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Match Reports

Report: Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace

7 April 2018

An excellent individual effort from Wilfried Zaha looked to have sealed a valuable three points for the Eagles until once again Bournemouth scored a late goal to take a share of the spoils.

Seven points separated both sides as the relegation run in continues to be as tight as ever this season and Roy Hodgson went into this one without the injured Christian Benteke but did welcome back James Tomkins and Ruben Loftus-Cheek into the starting eleven.

The hosts had the perfect opportunity to take an early advantage as Charlie Daniels played the ball into the box and he found Callum Wilson but the striker, who was left unmarked in wasn’t able to connect in the way he would have liked and the ball ran out of play.

On nine minutes Palace had their first chance of the afternoon when Andros Townsend played the ball across goal but Steve Cook just got to it ahead of  Wilfried Zaha to put out of play and give away the first corner of the afternoon.

James McArthur had the next opportunity to break the deadlock for the visitors when after a good spell of passing he was the man with the ball at his feet, inside the box, and the chance to shoot which he did but with the effort heading towards goal he saw it blocked by Nathan Ake.  

In a good first half of football between the two sides the action was soon back at the other end of the field and Palace were grateful for an excellent block by Aaron Wan-Bissaka on 37 minutes to deny Jermain Defoe when the striker was in a good position in front of goal.

In added time of the opening period Simon Francis’s cross was met well by Wilson but his powerful header as he got up above his man went wide of the target.  

Palace had the perfect start to the second half as birthday boy Luka Milivojevic struck the perfect free kick from outside the box on 47 minutes after a foul on James Tomkins.

Asmir Begovic didn’t stand a chance in the Bournemouth goal as it was so well placed into the bottom corner of the net to give Hodgson’s side a vital lead.

Just minutes later at the other end of the pitch Wayne Hennessey kept his side ahead with a fine save as he got down well to push away a shot from Lewis Cook as the home side looked for an immediate response.

Patrick van Aanholt had a great chance to extend the lead when he found himself in space and picking the ball up to run towards goal but his shot was saved by Begovic from close range.

The home side pushed forward trying to get on level terms and in turn left space at the back with a couple of chances falling to Zaha. On 59 minutes he saw his shot pushed away by Begovic and then he had another chance when put in by Townsend but that effort was blocked.

The home side made Palace pay for those missed chances when substitute Lys Mousset made the most of his chance just two minutes after coming on as he put away the opportunity past Hennessey to bring the scores level.

Hodgson’s side soon regained the advantage when Zaha showed his brilliance by getting the better of his man with an excellent turn on the edge of the box and then firing the ball into the roof of the net with a superb left foot finish, which Begovic could do nothing about, with fifteen minutes remaining.

With six minutes remaining Fraser got the better of his man and drove the ball into the box but Cabaye made a terrific block to cut out the danger. 

The home side were back on level terms though with two minutes remaining as another sub, Joshua King, scored yet another late Cherries goal this season, as he got the ball over the line at the far post. 

Despite two excellent goals for the visitors it was only a share of the points for Hodgson's side on their trip to the south coast despite leading twice against Eddie Howe's side. 

Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, Cook (Surman 80), Gosling, Aké. Pugh (Mousset 62), Daniels, Wilson (King 62), Cook, Defoe, Fraser

Subs: Boruc, Smith, Simpson, Taylor

Palace: Hennessey, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Zaha, Sakho, McArthur, Wan-Bissaka

Subs: Cavalieri, Lee, Souaré, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly, Daly, Riedewald.

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