Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton: Benteke brace backs embattled Pardew
- 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.
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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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4 – Christian Benteke is the 4th player to score a PL goal on his birthday this season (after Koscielny, Ozil & Nolito). Celebration.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2016
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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.