Crystal Palace struggle to a home win against Villa


Crystal Palace 3-2 Aston Villa

Tyrick Mitchell says it was “like I blanked out” after scoring the first goal of his career to give Crystal Palace a comeback victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

In an engrossing encounter that belied its ‘dead rubber’ status, both sides contributed energetic displays full of attacking intent, with Mitchell’s late goal rewarding Palace for a superb second-half showing.

The 21-year-old full-back was in the perfect spot with six minutes left to bundle the ball in with his shoulder following Eberechi Eze’s fluffed cross.

“I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking in that moment but as soon as it went in, it was just joy,” said Mitchell, for whom Sunday’s game was his 23rd for Palace. “It was like I blanked out.

“It is definitely a dream come true for me and my whole family. It’s been a big season for me personally. Every day was hard but all the work has paid off.”

Trailing 2-1 from the 34th minute, Palace battered at the door after the break until the visitors’ resistance was finally broken at Selhurst Park.

With 15 minutes left, Wilfried Zaha produced a driving run before cutting inside and firing a fierce shot that deflected into the net off Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady, with Mitchell netting soon after.

Palace had already come back into the game once, Christian Benteke heading in against his former club following John McGinn’s well-taken opener.

Anwar El Ghazi lashed in at the back post to restore Villa’s lead – a goal that looked like being the winner until Palace’s late rally.

Villa remain 11th, four points behind 10th-placed Leeds with two games to play, making a Premier League top-half finish unlikely.

Already safe from relegation, the win took Palace to 44 points – with a chance of hitting the 50-point mark for the first time in the Premier League.

On a more positive note for Villa and potentially England, Jack Grealish made a second successive appearance from the bench following injury to provide further evidence of his improving fitness before this summer’s European Championships.