Christian Benteke

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

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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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.

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WATCH: Fraser Forster with a GK error for the ages

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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.

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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.

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Burnley 3-2 Crystal Palace: Barnes wins it in stoppage

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  • Barnes at the death
  • Burnley up 2-0 by 15′
  • Wickham pulls one back
  • Benteke nabs equalizer

Shocking defending put Crystal Palace down 2-0, and a valiant comeback was betrayed by that same defense in a 3-2 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke had leveled things for the visitors, but a 94th minute counter attack had Palace at the proverbial sixes and sevens as Ashley Barnes pushed a winner past Steve Mandanda.

Sam Vokes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored the opening goals for Burnley, who rise to ninth in the table with 14 points. Palace sinks 15th, with 11 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace’s defense was all over the place on the opening goal. Despite a cross hit too far and a less-than-ideal hit at goal, Vokes was able to bundle in the opener to make it 1-0 in the second minute.

And, oh, Steve Mandanda. After a strong save by Tom Heaton at the other end, Burnley’s Vokes slipped Gudmundsson in on goal. Mandanda’s parry of the Burnley man’s rip bounced into the net.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace pulled within a goal when substitute Wickham took Wilfried Zaha‘s cross with style to make it 2-1. And Benteke finished a penalty kick opportunity to make honors even before Barnes’ surprising late goal.

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

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  • Palace 5W-1D-3L in last 9 vs. Reds
  • Reds lead all-time 18W-7D-9L
  • Liverpool two-straight wins at Selhurst Park

Liverpool’s title aims meet a struggling foe in Crystal Palace in a Saturday match at Selhurst Park (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC and streaming via NBC Sports Live).

The Reds are level on points with Arsenal and Manchester City but behind on a pair of goals in differential. Jurgen Klopp‘s side had to contend with Spurs at midweek in the EFL Cup, but the Reds used a few youth players to stay fresh for the weekend.

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Palace has a lone point in three matches, and has dropped to 11th place in the table. That’s four points clear of the drop zone, and Alan Pardew‘s teams have fallen victim to long losing streaks in the past. He’ll want to stop the rot straightaway.

And, for whatever reason, Palace has been able to find points against Liverpool. The Eagles have won five of nine against the Reds, and Christian Benteke will be fired up to face the manager who didn’t have much of a need for the big Belgian striker.

What they’re saying

Yohan Cabaye on playing for CPFC boss Alan Pardew:He wants us to be really focused and determined through the week because if not he knows that otherwise come the weekend it will be very difficult to be fit and play at 100 percent. He tries to keep us really focused on the details because now, in modern football, details are really important.”

Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum on young players contributing vs. Spurs“You see a lot of young players when they come into the first team and play a big game, they are nervous and you don’t see their quality immediately. I don’t know if they were nervous but it didn’t seem like it. They just played their game and played how they train.”

Prediction

Palace has several dangerous components in Wilfried Zaha, Yohan Cabaye, and Andros Townsend. If they are delivering plays to what will be an extremely motivated Christian Benteke, check out how Liverpool’s back line handles the big man. Look for Palace to be in this one all 90 long, and the Eagles just may nick a point at home. 2-2.