Bournemouth 2 Crystal Palace 1
Bournemouth left it late, but the nightmarish memory of that defeat at Turf Moor has now been banished. This game was approaching its finale with Crystal Palace level when the hosts rallied. Wayne Hennessey had summoned two fine saves to deny Callum Wilson, clean through on goal, and Dan Gosling, but the Welshman's luck would not hold.
A free-kick swung into the box had the visitors further panicked when Mamadou Sakho swung an arm back into Jefferson Lerma. Mike Dean spotted the offence and awarded the penalty, which Junior Stanislas, only recently introduced to the contest, converted with ease. That undid all the work Palace had put in to recover an early deficit and left Roy Hodgson contemplating a fourth defeat of term. Bournemouth, thrust back into the upper echelons, have re-established their momentum.
Palace had always feared they might be subjected to a backlash given the thrashing – on paper, at least – Eddie Howe’s side had endured at Burnley in their previous top-flight game. That reverse had been completely out of keeping with the rest of Bournemouth’s campaign, a shock to the system, with this billed as an opportunity to make amends. The urgency of the hosts’ start – all vibrant attacking play down the flanks to unnerve even the visitors’ athletic full-backs and muscular speed through the middle to perturb the centre-halves – duly set a tempo that quickly left the Londoners wheezing in arrears.
Howe's team boast so much energy and drive when they are on song. Their front two, Wilson and Josh King, dragged James Tomkins and Sakho from their comfort zone with speed and aggression, offering no opportunity for the visitors to settle into the contest. Ryan Fraser, whose form has been startlingly good all season, was a nuisance down the left, though it was David Brooks, the Wales international who had been named best player at the 2017 Toulon Tournament while with England, who proved incisive.
The winger had already fizzed one low centre across the six-yard box by the time Adam Smith, operating from left-back, scuttled down the flank and squared for Wilson five minutes in. The striker, with his back to goal, calmly and precisely laid the ball across the area where Brooks, in space away from Patrick van Aanholt, whipped a fine first-time shot beyond Hennessey and in off the crossbar. The 21-year-old had cost £11.5m from Sheffield United in the summer, with this his first goal for his new club. The pace of Bournemouth's approach play may have dipped at times thereafter, but Palace's rearguard were forever playing on the edge, heaving to contain the home side's intent.
Roy Hodgson had departed at the break with a mutter and a scowl. His team had been far too sloppy in the final third, even with Max Meyer making a first league start since his summer move from Schalke, to stretch their hosts sufficiently. Midfielders edged into offside positions and were checked by a flag, while too much of their play fizzled out on the approach, Wilfried Zaha left frustrated and unable to make a proper impact up against Simon Francis.
The Ivory Coast international found himself rather swamped at times, with Jordan Ayew struggling to offer a supportive presence up front. It was tempting to suggest Christian Benteke, a player with only three goals in 34 top-flight games, was being badly missed.
Meyer's display had offered promise, the German's busy delivery almost coaxing Luka Milivojevic back into form at his side, but Palace's better opportunities seemed to fall unerringly to James McArthur. The Scot had already side-footed over the bar when, moments later, he failed to make a proper contact on Andros Townsend's cross and allowed Bournemouth defenders to smother the ball away. Yet those chances hinted at a shift in momentum which, with Palace's poise in possession returning, eventually forced parity.
The visitors’ reward was fortunate in its construction. Zaha had inadvertently struck Meyer with a crossfield pass only for the ball to rebound back to the forward, who spun and slid Van Aanholt beyond Francis and into the penalty area.
The Dutchman was in an offside position as he darted through to collect but, with no assistant’s flag forthcoming, checked back inside and ripped an emphatic right-foot finish into the top corner via Asmir Begovic’s fingertips.
How this team have craved goals from players other than Zaha, with Van Aanholt, prolific towards the end of last term, as likely a source as any. Yet where it felt as if Bournemouth were suddenly there for the taking, Howe’s side summoned a rally.
King’s cross, flicked on by Nathan Aké, might have yielded reward only for Sakho’s timely touch to deny Wilson a tap in at the far post. The striker, slipped in by Fraser after Van Aanholt’s mistake, should have scored as full-time approached, with Gosling’s header also beaten away by Hennessey. Yet there would be a sting in the tail which would leave Palace deflated and defeated. – Guardian service