Christian Benteke

Hull City relegated from Premier League

Leave a comment
  • Palace, Swans staying up
  • Hull going down
  • Ranocchia’s early error dooms Hull

Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke clinched Premier League safety for Crystal Palace and Swansea City on Sunday, their first half goals enough to send Hull City down in a 4-0 win at Selhurst Park.

Luka Milivojevic converted a late penalty and Patrick Van Aanholt scored on the edge of stoppage time to seal the win.

Hull has 34 points, four behind Swans and seven back of Palace.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ranocchia’s colossal error made it 1-0 within the first two minutes, his swing and miss at a Michael Dawson back pass allowed Zaha — of all people! — in one-on-one with Eldin Jakupovic. The star keeper didn’t have much of a chance.

The desperation clicked up a notch for Hull, but good chances failed to materialize as the game neared the half-hour mark. Alfred N'Diaye blazed a shot over the bar, but it was mainly Palace’s advantage in class on display.

Jason Puncheon‘s 34th minute corner saw Benteke power past Harry Maguire to head home, and Hull was in a lot of trouble.

Palace should’ve conceded a penalty within minutes of the second goal when Puncheon handled Kamil Grosicki‘s free kick, but Martin Atkinson didn’t see the offense.

The second half was cagey, as Palace set back to hit on the counter. Andros Townsend was particularly effective in his defensive responsibilities.

Palace wrote its safe status in ink when Dawson took down Jeffrey Schlupp and Milivojevic sent Jakupovic the wrong way. Van Aanholt took a pass from James McArthur to make it 4-0 as the match his stoppage time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

Leave a comment
  • Chelsea won 1-0 on Dec. 17
  • Palace won at Chelsea last season
  • Blues lead all-time 21W-15D-9L

Big Sam Allardyce will put his relegation-battling mettle on the line with a brutal stretch of games beginning with Crystal Palace’s London Derby at Chelsea on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. EDT on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Palace plays Chelsea, Southampton, Arsenal, Leicester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur over the next six fixtures, and are a mere four points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: PL Preview — Merseyside Derby ]

Allardyce has led a stiffening of Palace’s once-porous back line, though Eden Hazard, Pedro, and company will challenge that. The Eagles’ three-straight clean sheets have come against Middlesbrough, West Brom, and Watford.

Chelsea’s only league loss since the calendar hit October came in January, a span which has seen the Blues draw only twice.

What they’re saying

Allardyce on Christian Benteke’s two-month goal drought: “From Christian’s point, it’s very frustrating for him because he hasn’t put the ball in the back of the net since Bournemouth. He’s had opportunities and they’ve come and gone, and hopefully they will arrive at the right time for us, which is in the next 10 games. If we are to stay up then we need to get Christian scoring again, and I would hope he could bag five or six goals in the next 10 games to try and help the problem we’re in.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte on the plight of Palace“If you ask me why they are in this position, I don’t know. It’s very strange. When you have this team with these great players it can happen, like with Chelsea last season. They have won the last three games; in the last six games they are sixth in the table. We have to pay great attention.”

Prediction

It’s nice of Conte to pay lip service to the legit talent of Palace, but this will be a day for the Blues. Chelsea 3-0.

Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace: Big Sam finally nets first W

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Palace two points out of safety
  • Bournemouth in 14th
  • Benteke breaks slump

Scott Dann and Christian Benteke helped Sam Allardyce to his first Premier League win as Crystal Palace manager, though the Eagles remain in the drop zone after their 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday.

For Benteke, it was his ninth PL goal of the season and his first since Dec. 10.

Swansea’s win means Palace is still in the relegation zone, while Bournemouth sits seven points clear of the Eagles.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace was lively to open the match, as Christian Benteke missed an early chance wide of the goal.

There weren’t many chances at the other end, though Junior Stanislas shot wide of goal as the game neared halftime.

Dann then put Palace ahead, depositing a Damien Delaney flick behind Artur Boruc.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton: Benteke brace backs embattled Pardew

Leave a comment
  • Defensive gaffes cost Saints
  • Palace jumps 13th
  • Benteke nabs two

Christian Benteke and James Tomkins made Southampton’s sleepy defense pay time and again as Crystal Palace spoke up for embattled manager Alan Pardew with a 3-0 win on Saturday at Selhurst Park.

Pardew’s seat was red-hot following six-straight losses, but the Eagles were desperate for the ball in an easy win over sloppy Saints.

Saints are now 11th with 17 points, three points and two places above the hosts.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints settled into the match fairly quickly, but had trouble troubling the Palace goal. Sofiane Boufal did some delightful work inside the box to set up a chance that ended with Ryan Bertrand‘s shot deflecting wide of the near post.

Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha were lively on the counter, the latter cueing up a header that Christian Benteke dove to head just wide of the goal in the 25th minute.

Benteke got his goal when Fraser Forster had an all-timer of a gaffe, missing his clearance when his plant leg got a piece of it. The Belgian tapped in for an almost literal birthday gift.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Oriel Romeu allowed Tomkins his goal by inexplicably stopping his marking on a corner kick, and the defender bundled his effort across the line. 2-0… and stunning.

That wasn’t the end of it, with Benteke and Jason Puncheon shocking the Saints back line by working for a lobbed in prayer off a missed Saints clearance to make it 3-0.

Follow @NicholasMendola

WATCH: Fraser Forster with a GK error for the ages

Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Basically, it’s an accidental reverse rabona.

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has far more tremendous moments than abysmal ones, but the Saints man has committed a gaffe more likely to be seen in a men’s league.

[ STREAM: Any Premier League match live ]

A below-average men’s league at that, as an under-pressure Forster almost completely missed his clearance against Crystal Palace.

The bumbling ball was easily slotted by Christian Benteke, who will not score many easier goals in his life.

Pressure the keeper, kids.

Follow @NicholasMendola