Allardyce's Palace break Premier League duck with win at Bournemouth

By dsguser
31 January 2017

Crystal Palace secured their first Premier League win under Sam Allardyce with a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Both sides struggled in the first half as the rain came down at the Vitality Stadium but the visitors needed less than a minute after half-time to take the lead through Scott Dann.

Bournemouth had the majority of the possession in the second half but Palace doubled their lead in injury time through Christian Benteke.

The result means Bournemouth have failed to win a game in January and Eddie Howe made three changes from the side which drew 2-2 with Watford on January 21.

Simon Francis, back from suspension, Brad Smith and Benik Afobe replaced Tyrone Mings, Charlie Daniels and Callum Wilson while for Palace, Patrick van Aanholt was handed his debut after joining from Sunderland on Monday.

Eagles winger Wilfried Zaha was back in the starting line-up for the first time since he returned from the African Nations Cup and came close to putting the visitors in the lead early on in foggy conditions. Some impressive footwork saw the Ivory Coast international lose Bournemouth's defence before his low shot hit the post.

Bournemouth struggled to get into the game in the opening 15 minutes, with Palace's defence looking strong, but a moment of nervousness between the back four left Josh King with the chance to pick their pocket. The forward was given space and time but his curling shot was wide of the mark.

Speaking before the game at the Vitality Stadium, Palace manager Sam Allardyce said that playing games on transfer deadline day was unsettling for the players and despite a couple of decent chances for both sides, neither could break through to open the scoring in the first half.

Bournemouth had to wait for Palace to come out for the second half but Allaradyce's team talk seemed to work as just 55 seconds after the restart, Palace took the lead.

Yohan Cabaye's initial corner was punched away by Artur Boruc but the ball fell to Van Aanholt, whose quick pass gave Jason Puncheon time to curl the ball back into the box.

Damien Delaney's flick fell to Dann, who slotted it home to score his first goal since September and put Palace on course for their first victory under the former England manager.

Bournemouth piled on the pressure after the goal but despite a number of chances, they conceded a second in stoppage time.

Andros Townsend, who has been heavily linked with a move back to Newcastle, crossed and an unmarked Benteke had an easy task to head into the back of the net.

Bournemouth have conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven home league fixtures as they slip to 14th in the table while Palace remain two points behind 17th-placed Swansea, who beat Southampton.

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