Stoke’s 10-year stay in the Premier League has come to an end after they were relegated to the Championship by Crystal Palace’s second-half resurgence.
Home fans streamed out of the Bet365 Stadium immediately after Patrick van Aanholt’s winner, with long-time chairman Peter Coates looking on miserably.
The afternoon had started far better for the hosts.
Manager Paul Lambert – appointed in January to turn around the Potters – had celebrated wildly with Xherdan Shaqiri after the midfielder’s free-kick opened the scoring just before the break.
But the Stoke boss was left deflated as James McArthur skipped clear down the left and side-footed home the leveller, before Van Aanholt pounced on Ryan Shawcross’s under-hit backpass to deliver the final, knockout blow.