Following a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace, Stoke City have been relegated to the Championship after 10 years in the top flight with one game to go.
The first half belonged to the home side with Xherdan Shaqiri scoring a free kick just before half time which was celebrated passionately with manager Paul Lambert. The second half Palace came out fighting with James McArthur scoring an equaliser and then Patrick Van Aanholt sealed the Potters fate in the last five minutes. An interception from Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross put the Dutchman through who slid the ball past Jack Butland and in doing so ensured Palace’s survival after one of the worst starts to the season possible. This goal led to a high majority of Stoke fans flooding the exits, the remaining fans witnessed the emotions of some of the Stoke players such as Jack Butland who was in tears on the pitch.
Credit has to be due for Roy Hodgson who took over at Palace in September with the club rock bottom of the table with not many people giving them chance of staying up, his appointment came with a lot of doubts due to his previous job as England manager which ended to defeat to Iceland at the 2016 European Championships. However he has done wonders with the Eagles and ensured there survival with a game to spare. Crystal Palace are the first top-flight team since Liverpool in the 1899-1900 season to avoid relegation despite losing their first seven matches of the season.
With Stoke going down, it is inevitable that some of the big name players are likely to leave including Shaqiri and Butland. However Stoke are hopeful to bounce back quickly but signings will need to be made including a goal scoring striker if they want to stand a chance of getting promoted next season in a very tough league with more games than the top flight. Stoke can still have an influence who can go down with them when they travel to fellow strugglers Swansea on the final day of the season.