Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace: Sam Allardyce claims first Premier League win with Eagles
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 01/02/17 12:39am
Sam Allardyce finally claimed his first Premier League win as Crystal Palace boss with a 2-0 victory at Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
Scott Dann put the visitors ahead with a close-range finish from Damien Delaney's flick-on shortly after half-time.
Christian Benteke sealed the victory in injury time when he met Andros Townsend's cross with a trademark header.
Crystal Palace flew out of the traps and almost took the lead in spectacular fashion after just three minutes when Wilfried Zaha, returning to first-team duties following his short spell at the Africa Cup of Nations, struck the post.
The Ivory Coast international, comfortably the best player on the pitch in the first half, was unlucky to see his superb long-range strike hit the woodwork after skimming off the wet playing surface at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth responded well and nearly went ahead when Josh King fired a shot narrowly wide of Wayne Hennessey's post after a sloppy pass from Palace's new signing Patrick van Aanholt.
Zaha then struck a shot straight at Artur Boruc when well placed inside the area before Junior Stanislas saw his goal-bound shot deflected wide by Dann as the two sides went in at the break goalless.
However, it took just a minute for Palace to break the deadlock after the restart.
Yohan Cabaye swung in a near post corner which was flicked on towards Dann, who made no mistake from six yards out to power past Boruc in the Bournemouth goal.
The Cherries should have drawn themselves level immediately afterwards but Josh King could only direct his close-range header over the bar.
Palace largely limited Bournemouth to long-range efforts but the home side came agonisingly close to equalising when Steve Cook fired a well hit shot narrowly wide of the post in the closing stages.
Bournemouth continued to push for an equaliser but were made the pay when substitute Townsend found Benteke unmarked in the area with an inch-perfect cross.
The Belgium international made no mistake to power a header past Boruc and seal victory for the visitors with just seconds remaining.
Bournemouth: Boruc (5), A. Smith (5), Francis (6), Cook (6), B. Smith (4), Stanislas (5), Surman (5), Wilshere (7), Fraser (7), King (6), Afobe (5)
Subs used: Arter (5), Ibe (6), Wilson (6)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (5), Dann (8), Tomkins (7), Delaney (6), Van Aanholt (6), Cabaye (6), McArthur (7), Puncheon (6), Zaha (8), Benteke (7)
Subs used: Ledley (5), Townsend (6), Flamini (5)
Man of the match: Zaha