Bou'mouth 2-2 Palace
Crystal Palace let yet another lead slip in the dying embers as Bournemouth levelled in the 89th-minute to leave the Eagles hovering just above the relegation zone.
Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring almost immediately after the break with his 10th goal of the season. This time the dead ball situation was a free kick instead of a penalty and the Serbian gave Asmir Begovic no chance with a curling free-kick from 25 yards.
The visitors then missed a host of chances to put the game to bed, most notably Patrick van Aanholt who couldn’t find a way past the Cherries stopper when in acres of space after a breakaway.
Lys Mousset equalised on 65 minutes with a low drive from the edge of the box only for Wilfried Zaha, whose every touch was booed by the home fans, dazzle the hosts’ backline before firing home with the aid of a slight deflection.
The Eagles looked set to see the game out, but Eddie Howe’s men are the masters of the late comeback and Roy Hodgson’s are the master of conceding the late goal, usually from a corner. So, when the 89th-minute corner was flicked on, the travelling support were unsurprised to see Josh King unmarked and tapping home from a yard out.
Creating loads of chances without Benteke?
With Benteke missing through injury, many seemed to rejoice in “the fact” that we created so many chances to score. In reality, our expected goals in this game was the third lowest of the last nine Premier League games with only the games against Spurs and Man Utd seeing us post lower numbers.
We create chances when Benteke is on the field, he just doesn’t put them away. Just like we didn’t put the chances away in this one. A free kick goal for Palace comes around about once every two seasons and the second goal would have gone straight down Begovic’s throat if not for the deflection. The actual golden chances that we had in this one were missed, just like Benteke has been missing them.
Of course, Benteke gets paid a lot of money to score goals and he is failing at that aspect, but to create a false reality that we somehow looked more dangerous going forward in this game versus games in previous weeks is silly.
Didn’t score. Who lost a bet?
At one point in the second half, a Seagull swooped to the ground in front of the Palace fans where it started to scavenge on some discarded hot dogs before flying away across the pitch. To a (wo)man, everyone in the away end booed the bird as it took flight.
Luka Milivojevic becamse the first Crystal Palace midfielder to score 10 goals in a Premier League season. Should he find the net three more times this season, he would overtake Savo Milosevic as the best ever goalscoring season for a Serbian in English football (12 goals in 1994/95)
James McArthur made his 200th Premier League appearance. 117 of those coming for Palace.
Man of the Match: Andros Townsend
Giving him MOTM sits a little weirdly with me as he infuriated me for half the game. He was either not getting his head up when a simple look and pass would have released Zaha on several occasions or crossing the ball perfectly for Benteke, who was not on the field. Seriously! Why are you not standing up those crosses when he plays?
But, Andros ran his socks off and carried us upfield countless times and prevented the hosts, who have been one of the best teams points wise in the PL since the turn of the new year, from building any sustained periods of pressure.
Townsend now has 6 assists this season, which is a career best and should he find the net one more time this season he will also level his best outturn in a single season.
‘Under the radar’ probably best sums up his season to date.
Up Next: Brighton
A win and we could very well be dragging Brighton back into the mix. A loss and games are starting to run out. Just the kind of added stress one needs to a rivalry. I am going to be a mess come three o’clock on Saturday. Here’s hoping we’ll be celebrating by five.
Come on you Palace!