Wednesday 17 January 2018

Bournemouth add to Palace woes

Crystal Palace 1 Bournemouth 2

Benik Afobe celebrates after scoring the second goal for Bournemouth
Photo: Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Benik Afobe celebrates after scoring the second goal for Bournemouth Photo: Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha chases the ball with Bournemouth's Adam Smith Photo: Peter Cziborra / Action Images via Reuters Newsdesk Newsdesk

Crystal Palace may have long stopped being one of the potential outsiders for a European place, but Bournemouth continue to be one of the stories of the season.

This comeback victory at Selhurst Park continued their fine run of form in 2016 so far, taking eight points from a possible 15.

That is in stark contrast to free-falling Palace, who have failed to pick up a league point in this year.

Recovering from conceding the opening goal to Scott Dann, Bournemouth went seven points clear of the relegation zone after Marc Pugh and Benik Afobe scored either side of half-time.

Palace went ahead on 27 minutes. Collecting possession from Chung-yong Lee's backheeled pass, Wilfried Zaha sent a powerful cross towards Dann which the defender impressively volleyed beyond goalkeeper Artur Boruc and into the back of the net.

It says much about Palace's lack of a consistent finisher that Dann only requires one more to level with five-goal Cabaye as the club's leading goalscorer so far this season, but he was recruited to help prevent Palace conceding and was outclassed for Bournemouth's equalising goal seven minutes later.

Pugh displayed fine footwork to turn the defender and create space from 15 yards, whereupon he then sent a composed finish past Wayne Hennessey.

The visitors struck again on 55 minutes when Afobe pounced to head the rebound home after Matt Richie's shot had been blocked.

Irish Independent

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