mate but decided to shoot, with his effort striking John Fleck and wrong-footing Ramsdale once more. Like the first, it was a goal which summed up the Blades’ season.

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