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First Team

Benteke reveals half-time plan and thoughts before his first goal

6 December 2020

Before Crystal Palace faced West Bromwich Albion, Roy Hodgson explained why he chose to start Christian Benteke.

"I think it's the right time to give him a chance to show what he can do alongside Wilf [Zaha]," the Palace manager told Sky Sports.

First Team

Wilfried Zaha's reaction to West Bromwich Albion 1-5 Crystal Palace

6 December 2020

About two hours later, Hodgson's decision was thoroughly vindicated; both Benteke and Zaha netting a brace in a 5-1 victory.

After the game, Benteke caught up with Palace TV to explain how he regarded the 90 minutes, saying: "I’m really pleased to have the chance to score those two goals but the most important thing is those three points because we had to react after our two defeats in a row. All the boys this afternoon did well.

"I was ready and I spoke with the manager. He told me to be ready because there was a chance for me to play and I’m really pleased this afternoon.

"I told [Zaha] I was happy to see him back and especially to play with him because we have pressure to play with each other and we showed that again today."

At half-time, however, Palace's victory was no foregone conclusion, with the Eagles and Baggies tied at 1-1. West Brom were down to 10-men and Palace looked strong, so Benteke reveals: "We were all positive in the dressing room [at half-time]. We said: ‘We have to be patient. We have to make sure we move the ball quick and we’ll get our chances.’ That’s what we did."

Finally, Benteke reflected on the first of his two goals: a close-range header on the end of Patrick van Aanholt's tight chip into the box.

The Belgian explained his thought process as Van Aanholt raced to the byline, saying: "I thought he had no other solution [than] to put the ball to the near post. I said: ‘I’m going to go there. If the ball comes I’ll make sure I’m the first man to hit the ball.’"

To watch highlights and match reaction from this clash for free, keep an eye on Palace TV by clicking here or 'Palace TV' within the app!

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