Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson described himself as “delighted” after watching his side grab an unexpected 3-2 win at Arsenal and confirm their Premier League status.
The Eagles ended Arsenal’s 10-match winning run at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon to go over the 40-point mark and seal their place in the English top-flight for next season.
An unmarked Christian Benteke headed in his first goal of the season to put Palace into a first-half lead.
Mesut Ozil equalised for Arsenal after the break before two goals from Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur in the space of eight minutes put Palace into a commanding lead.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to get one back for Arsenal, but Palace held on for a vital three points in north London.
“Obviously I am delighted with the display. Our defensive shape was fantastic. We remained compact and narrow,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.
“We made it difficult to find spaces behind us. I then thought on the counter-attack we were remarkably dangerous.
“The two front players were a constant thorn for the Arsenal defence.
“I thought the last few minutes there would be a bombardment. We could have aggravated the score a little bit more. It’s nice to get over the 40-point marker. It’s nice to have safety mathematically confirmed.”
As for Benteke, the former England boss said: “Christian Benteke must be very confident after today’s performance.
“It wasn’t the fact he scored and set one up, he worked tirelessly and did a job offensively and defensively. He and Wilfried Zaha will feel they really did a job for the team
“For Christian who’s has a rough time with injuries and not scoring the number of goals he wants maybe with the final few games he will score a few more.”
Palace now move up to 12th-place in the Premier League table and will return to action against Everton at Selhurst Park next Saturday.