Stoke’s decade-long stay in the Premier League ended after Crystal Palace secured a comeback victory at the Bet365 Stadium earlier today. Stoke came into the game in desperate need of a win and got some good fortune when Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected home Shaqiri’s free kick just before the break.
But their weak performance never looked like preserving that lead and a season of dismay ended with misery for the club as Paul Lambert’s team were relegated in front of their own fans.
🗣️ “We have given it a right go, my players couldn’t have given me anymore than they have done but unfortunately we have just come up short.”
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) May 5, 2018
Stoke’s decline can be traced as far back as the final months of last season. Perhaps it would have been different had the decision to get rid of manager Hughes had been made earlier. He was given the heave in January, but warning signs had been ocurring well before then.
Even Palace goal scorer Van Aanholt had to offer his commiserations.
Normally I like to celebrate when I score but I’d like to apologise to Stoke City and their fans, I wish my goal didn’t relegate you, but you’ll be back soon! Great club with great fans 👊🏽
— Patrick van Aanholt (@pvanaanholt) May 5, 2018
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