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May 8, 2021 at 3pm UK
Sheff UtdSheffield United
0-2
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace

Norwood (38')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Benteke (2'), Eze (88')
Ward (30')

Roy Hodgson hails "bold" Ebere Eze after Sheff Utd performance

:Headline: Roy Hodgson hails 'bold' Ebere Eze after Sheff Utd performance:
The 22-year-old has done well during his first season of top-flight football and starred in the win over Sheffield United.
Sports Mole

Eberechi Eze earned the praise of his manager Roy Hodgson following an eye-catching display against Sheffield United as Crystal Palace ensured their Premier League survival.

The Eagles got the win that mathematically secured their top-flight status as they overcame the already-relegated Blades at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Christian Benteke's early goal and Eze's late clincher ensured Hodgson's side won 2-0 to end a three-match losing run.

Eze, signed from QPR last summer, was a menace throughout with his driving runs and capped a fine performance with a goal two minutes from time.

Another wonderful solo dart, similar to that which created Benteke's goal, saw the winger slip away from John Lundstram midway inside his own half by the touchline and head for the penalty area. He had options to set up a team-mate but decided to shoot, with his effort striking John Fleck and wrong-footing Aaron Ramsdale

"He was very good, wasn't he?" said Hodgson. "It was a bit of a baptism of fire with three games in a row against Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City, in that it's not easy against the likes of those teams to get on the ball and show your silky skills.

"But we know that's the quality he possesses and we encourage it. We constantly say to him and back him and won't criticise him if he tries something and it doesn't come off.

"He was bold with the ball today and drove forward at every opportunity. He wasn't looking to release it too soon, and he got his reward right at the end with the goal.

"If you ask me if I'm happy with Eberechi Eze, I say absolutely. It is his first season coming up from the Championship and you expect people to need time to adjust and play at this level."

Palace were all but safe from relegation before arriving in Sheffield but victory at Bramall Lane made absolutely sure – not that Hodgson was ever concerned.

"I'd not really worried about it, to be honest. Even though we have been stuck on 38 points for a few weeks, it never occurred to me that we were in a relegation scrap," said Hodgson.

"I'm delighted with the win today and it gets us over the 40-point mark as well."

Another impressive performance from Ramsdale was the only positive for the Blades.

The England Under-21 goalkeeper made a couple of fine saves to keep his team in the game at 1-0 and the goals he did concede both took huge deflections, giving him no chance.

Interim boss Paul Heckingbottom said: "I've spoken all along about how impressed I've been with him. Before, I was watching from a distance and not working with him, and he has impressed me massively.

"He's come through a difficult spell at the start of the season and that shows his character.

"He made a great save from Benteke but he also showed that he is good with his feet and it was a strong performance from him."

On the game itself, Heckingbottom added: "Conceding in the first 90 seconds or whatever it was just set the game up for them, it knocked the stuffing out of us.

"How Palace play and how good they are on the counter-attack, it just set it up for them and made it difficult for us to get any sort of foothold in the game. It took an awful long time to try to wrestle that back."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323
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Serie A Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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