Crystal Palace 0-2 Bournemouth: Roy Hodgson unmoved as pressure mounts on manager

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Crystal Palace's fine start to the season felt a distant memory at Selhurst Park on Wednesday as Bournemouth ran out 2-0 winners.

Manager Roy Hodgson is now feeling the heat after a chilly night brought a lukewarm performance from his side. Palace have now not won in over a month.

Yet it was they who started with the greater purpose and bite — Michael Olise’s free-kick allowing Jordan Ayew to test goalkeeper Neto for the game’s first chance.

Ayew cut in from the left not long after, firing against the gloves of Neto and giving a signal of what was to come from him. He was the best player in the first half, Olise the equivalent after the break. Yet Palace lost.

Bournemouth so nearly edged in front when Jefferson Lerma’s lunging tackle fell for Antoine Semenyo to test Sam Johnstone in the Palace goal.

Through Olise’s hashed bicycle kick and then Lerma’s misjudged shot from range which crashed wide, Palace continued to miss decent chances. Roy Hodgson’s will have feared that they could be punished dearly for not taking them. And soon they were.

From Ryan Christie’s beckoning corner delivery, Luis Sinisterra flicked on for central defender Marcos Senesi to head the Cherries in front. A first goal of the season for the one-time Argentina international.

For the fourth match in a row, the Eagles had fallen a goal behind, and it ignited a flame in Bournemouth that saw them finish the first half well on top.

After Tyrick Mitchell was replaced by Nathaniel Clyne due to an injury precaution, Bournemouth nearly doubled their lead first through Justin Kluivert’s solo counter and shot, and then when Dominic Solanke took Marc Guehi out of the game with a deft swivel and volley which Johnstone saved.

But after not insignificant boos from large sections of the home support when the half-time whistle blew, Palace returned from their half-time oranges with a lot more juice. Particularly busy was Olise. He only returned from his awful hamstring injury two games ago but was vibrant and vitalic and carried the ball with real purpose here.

And he was chief playmaker too, finding a lovely pass in behind which Lerma ran on to and struck on goal with purpose. Neto did excellently to get across and tip the Colombian’s shot against the post and out.

Dominate possession though they did, but Palace in the second half had off-the-ball movement only when Olise was the one providing it. Even their manager stood, unmoved on the touchline.

When substitute Kieffer Moore arrived at the back post to nod Bournemouth’s second past Johnstone in injury time, Selhurst Park began to empty out as boos, louder this time, rang out. Palace are firmly in the mire.