Express & Star

Crystal Palace 5 Aston Villa 0 - Report

Depleted Villa finished their season on a low note as they were hammered at Crystal Palace.


Unai Emery’s team, who had already secured qualification for next season’s Champions League, suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat for four years at Selhurst Park.

Jean-Philippe Mateta scored a hat-trick for the hosts, while Eberechi Eze netted a second half brace.

Aston Villa supporters

Moussa Diaby came closest to scoring for the visitors, while Ollie Watkins was thwarted in his efforts to score a 20th Premier League goal of the season.


The England international remained stranded on 19 with Peter Withe still the last Villa player to his 20 in a top flight campaign.

Watkins miscued a header with his one real chance of a frustrating match, with Villa going on to suffer their heaviest defeat since a 6-1 home reverse to Manchester City in January, 2020.

This thrashing will sting far less thanks to what has been achieved this season, while Emery can also point to a squad so stretched by injury he was forced to name his son Lander, a goalkeeper at the club’s academy, on the bench.

Emi Martinez, Leon Bailey, Matty Cash and Youri Tielemans were all missing from the squad.

Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi in action against Aston Villa's Calum Chambers

The last day of school feel to occasion was further summed up by the presence of Clement Lenglet and Calum Chambers, the latter making his first Premier League start since February last year, in the visiting line-up.

Lander Emery was one of two shot-stoppers among the eight substitutes with Robin Olsen replacing the absent Martinez in goal.

Leon Bailey, who had been playing through the pain of a knee injury in recent weeks, was also among the missing.

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins with a tear in his shirt

Villa actually had the first sniff of goal when Lucas Digne swung in a free-kick and Ollie Watkins could not quite make the necessary connection with a header.

But the first time the hosts exerted any pressure, they scored. Olise had the option of picking between Eze and Mateta, chose the latter and the striker, running off the shoulder of Lenglet, finished beyond Olsen and into the bottom corner.

It was hardly all one-way traffic. Diaby was denied an equaliser twice in quick succession by Dean Henderson, first when the goalkeeper dived to his right to save after the Villa forward had been sent clear by Douglas Luiz.

Crystal Palace's Michael Olise attempts a shot on goal

Nathaniel Clyne beat Watkins to the rebound and from the corner, Diaby drove a volley into the ground which Henderson again pushed behind. From the next corner, Watkins got a free header all wrong as Villa again fluffed their lines.

Palace were more clinical, though they were aided by some rather charitable defending. Neither Lenglet nor Diego Carlos appeared particularly bothered about picking up Mateta as he jogged into the box to convert Daniel Munoz’s low cross just before half-time.

Olsen twice denied Olise at close range as the home side threatened to further extend their advantage before the interval.

It merely delayed the pain for Villa as within nine minutes of the restart, Eze netted the third. Chris Richards’ attempted pass down the touchline flicked off Diaby and into the England international’s path. No Villa defender attempted to close him down before he rifled a finish inside the near post.

Another nine minutes later, it was four, Palace breaking swiftly upfield and Eze teeing up Mateta for his treble.

The latter had an effort chalked off for the most marginal of offside’s before Eze grabbed his second of the match and Palace’s fifth, exchanging passes with Mateta before thumping home.


9 GOAL Jean-Philippe Mateta opens the scoring, firing home from Michael Olise’s pass.

39 GOAL Mateta makes it two, turning home Daniel Munoz’s low cross.

54 GOAL Eberechi Eze gets Palace’s third, firing home from outside the box.

63 GOAL Mateta has his hat-trick, firing home after being set up by Eze.

69 GOAL It is five for Palace and two for Eze, the finish again from outside the box.

Villa (4-4-2): Olsen, Konsa, Carlos, Lenglet, Digne, McGinn (Munroe 87), Luiz, Chambers (Iroegbunam 68), Diaby (Kesler-Hayden 87), Duran, Watkins (Kellyman 68) Subs not used: Torres, Young, Emery (gk), Gauci (gk).

Palace (4-3-3): Henderson, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi (Lerma 76), Munoz, Wharton (Riedewald 87), Richards, Mitchell, Olise, Eze, Mateta (Edouard 76) Subs not used: Ward, Tomkins, Ayew, Schlupp, Ozoh, Matthews (gk).