Wilfried Zaha, Palace thrash Hull, clinch Premier League safety
An early, opportunistic goal from Wilfried Zaha settled any nerves that Crystal Palace might have had, and a thoroughly professional performance ensured that Hull City barely had a chance. Three more goals cemented the three points that ensured safety.
Selhurst Park hasn't been the easiest of environments for Palace players this season, with tension often boiling over at the slightest of errors. But the early goal, and the focused approach from the players, gave Palace a positive foothold.
The only negative is that this Palace side, with the talent it has, should never have been in this situation. It's taken half a season to correct a year of poor form, through hard work, organisation and commitment.
Manager rating out of 10
10 -- Hull were poor, but Palace exploited their every weakness. The manager set a defiant tone in the days prior to the game and the display matched that. It was a perfect Sam Allardyce performance. The manager also deserves a 10 rating for keeping Palace in the Premier League.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wayne Hennessey, 7 -- Didn't really have a save to make. A little erratic on crosses but he'll be delighted with the clean sheet.
DF Jeffrey Schlupp, 8 -- Great defensively and excellent in attack too. His run, which lead to the the penalty Palace won, showed great athleticism.
DF James Tomkins, 9 -- Questions were asked when Palace signed Tomkins in the summer, and initially performances looked nervy. But his contribution since Allardyce has arrived has been significant. He was outstanding today.
DF Martin Kelly, 8 -- Dealt with the threat of Oumar Niasse perfectly. Looked calm and controlled alongside Tomkins.
DF Joel Ward, 8 -- Like Schlupp, Ward showed great composure throughout, against a lively Kamil Grosicki.
MF Luka Milivojevic, 9 -- A calming influence in Palace's midfield, Milivojevic ensured that Hull couldn't break through the middle.
MF Yohan Cabaye, 8 -- His calmness in possession has been missed by Palace in recent games. It kept Palace in control.
MF Jason Puncheon, 8 -- Doesn't get credit for his defensive work, which has increased under Allardyce, but Puncheon was excellent in closing his opponents down.
FW - Wilfried Zaha, 9 -- Showed an explosive burst of pace to pounce on Andrea Ranocchia's error, and superb composure to score from the opportunity.
FW Christian Benteke, 9 -- Lead the line well and took his opportunity well with a thumping header to give Palace a two-goal lead.
FW Andros Townsend, 9 -- Despite playing with an Achilles injury, Townsend showed intent and drive which helped keep Hull pinned back.
MF James McArthur, 7 -- Brought on for a jaded looking Cabaye and brought a bit more energy to Palace's midfield play.
FW Patrick van Aanholt, NR -- Came on for Townsend in an attacking role and scored Palace's fourth with a neat finish.
DF Damien Delaney, NR -- Replaced Tomkins and did what was required.
Robert Sutherland is ESPN FC's Crystal Palace blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @RoDuSu.