Christian Benteke saw his late penalty saved by Asmir Begovic as Crystal Palace and Bournemouth played out an entertaining 2-2 draw not short on drama

By 90Min
December 09, 2017

Christian Benteke saw his late penalty saved by Asmir Begovic as Crystal Palace and Bournemouth played out an entertaining 2-2 draw not short on drama.

Two goals for Jermaine Defoe, including a stunning second, came either side of a Luka Milivojevic penalty and Scott Dann strike as all the goals came in the first half, before Benteke passed up the chance for a late winner. 

Palace settled the quicker of the two sides and looked confident in their play. A Jeffrey Schlupp strike and Benteke header meant early opportunities to take the lead at Selhurst Park. 

Eddie Howe's side rallied and opened the scoring through Jermaine Defoe. Andrew Surman took a short corner and his delivery found Defoe in plenty of space inside the penalty area before slotting past Speroni, although Palace thought Josh King pulled Schlupp to the ground. The goal stood though, for Bournemouth to take the lead on the 10th minute.

The Eagles then had three glorious chances through Andros Townsend, Benteke and Mamadou Sakho, but couldn't find a way past Begovic and some alert Nathan Ake defending. 

For all their pressing, Palace almost conceded a second in bizarre circumstances. Defoe was played onside by an injured Sakho and would've scored his second before a covering James Tomkins desperately slid in to deny Defoe a controversial second for Bournemouth.

With five minutes of the half left, Palace were awarded a penalty as Begovic was adjudged to have brought down Zaha and Kevin Friend pointed to the spot. Milivojevic stepped up and converted the penalty to give Palace a deserved equaliser. 

One soon became two as substitute Scott Dann scored a minute before the break. Yohan Cabaye delivered a low cross following the initial corner, with Dann unmarked at the back post to slide in and complete the turnaround inside the first half.

Hodgson's delight soon turned to frustration as Defoe scored a brilliant second in an amazing half. A speculative long ball found Defoe at a tight angle, who volleyed his effort spectacularly over a hapless Speroni to make sure Bournemouth went into half-time level on terms with Palace in a breathless first 45 minutes. 

The second half started with the same intensity as the first with both clubs looking to make an immediate impact, although it was a shot from distance from either side that both goalkeepers dealt with routinely.

 

Defoe then had a wonderful opportunity to complete his hat trick, but scuffed the cutback from Junior Stanislas well wide from just 12 yards out, before Steve Cook at the other end blocked in front of Cabaye who was poised to strike from close range.

Substitute Jordon Ibe tested Speroni from distance the game in the balance with 20 minutes still left to play. 

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Dann then had his head in his hands after firing the ball over from a yard out. Benteke's header from a free-kick found the centre-back but couldn't find the target and score his second of the game.

Five minutes remained before Ruben Loftus-Cheek tested Begovic from range, who was down quickly to turn the ball wide, before watching the ball sail past his left hand post as Miilivojevic fired wide from inside the penalty area. 

Palace looked more likely to score a late winner and soon had the chance to after being awarded a controversial penalty in added time.

Zaha went down after the challenge from Charlie Daniels who appeared to get the ball, but referee Friend thought otherwise and pointed for his second penalty of the game. Benteke stepped up and fluffed his lines with his weak penalty beaten away by Begovic deep into added time, as the whistle sounded for full-time to end a pulsating game at Selhurst Park. 

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