JERMAIN DEFOE’S first-half brace meant that his Bournemouth side and strugglers Crystal Palace battled it out to a share of the spoils at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The veteran English striker had initially put the visitors in front early on with a well-placed finish off the back of an impressive corner-kick routine.
Palace then clawed their way back into the game before the interval, with Scott Dann’s equaliser. It was the defender’s fourth consecutive goal in as many games against Bournemouth — making him the first central defender in Premier League history to achieve this goal-scoring feat against the same opponent.
Wilfried Zaha’s performance was described by Roy Hodgson as “out of this world.”
The Ivorian was awarded with a penalty as he was bundled over by Asmir Begovic in first-half stoppage time.
Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic duly converted the spot-kick to give the Eagles what most people thought would be a surprise lead heading into the break.
However, a lack of concentration from the restart saw Palace surrender their lead instantaneously.
A long-ball to Defoe was exquisitely finished by the marksman. The finish was Marco van Basten-esque, as he struck the ball on the half-volley after watching it drop over his shoulder.
The strike stunned Selhurst Park into silence and was one which certainly impressed his manager Eddie Howe.
“Really pleased with both goals because they’re totally different,” said the Bournemouth boss.
“The second one is a trademark run and a great ball from Lewis Cook but from that angle, he has no right to score really. That’s down to the unique talent that Jermain possesses.”
It could have been so very different for Bournemouth if Begovic hadn’t denied Christian Benteke from the penalty spot in second-half injury-time.
The save ensured Defoe’s goals secured a hard-earned point for the visitors.
Hodgson — visibly disappointed in his post-match press conference — expressed his frustration with the choice of penalty-taker.
“Why did Benteke take the penalty and not Milivojevic? Well, I don’t know the answer to that one. We expected Luka to take it, he’s our designated penalty taker, but for some reason Christian persuaded him that ‘it should be me this time’ and he did and missed it.”
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