Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze gave Crystal Palace a convincing 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
With new Bournemouth owner Bill Foley and minority shareholder Michael B Jordan watching on, the hosts produced a lackluster performance but Palace thoroughly deserved the three points in difficult conditions on the south coast.
Ayew headed Palace in front on 19 minutes when he guided in a Michael Olise corner and the visitors firmly took control when another brilliantly worked Olise set-piece was finely converted by Eze from the edge of the box (36).
Bournemouth: Travers (5), Anthony (6), Smith (6), Senesi (6), Kelly (6), Zemura (5), Cook (6), Lerma (6), Billing (5), Solanke (6), Moore (5).
Subs: Dembele (6), Rothwell (6), Christie (n/a), Lowe (n/a).
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (6), Andersen (7), Guehi (7), Clyne (6), Olise (8), Doucoure (7), Schlupp (7), Ayew (7), Zaha (6), Eze (7).
Subs: Mateta (6), Edouard (6), Hughes (n/a).
Player of the match: Michael Olise.
Bournemouth improved at the start of the second half but rarely threatened as Palace comfortably cruised to their first victory since November 6.
The result leaves Gary O’Neil’s side 15th in the table and just three points above the relegation zone after their sixth defeat in seven Premier League games. Palace bounce back from consecutive losses and are 11th on 22 points.
How Palace brushed aside Bournemouth
New Bournemouth owners Foley and actor Jordan were introduced on the pitch before kick-off, but the sprinkle of Hollywood stardust did little to lift the Cherries.
Both sides paid tribute to Pele with a minute’s applause before action was under way under a considerable downpour.
Bournemouth made one change from the side that lost 2-0 to Chelsea on Tuesday.
Jaidon Anthony came into the starting lineup, replacing Jack Stacey.
As for Crystal Palace, they made two enforced changes following Boxing Day’s 3-0 defeat by Fulham.
Suspended duo James Tomkins and Tyrick Mitchell were replaced by the returning Marc Guehi and Joel Ward.
Palace had an opportunity when the ball fell to Jeffrey Schlupp inside the area but his effort was directed well wide of the left-hand upright.
The visitors were unable to make anything of a handful of early set-pieces but took the lead after 19 minutes when Ayew rose highest to meet Olise’s corner and cushioned a header into the bottom right corner from the edge of the six-yard box.
Olise looked to set up another as he sent the ball across the face of goal from the right but he was ultimately unable to find a team-mate to tuck it past Mark Travers.
Palace then conceded a free-kick of their own, taken by Jaidon Anthony who floated it across the pitch to Kieffer Moore on the left. The Cherries striker directed a threatening header into the box, forcing Vicente Guaita into a leaping catch to avoid any danger of an equaliser.
The Eagles extended their lead after 36 minutes after Olise once again set up a team-mate from a perfectly-placed corner. This time it was Eze, who wasted no time in curling a right-footed effort into the bottom left corner from close to the penalty spot.
The rain eased after the restart, as did the home support, whose side looked more composed. Guaita somehow survived several Bournemouth attempts in a scramble before Travers blocked Eze’s sharp effort directly from a free-kick at the other end.
The hosts could ultimately only take consolation in the fact that the deficit was not wider after Schlupp picked out Jean-Philippe Mateta but the substitute directed his effort wide.
Guaita stopped Siriki Dembele’s strike before Wilfried Zaha skied a late effort and the visitors fended off four minutes of added time to seal the clean-sheet victory.
FPL stats: Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
|Bonus points||Olise (3pts) | Ayew (2pts) | Guaita (1pt)|
Bournemouth travel to Manchester United in the Premier League on January 3 at 8pm before hosting Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup four days later.
Gary O’Neil’s side then return to Premier League action on January 14 at 5.30pm when they make the trip to Brentford, live on Sky Sports.
Up next for Crystal Palace is a Premier League home match against Tottenham on January 4 at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.
Palace then host Southampton in the FA Cup third round on January 7 at 12.30pm before traveling to Chelsea in the league the following weekend.