Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace: Cherries stretch unbeaten run
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 26/12/15 5:44pm
Bournemouth stretched their unbeaten run to six games with an entertaining 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.
Glenn Murray spurned the Cherries' best chance against his former club on 22 minutes, heading wide from close range while Palace went close through Damien Delaney, only for the defender's low volley to be cleared off the line by Simon Francis.
Murray had the best opportunity of the second half, but his weak finish was easily saved by Wayne Hennessey after a strong run from Dan Gosling.
And Scott Dann's block on substitute Tokelo Rantie's goal-bound effort with 10 minutes to play preserved a point for the away side, who were boosted by the return of Yohan Cabaye in the second half.
Palace move up to fifth following Manchester United's defeat by Stoke earlier on Saturday afternoon, while Bournemouth stay 14th with 20 points from 18 games.
Alan Pardew made two enforced changes from their 2-1 win over Stoke last weekend, bringing in Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell for injured pair Connor Wickham and Yannick Bolasie, and it was Campbell who created Palace's first opening.
The striker's deflected cross from the left on nine minutes had Artur Boruc back-pedalling, but in windy conditions the ball landed on the roof of the net. From the resulting corner - Palace's third inside the first 10 minutes - Jason Puncheon's delivery was met well by Delaney, but Francis reacted superbly to flick clear.
More good work from Delaney presented Campbell with another chance after 15 minutes, as the defender dispossessed Murray and delivered for the striker, but Campbell curled his effort over from 18 yards.
The Cherries grew into the game after Palace's bright start, and had two chances in as many minutes midway through the first half. Matt Ritchie and Murray went for the same ball after a brilliant run and cross from Junior Stanislas, with Murray heading inches wide against his former club.
Adam Smith turned provider next for the home side, but his low centre was a yard ahead of the onrushing Murray as Palace survived.
Harry Arter was warned for a late tackle on Wilfried Zaha shortly after, and the Bournemouth midfielder went into the book 10 minutes before half-time for another mistimed tackle on the Palace winger.
Just prior, the home side had two quick-fire opportunities to break the deadlock. Dann almost turned Smith's cross into his own net first, before Gosling's deflected strike from the edge of the box had Hennessey scrambling.
The final opening of the first 45 minutes fell to Stanislas, but the winger failed to keep his shot down, and despite an entertaining first half, it ended goalless with just one shot on target from either side.
Both teams made changes at half-time as Arter was withdraw for Eunan O'Kane, while Mutch, making his first league start since the opening day, was replaced by the returning Cabaye.
O'Kane made a quick impact, finding a pocket of space on the edge of the Palace penalty area before forcing a smart save from Hennessey in the 51st minute.
Four minutes later, Murray miscued for the second time when well-placed. The striker scored 44 goals in 113 league games for Palace during a three-year spell at Selhurst Park, but failed to properly test the Palace 'keeper after excellent running from Gosling.
The Bournemouth midfielder passed up the opportunity to shoot himself, setting up his team-mate 12 yards out, but Murray's first-time effort was scuffed into the arms of a grateful Hennessey.
Gosling's half-hearted penalty appeal on the hour mark was waved away by referee Michael Oliver, before Murray was replaced by Rantie for the final 20 minutes.
The South Africa international made an immediate impression, offering a threat in behind that Bournemouth had lacked with Murray as the lone striker.
He had one clear sight of goal in his brief cameo, but delayed his shot in the Palace box after an O'Kane cut-back, giving Dann enough time to superbly block his toe-poked effort.
Dann and Delaney both suffered injuries as the game moved into the final 10 minutes, but Palace had already made their three changes. The duo continued, with Delaney visibly hobbling, but both sides seemed happy to earn a point in scrappy final exchanges.
Palace, unbeaten in the league since their Monday Night Football defeat by Sunderland in late November, face Swansea City on Monday, while Eddie Howe's side travel to Arsenal on the same day.
Bournemouth: Boruc (6), Daniels (6), Cook (7), Francis (8), Smith (7), Gosling (6), Arter (6), Surman (6), Ritchie (6), Stanislas (6), Murray (6)
Subs used: O'Kane (7), Kermorgant (6), Rantie (6)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (7), Ward (6), Dann (8), Delaney (7), Souare (6), Zaha (6), McArthur (6), Ledley (6), Puncheon (6), Mutch (6), Campbell (6)
Subs used: Cabaye (6), Chamakh (6), Jedinak (6)
Man of the match: Scott Dann