Match Opinion: Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth

Benteke (kind of) submitted a transfer request in the 93rd minute

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Bournemouth visited Selhurst Park to try and bring Palace’s unbeaten run of games to an end. Could Palace continue their run?

Match Facts

General Information

  • Date: 9th December 2017
  • Competition: English Premier League
  • Venue: Selhurst Park
  • Attendance: 24,823
  • Referee: K. Friend

Match Result

Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
Tomkins 30′, Milivojevic 34′, Zaha 71′, McArthur 79′, Benteke 81′ Yellow Cards Begovic 40′, Cook 71′
Red Cards
Milivojevic (p) 41′, Dann 44′,
(Benteke missed penalty 90+3′)
Goal Scorers Defoe 10′, 45+3′

The Expat Eagle’s Verdict

If you asked someone if they wanted to watch Crystal Palace versus Bournemouth on TV you could forgive them for turning down your generous offer because it isn’t the most glamorous fixture on the calendar. However, in truth, it is the type of game that offers up the type of game that typifies the English Premier League.

The first half had pretty much everything you’d want in a match with both teams going for it from the off. It was an end to end half with 4 goals, three bookings, a bit of cheating, a penalty and a ‘van Basten-esque’ goal. It reminded me of two punch-drunk heavyweight boxers trying to outslug each other with the occasional low blow.

Bournemouth got the first punch in when they score from a corner when Defoe slotted the ball in from around the penalty spot. In truth one of the Bournemouth players literally bear hugged Fosu-Mensah to prevent him from advancing on Defoe and tackling him. How the referee didn’t spot the blatant foul is beyond me because he had clear sight of the incident. It wasn’t subtle whatsoever!

Palace dusted themselves down and 31 minutes later Zaha went down under a tackle from Ake and Begovic resulting in a penalty. Justice would seem to be done because, in my opinion, it wasn’t a penalty. Zaha dragged his leg waiting for contact and then went down. My initial thought was that he was getting booked for simulation but, thankfully it was a penalty and Milivojevic slotted it away.

So, 1-1 in terms of goals and ‘gamesmanship’.

Just as I was looking forward to going into the break on level terms, Palace scored through Scott Dann, who came on to replace the injured Mamadou Sakho who went off after 25 minutes. It was almost a carbon copy of the goal Sakho scored against Stoke with Cabaye firing a cross-goal shot that Dann slotted in at the far post.

Sakho had been having a shaky game until he went off and managed to injure himself trying to play his way out of trouble. Trouble he managed to get himself in to.

So with Dann scoring in the 44th minute, I was happy for us to be going in at half-time a goal up… Then Palace did what Palace do well and conceded three minutes into stoppage time. A ball was played over the top and it bounced once on the right-hand side of the box before Defoe hit the ball over Speroni and into the net. It was likened to Marco van Basten’s goal in Euro 88 but that was on the volley. Still, it was a great finish.

During half-time, Palace fans were pontificating over if Hennessey, with his extra height, would have saved the shot. In my opinion, he wouldn’t have. Not only was the shot too high for Hennessey, he isn’t the quickest or agile goalkeeper and I doubt he’s have reacted and jumped in time.

The second half continued in much the same way that the first half left off. Tomkins, who was injured in the first half was given 10 minutes to run off his injury but lasted the whole game.

As usual in a game where the first half was so open, the second half was a lot tighter. We looked fairly comfortable at the back and didn’t look likely to concede but also not likely to score either. For some reason, we picked up 5 bookings to Bournemouth’s 2 which is staggering considering how many fouls they committed. According to the stats, it was 14 fouls each yet the yellow cards don’t reflect this.

On one occasion Cook cynically hacked down Zaha after stumbling and losing the ball. Even though there was a line of defenders between Zaha and the goal it was the kind of cynical leg swiping that should be under the professional foul law because Cook knew what he was doing and I was closer to the ball than he was.

As the minutes ticked by with both teams having attack after attack a ball was played over the top and Zaha was again brought down. This time it looked more like a penalty than the first with the commentators debating if the defender touched the ball or not. The rule doesn’t focus on if the ball was touched or not and they should know better.

My euphoric mood lasted a full on 10 seconds as I tried to make sense of why the commentators were saying Benteke had the ball in his hands. Milivojevic was still on the pitch, wasn’t he? A quick check revealed he was and I was just bewildered. Why… what… surely there was someone better to take the penalty if Milivojevic was not fit or whatever.

I knew Benteke was going to miss. I knew he was going to have a laboured run-up, even the twats on TV called it.

Sure enough, Benteke ambled up to the ball and hit the weakest penalty I’ve seen in a long while. Not only was it weak it was at the perfect height for a keeper to save. Why didn’t he put his fucking laces through the bastard? What a prize twat he is.

I could write a few sentences about Benteke here but I won’t. I have never thought he was a Palace player, just a younger Adebayor and nothing has changed my mind since he’s been at the club. Sure he scored 13 goals last season in the Premier League but 2 of them were penalties.

Christian Benteke must be one of the few players whose value has dropped since the TV money was increased last summer.

And so it ended 2-2. The TV commentators kept saying that the last time we beat Bournemouth at Selhurst Park was 1988 when Neil Redfern scored two penalties. Today Luka Milivojevic had the chance to repeat history but it was taken out of his hands by a selfish twat!

Verdict: Nightmare end to the game but our unbeaten run continues.

Player Ratings

Crystal Palace (442) 6.82 Bournemouth (4411)
6.87
Speroni
Fosu-Mensah
Schlupp
Tomkins
Sakho
Loftus-Cheek
Cabaye
Milivojevic
Townsend
Zaha
Benteke
6.5
6.2
7.1
7.0
6.3
6.8
7.8
7.3
6.8
7.6
6.8
Begovic
Francis
Daniels
Cook
Ake
Stanislas
Cook
Surman
Fraser
King
Defoe
7.8
6.9
6.2
7.1
6.5
6.3
7.6
7.4
6.5
7.2
8.1
Dann (Sakho 25′)
McArthur (Cabaye 65′)
Sako (Townsend 77′)
Kelly
Puncheon
van Aanholt
Hennessey
7.2
6.1
6.1
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Ibe (Stanislas 65′)
Wilson (Defoe 80′)
Afobe (Fraiser 87′)
Arter
Gosling
Simpson
Boruc
6.3
6.5
5.9
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.

Match Statistics

Crystal Palace
0-0
Bournemouth
45
21
7
8
6
15
6
5
3
14
5
326
16
Ball Possession %
Goal Attempts
On Target
Off Target
Blocked Shots
Free Kicks
Corner Kicks
Offsides
Goalkeeper Saves
Fouls
Yellow Cards
Total Passes
Tackles
55
11
5
3
3
19
3
3
5
14
2
426
17

Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.

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