Christian Benteke is enjoying his most prolific spell for Palace since the end of the 2016-17 season
Crystal Palace secured their Premier League status for another season with a comfortable victory at already-relegated Sheffield United.
Christian Benteke scored with a deflected shot after 67 seconds to claim his fourth goal in 10 games for Palace, and had chances to improve that tally.
The Belgian striker, 30, had a point-blank header saved by Aaron Ramsdale before firing against a post in the second half.
Captain John Egan spurned Sheffield United's best chance of an equaliser shortly after the interval, slicing over from a corner from six yards out.
But Ebere Eze broke forward late on to convert a second and secure the Eagles' first win in five games, putting them beyond reach of third-bottom Fulham.
That capped a fine performance by the English midfielder, 22, who breezed past Egan in the opening minute before laying off to Benteke, whose shot deflected off George Baldock and over Ramsdale into the Blades' net.
Jeffrey Schlupp's cross then picked out Benteke, who is out of contract this summer, but he directed a free header too close to Ramsdale.
Benteke also struck a post after dispossessing John Fleck, while substitute Jordan Ayew twice went close to a rare goal.
And the Blades offered little in response as their miserable season lurched closer to two unwanted records - most defeats and fewest goals scored in a Premier League campaign.
Impressive Eze again shows his potential
Sheffield United are already preparing for life back in the Championship and, after securing a ninth straight season in the top flight, Palace are also set for a rebuild this summer.
Manager Roy Hodgson and half of the matchday squad at Bramall Lane are out of contract at the end of the season, or returning to their parent club.
An announcement is yet to be made on whether Hodgson, 73, will extend his lengthy managerial career or Palace will seek a replacement, but whoever is in charge at Selhurst Park next season, they can rely on the services of two of England's most promising youngsters.
The Eagles have signed Eze and Tyrick Mitchell, 21, to long-term deals and they could be mainstays in the Palace side for years to come.
Deployed in an attacking midfield role, Eze continued an impressive first season since making a £19.5m move from Championship side QPR.
He was a constant threat with his pace and poise on the ball. He laid on the opener and dispossessed Chris Basham before firing narrowly wide in the first half.
In the first half, Eze also found Wilfried Zaha, whose shot was blocked by Egan, and he burst forward again to clinch victory. Eze broke down the left and cut inside, feinting past a couple of defenders before scuffing a shot into the bottom corner.
Mitchell, meanwhile, was comfortable at left-back but for a clumsy tackle on Sander Berge, making his first start since December, which might have been given as a penalty.
Palace now need three wins from their last four matches to reach 50 points for the first time in a Premier League campaign. If Eze and Mitchell continue to develop, the Eagles will hope to be challenging for a top-half finish next term.
More to follow.
Player of the match
with an average of 8.72
- Sheff UtdSheffield UnitedSheffield UnitedCrystal PalaceCrystal PalaceCrystal Palace
Sheffield UnitedAvgSquad number1Player nameRamsdaleAverage rating
Squad number38Player nameJebbisonAverage rating
Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrickAverage rating
Squad number12Player nameEganAverage rating
Squad number6Player nameBashamAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameBergeAverage rating
Squad number23Player nameOsbornAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameBaldockAverage rating
Squad number29Player nameBryanAverage rating
Squad number16Player nameNorwoodAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameFleckAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameStevensAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameBurkeAverage rating
Squad number7Player nameLundstramAverage rating
Crystal PalaceAvgSquad number25Player nameEzeAverage rating
Squad number20Player nameBentekeAverage rating
Squad number24Player nameCahillAverage rating
Squad number31Player nameGuaitaAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameMilivojevicAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameKouyatéAverage rating
Squad number27Player nameMitchellAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameWardAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameTownsendAverage rating
Squad number15Player nameSchluppAverage rating
Squad number44Player nameRiedewaldAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameJ AyewAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameZahaAverage rating
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 1Ramsdale6Basham12Egan29BryanSubstituted forLundstramat 80'minutes2Baldock8BergeSubstituted forOsbornat 60'minutes16NorwoodBooked at 38mins4Fleck3Stevens14BurkeSubstituted forJebbisonat 65'minutes17McGoldrick
- 31Guaita2WardBooked at 30mins8Kouyaté24Cahill27Mitchell25Eze4Milivojevic15SchluppSubstituted forRiedewaldat 71'minutes10TownsendSubstituted forJ Ayewat 75'minutes20Benteke11Zaha
- 1Butland3van Aanholt6Dann9J Ayew14Mateta22McCarthy23Batshuayi34Kelly44Riedewald
Referee:Simon HooperMatch StatsHome TeamSheff UtdAway TeamCrystal PalacePossessionHome50%Away50%ShotsHome7Away21Shots on TargetHome0Away8CornersHome5Away11FoulsHome11Away8Live TextPost update
Match ends, Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2.
Hand ball by Daniel Jebbison (Sheffield United).
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Goal! Sheffield United 0, Crystal Palace 2. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gary Cahill following a fast break.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).
Chris Basham (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by John Egan.
Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Daniel Jebbison (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace).
Attempt saved. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Sheffield United. John Lundstram replaces Kean Bryan.
Attempt missed. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Enda Stevens.
Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jordan Ayew replaces Andros Townsend.
Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
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