Palace deny Steven Gerrard fairytale Anfield farewell

Saturday 16 May 2015
Steven Gerrard waves goodbye to the Anfield faithful

There would be no fairlytale Anfield farewell for Steven Gerrard after Wilf Zaha and Crystal Palace ruined the ex-England captain's party with a 3-1 victory.

England midfielder Adam Lallana had given the home side the lead on 26 minutes as he punished a defensive error.

However, that was as good as it got for Liverpool and Gerrard. 

Steven Gerrard with his daughters Lilly-Ella, Lourdes and Lexie before the game

Jason Puncheon levelled for the visitors two minutes before the interval, and substitute Zaha put Palace ahead with his first touch – 22 seconds after entering the fray.

Glenn Murray scored a third in added time to secure the victory for Pardew’s side, before an emotional Anfield crowd bid farewell to their skipper.

Jordan Henderson, Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling, Rickie Lambert and England U17s international Jerome Sinclair also featured for the Reds.

Wilf Zaha celebrates after putting Crystal Palace ahead

There were far more joyous scenes at Carrow Road, as Nathan Redmond helped fire Norwich to Wembley after scoring their crucial second goal in a 3-1 victory over bitter rivals Ipswich Town.

With the Championship play-off second leg tie delicately poised at 1-1 on the day and 2-2 on aggregate, the England Under-21s international stepped up to send the home crowd into raptures.

After Martin Olsson’s shot from an angle was well saved by Bartosz Bialkowski the ball fell to Jonny Howson set up Redmond who shot low, hard and under the body of the Town keeper.

England Under-21s international celebrates as Norwich book a date with Middlesbrough at Wembley

Twelve minutes later Cameron Jerome put the tie beyond any doubt as the Canaries made it 3-1 on the day, 4-2 on aggregate.

Norwich will take on Middlesbrough for a place in the Premier League at Wembley Stadium on 25 May. 

Back in the Premier League, Southampton gave their supporters something to cheer in the final home game of a fantastic season, with a comprehensive 6-1 victory against FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.

Nathanial Clyne, Ryan Bertrand and James Ward-Prowse were among the Saints starters – while Fabian Delph and Tom Cleverley lined up for Villa.

Southampton fans celebrate with their players at St. Mary's

But it was Sadio Mane who will capture the headlines after scoring a three-minute hat-trick – the fastest in Premier League history.

In west London England Under-20s international Rolando Aarons made his first appearance since the beginning of November.

He returned from injury as a second-half substitute for Newcastle at Loftus Road.

However, he was unable to prevent the Toon Army falling to a sixth successive away defeat after goals from Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer rendered Emmanuel Riviere’s opener irrelevant.

England Under-21s duo Jack Butland and Danny Ings when head-to-head for Stoke and Burnley respectively, as the pair playing out a goalless draw.

Red-head Danny Rose celebrates after scoring for Spurs against Hull

It was enough to ensure Stoke got the 51 points they needed to secure their best-ever Premier League points tally. 

With his contract expiring, Ings appeared to wave farewell to the Turf Moor faithful as Burnley completed their final home fixture of the season.

At White Hart Lane, and sporting a new red hairstyle, Danny Rose scored as Tottenham beat Hull 2-0 – a game in which Ryan Mason and Harry Kane also featured.

Stewart Downing got his name on the scoresheet at Upton Park after 62 minutes.

A sombre looking Danny Ings appeared to wave farewell to Burnley fans after the club's final home game of the season

But it was not enough to prevent an Everton side featuring John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon and 19-year-old debutant Brendan Galloway coming away with the points after goals from Leon Osman and Romelu Lukaku gave the Toffees a 2-1 win.

In the north-east Sunderland and Leicester played out a 0-0 draw. 

It was enough to secure Leicester’s Premier League safety, while the Black Cats face an anxious final day knowing they are still one of three teams still playing under the threat of relegation.

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer