Crystal Palace under 21s beat Valencia on penalties last night (May 3) to earn their spot in the Premier League International Cup Final.

The match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Palace’s only goal coming from Jadan Raymond.

Neither side could break the deadlock in extra time, so the tie was decided on penalties, with Palace coming out on top 5-3. 

The Eagles will now play against PSV Eindhoven, where they aim to be the first English club to win the trophy since Manchester City in the 2014/15 season.


What is the Premier League International Cup?


The competition first began in the 2014 season and is a way of showcasing Europe’s top talent.

The competition was introduced to give homegrown English players the opportunity to play against the best young players on the continent, and give young players the opportunity to experience what it’s like playing both European and domestic football in the same season.

It also gives the younger players a chance to play against different styles of football, in order to prepare them for the men’s game.


The tournament consists of 24 teams - expanded from 16 teams in 2016 - and features 12 of the best English academies from the Premier League 2, the Premier League’s youth league, and 12 teams from some of the best European academies.

The teams are divided into six groups of four, where the six group winners and the two best runners-up will qualify for the next round of the competition.

All of the matches are played in England and consist of players that are 23 years old and under, apart from a maximum of three outfield players and a goalkeeper.


What does it mean for Crystal Palace?



This season’s competition shows that Palace have one of the best academies in Europe.

They will strive to be the first English team to win the competition since Man City did it eight years ago. Manchester City’s side back then was managed by former Palace manager Patrick Vieira and consisted of Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City, and Angelino of Hoffenheim.

The competition has seen some elite Premier League talent over the years, with Emile Smith-Rowe, Ben White, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Japhet Tanganga all appearing in the tournament.

It has also seen some of Europe’s greatest young talent before they burst onto the scene across various clubs in Europe. Renato Sanches, Goncalo Ramos and Seko Fofana are just some of the elite foreign players who have appeared in the tournament in recent years.

Crystal Palace will be hoping that some of their players can replicate the form of those mentioned above. John-Kymani Gordon scored a hat trick for Palace in his 67 minutes in the competition this season, before he joined Carlisle United on loan.

Victor Akinwale is a player to look out for Palace, who has two goals in the competition so far, and scored the only goal in the quarter final against Liverpool, to send the Eagles through.

Derrick Abu is another player to keep an eye on, the young defender is currently on trial for Crystal Palace from Chelsea, and scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Valencia.

The Eagles haven’t lost in the competition all season, and will be looking to take that form into the final, when the date is announced.

Palace have one more league game remaining this season, which is at home to Liverpool.

The Eagles are currently fourth in the league, but will be putting all of their focus on winning the Premier League International Cup in their first appearance in the competition.