On Saturday the race for Premier League survival was blown open, as 18th place Southampton recorded vital wins, as the likes of Swansea and Huddersfield suffered defeats.
Palace recorded their biggest victory in the Premier League by beating Leicester 5-0 at Selhurst Park to move six points clear of the drop zone.
Palace took the lead through forward Wilfried Zaha on 17 minutes after a good team move involving Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur. The Eagles doubled their lead on 38 minutes, as Zaha turned provider setting up McArthur for a superb second.
The visitor’s hopes of coming back into the game took a blow on 56 minutes, as Marc Albrighton was dismissed for fouling Zaha when the forward was in on goal.
Palace started making their man advantage pay on 81 minutes, as Loftus-Cheek scored a tap-in after rounding Leicester ‘keeper Ben Hamer. On 84 minutes, Patrick van Aanholt made it four, pouncing to score following a Hamer save from a Jeffrey Schlupp effort.
Palace put the seal on the victory in stoppage-time, as substitute Christian Benteke won and scored a penalty kick. The emphatic victory means that Roy Hodgson’s side moved to 38 points, two points shy of the usual safety mark of 40 points.
Elsewhere, Southampton won 2-1 against Bournemouth in a vital south coast derby clash. The win moved the Saints within a point of safety.
Mark Hughes side opened the scoring on 25 minutes. French midfielder Marco Lemina raced forward and with two on one found Dusan Tadic who found the net. The visitor’s levelled things up a minute into first-half stoppage time, as Josh King pounced at the back post equalise.
The Saints scored the vital winning goal on 54 minutes, as Tadic ignored the runs of his teammates to fire superbly with the side of his boot past Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Southampton’s closest rivals Swansea are now just a point above the relegation zone after a 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea. The only goal of the game arrived after just four minutes, as Eden Hazard tormented the Swans defence before finding Cesc Fabregas, who fired a powerful effort past Fabianski in the home goal.
Can Southampton still save themselves from the drop?