Crystal Palace 2 – Bournemouth 2: Christian Benteke penalty gaffe costs Roy Hodgson | Football | Sport

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Inexplicably, the Belgian, without a goal this season, took a stoppage-time spot-kick even though Luke Milivojevic, who had scored from 12 yards in the first half, was still on the pitch.

It was an unbelievable decision that certainly denied the Palace two valuable points and saw them back at the bottom of the Premier League.

And Benteke couldn’t even claim that it took a brilliant save to stop him finally getting off the mark…as his attempt rolled along the ground straight into keeper Asmir Begovic’s arms.

Some furious Palace fans jeered and barracked their big-money striking flop as he was second to walk down the tunnel.

If only he had the killer touch that Jermain Defoe still has even though he’s not that far away from his 40th year!

He was born 16miles away on the other bank of the River Thames, but always feels at home whenever he trots out at Selhurst Park.

He struck twice in a frantic first half to make it five goals on his last three visits!

Despite Defoe’s goal-den show, Palace trailed, led and then went in level at half-time as both sets of defenders went AWOL.

Ref Kevin Friend added to the pre-Christmas fun and games angering both Palace and Cherries’ fans in turn.

Palace were furious about the corner that led to

Andrew Surman playing it short to Junior Stanislas.

He picked out Defoe and the former England striker calmly swept his shot just inside the post to spark as many celebrations on the bench as on the pitch after a training ground routine worked to perfection.

It was a landmark strike for Defoe – his 200th career goal – and he added his second in first half stoppage time with a sublime lob over Julian Speroni.

If Palace were miffed about the decision that led to the opening goal, the Cherries were even angrier to concede the first of two penalties when Wilfried Zaha went down after barely a touch from Asmir Begovic.

Cool as a cucumber Milivojevic fired past him for the 41st minute spot-kick equaliser and sub Scott Dann was first to Yohan Cabaye’s rifled cross.

Remarkably, the defender has now scored in each of his last four games against Eddie Howe’s team!

Palace must yearn for someone like Defoe, who has now scored nine goals against Palace, in the box as they try to end a run of five draws in their last seven games.

Another big chance fell to Dann but even though he was only three yards out he somehow spooned Benteke’s knock down over the top.

But there was still one more opportunity…until Benteke stepped up to make it another miserable night for Palace.



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