Crystal Palace secured their Premier League status for another season with a comfortable victory at already-relegated Sheffield United.
Christian Benteke scored with a deflected shot after 67 seconds to claim his fourth goal in 10 games for Palace, and had chances to improve that tally.
The Belgian striker, 30, had a point-blank header saved by Aaron Ramsdale before firing against a post in the second half.
Captain John Egan spurned Sheffield United’s best chance of an equaliser shortly after the interval, slicing over from a corner from six yards out.
But Ebere Eze broke forward late on to convert a second and secure the Eagles’ first win in five games, putting them beyond reach of third-bottom Fulham.
That capped a fine performance by the English midfielder, 22, who breezed past Egan in the opening minute before laying off to Benteke, whose shot deflected off George Baldock and over Ramsdale into the Blades’ net.
Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross then picked out Benteke, who is out of contract this summer, but he directed a free header too close to Ramsdale.
Benteke also struck a post after dispossessing John Fleck, while substitute Jordan Ayew twice went close to a rare goal.
And the Blades offered little in response as their miserable season lurched closer to two unwanted records – most defeats and fewest goals scored in a Premier League campaign.
More to follow.
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- 29BryanSubstituted forLundstramat 80′minutes
- 8BergeSubstituted forOsbornat 60′minutes
- 16NorwoodBooked at 38mins
- 14BurkeSubstituted forJebbisonat 65′minutes
- 2WardBooked at 30mins
- 15SchluppSubstituted forRiedewaldat 71′minutes
- 10TownsendSubstituted forJ Ayewat 75′minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- 9J Ayew
Match ends, Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2.
Hand ball by Daniel Jebbison (Sheffield United).
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Goal! Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gary Cahill following a fast break.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).
Chris Basham (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by John Egan.
Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Daniel Jebbison (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace).
Attempt saved. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Sheffield United. John Lundstram replaces Kean Bryan.
Attempt missed. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Enda Stevens.
Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jordan Ayew replaces Andros Townsend.
Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.