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Dirty Tackle

Kevin Phillips sends Crystal Palace to Premier League with extra-time penalty in playoff final

Dirty Tackle

With Jose Mourinho and Watford honorary life president Elton John in the stands at Wembley, Kevin Phillips fired Crystal Palace to promotion back to the Premier League with an extra-time penalty in the Championship playoff final. This single match has been estimated to be worth anywhere from £120 million to the made-up sum of £3@Q courtillion, depending on how confused the person beating you over the head with the match's importance is, and Watford defender Marco Cassetti was the man who gift wrapped it and handed it over to Palace.

After 90 scoreless minutes at Wembley, Cassetti attempted an ill-advised challenge from behind on Wilfred Zaha and only swept away the Man United bound winger's feet instead of the ball. Cassetti was booked and Palace were awarded a penalty, which Phillips stepped up to the spot to take. He put his shot past Watford keeper Manuel Almunia and that proved to be difference.

It's a painful way to go out for Watford, who staged an unbelievable comeback against Leicester in the semifinal to get this far, but there really is no easy way to lose a game like this.

Far better than all the money and emotion on the line is the fact that Ian Holloway and his wonderful rants are returning to the Premier League. Holloway AND Mourinho back in the league? Yes, next season is going to be delightful.

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