May 5 (UPI) — Stoke City’s 10-year stay in the Premier League ended Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.
The Potters were up 1-0 after the first half, but conceded two goals in the second frame at bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England.
Xherdan Shaqiri netted the first score. The midfielder took a free kick from just outside the box on the play. His attempt went in the top right corner of the net, beating Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey in the 43rd minute.
James McArthur tied the match in the 68th minute. The Crystal Palace midfielder received a pass into the box from Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the play. McArthur then tapped a soft touch around Stoke keeper Jack Butland.
But Patrick van Aanholt was the man who eventually broke the hearts of Potters fans.
The Dutch defender put the game away in the 86th minute. Stoke defender Ryan Showcross attempted to clear the ball on the play, but he accidentally deflected the ball back toward his own net. Van Aanholt secured the ball and fired a shot past Butland for the go-ahead score.
The defeat means that Stoke is the first team to be officially relegated this season. They will now play in the English League Championship.
After the game, van Aanholt apologized to Stoke and their fans for scoring the goal.
“Normally I like to celebrate when I score but I’d like to apologize 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,” he tweeted.
“It’s a tough day, a really tough and sad day, and we are going to have to take stock of things, look at what has gone wrong and make sure we are better for next season,” Showcross said after the game, according to StokeCityFC.com.
“We have given it a right go since the gaffer has come in, we have been in every game we have played in but for whatever reason we haven’t scored the goals we have needed to.”
“It is so disappointing and hard to take but this is an incredible Club and one that I truly believe will be back.”