Crystal Palace punish Aston Villa B team in season finale

Aston Villa's fantastic season finished with a heavy defeat at Selhurst Park as the home side hit 5 to, ever so slightly, dampen the party atmosphere in the away end.
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

From the moment qualification for the Champions League was secured on Tuesday night the atmosphere and feeling amongst Villa fans has been a jubilant one. The away end at Selhurst Park was set up to be one holding a loud and energetic party to celebrate what has been a fantastic season. Despite this being the case and great noise coming from the away end all afternoon, the team on the pitch slumped to a heavy defeat against a very in-form Palace side.

Team news prior to kick off probably didn't fill the fans with too much hope that Villa would put up too much of a fight. Chambers playing in midfield, Olsen in goal and the likes of Bailey, Pau Torres and Tielemans all missing suggested that Villa had certainly "hit the beach". Following a week of celebrations, this was hardly surprising.

Jean-Philippe Mateta
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Palace got off to a flying start as Mateta gave the home side the lead inside the first ten minutes. Villa then had a good 15 minute spell in which they should really have scored. Diaby was played through by Luiz but his shot was saved by Henderson when one-on-one before further good chances for Watkins and Diaby again passed them by.

From that moment on, Villa didn't trouble Oliver Glasner's team. Mateta's second of the game before half time gave Palace a comfortable cushion at half time and a second half double from Eberechi Eze and a third from Mateta put the game to bed.

Crystal Palace have finished the season in excellent fashion and the front three of Eze, Olise and Mateta has taken the league by storm in the past couple of months. Palace could be real contenders to compete for European places next season but keeping hold of the likes of Eze and Michael Olise is going to prove tough this summer.

For Villa, it was a day to forget in terms of the football but a day to remember for the sold out away end who had plenty to celebrate at the end of a historic season for Unai Emery's team. With Champions League chants being sung loud and proud and Champions League trophy balloons on full display the fans enjoyed the party atmosphere.

The suggestion from some on social media that today's performance was unacceptable and Villa should consider themselves lucky to have made the top four will be batted away by the vast majority. It has been a phenomenal season that has seen the club have to overcome many barriers, mainly a huge amount of injuries, and the fans at Crystal Palace today certainly appreciated that.

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

Now that this long and emotionally and physically draining season has come to a close the players, staff and fans will enjoy some time off from the football and begin to think about the challenges that lie ahead next season. The transfer window will be vital this summer and with Villa potentially being limited in what they can achieve due to FFP /PSR regulations, Monchi and his team will have to act smartly in order to provide greater depth to the squad.

Unai Emery
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League / Henry Browne/GettyImages