ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Crystal Palace 4
Hull City 0
LONDON • In the end, hoisting Hull City clear of trouble proved beyond even Marco Silva.
The Portuguese manager had arguably performed a minor miracle in stretching this team's Premier League aspirations even into the penultimate weekend, with players sold in January and a state of inertia in the boardroom.
Yet, in succumbing 4-0 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park yesterday, the worst was confirmed.
Goals from Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, Luka Milivojevic and Patrick van Aanholt consigned them to the Championship - along with the already relegated Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
Hull are 18th with 34 points, four adrift of 17th-placed Swansea with one match remaining.
The away support bellowed Silva's name through most of the second half as Hull's players desperately tried to retrieve a two-goal deficit. They would ship two more in the later stages but even then their fans would not be silenced.
- Number of times Hull have been relegated from the EPL, after drops in 2009-10 (19th) and 2014-15 (18th).
"It's a sad day for our fans and our boys. It's not a good moment," Silva told the BBC.
"Today we came here to play one final and we started in a bad way. It gave Palace what they wanted for the match.
"They knew what's in it for them. We tried but conceded again and it finished the game."
Said Hull captain Michael Dawson: "It is very hard, giving them a goal so early on, and we were 2-0 down at half time. With their pace, we got caught with two more goals.
"The season has been a long hard slog and it is a sad day. Marco Silva has done remarkably well to give us half a chance but we just came up short."
Palace had needed a point to stay up and their dominant display completed manager Sam Allardyce's latest survival mission after he rescued Sunderland last season. They climbed to 13th on 41 points.
"Because of the run-in, the size of the teams we had to play, this was the hardest," said Allardyce, who has performed similar escape acts - from Bolton to Sunderland.
"We've now not wasted the magnificent results we achieved. Now, in the last home game, what a way to finish in front of your own fans. It's a great, great feeling."
Palace winger Wilfried Zaha said: "It is massive, this win. We knew how big the game was and I am glad everyone delivered."
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE