King strikes at death to keep Palace in the mire

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Tom Pren­tki at Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium

If you go to watch Bournemouth, do not leave early. For the sev­enth game in a row in­volv­ing the south-coast club, a goal was scored af­ter 89 min­utes and they have now won 18 points from los­ing po­si­tions.

Here, Joshua King bun­dled in Steve Cook’s flick-on at the far post with a minute of nor­mal time re­main­ing, to spoil Crys­tal Palace’s af­ter­noon.

It looked as though Palace would once again have Wil­fried Zaha to thank for a mo­ment of magic giv­ing them a pre­cious vic­tory in their fight to beat the drop.

“I have con­fi­dence in the team and I think the team has shown con­fi­dence, but it’s go­ing to be a dog­fight,” said a frus­trated Roy Hodg­son, the man­ager.

Palace have opened up a three-point gap on the bot­tom three, but this draw would have felt like a de­feat, given that Bournemouth’s equaliser came so late.

“We couldn’t hold on to the lead on two oc­ca­sions and we cer­tainly cre­ated enough chances to put the game to bed,” added Hodg­son. “If we con­tinue to play like that over the next five games, we have to be­lieve we can take enough points.”

With Brighton, Wat­ford and Le­ices­ter to play, the Ea­gles should be con­fi­dent in their abil­ity to sur­vive, but los­ing points late on in their past two games is sure to have had an ef­fect on con­fi­dence.

Hodg­son will point to a host of chances squan­dered in the sec­ond half, though Bournemouth were full value for their point.

“We have got play­ers here who want to go the ex­tra mile to en­hance their ca­reers and I think that has shone again to­day,” said Ed­die Howe, the Bournemouth man­ager.

It looked as though the bril­liant but frus­trat­ing Zaha would once again prove the match-win­ner for Palace as he scored 15 min­utes from time – but Bournemouth claimed their 18th point from los­ing po­si­tions with King’s strike.

This game showed both sides of the Ivo­rian’s game. A bril­liant re­verse pass to set up a chance for An­dros Townsend and a bam­boo­zling 360-de­gree turn to set up his goal were the good; con­stant chastis­ing of his team-mates and petu­lance to­wards the ref­eree and op­po­si­tion play­ers, the bad.

Bournemouth had the bet­ter of the first half and might have taken the lead af­ter 40 sec­onds had Cal­lum Wil­son man­aged to make a proper con­nec­tion with Char­lie Daniels’ low cross.

Bournemouth had ac­crued 21 points in 2018, a num­ber bet­tered only by the cur­rent top four. That run has lifted them clear of dan­ger, not that Howe is ready to ad­mit his team are safe.

Palace made the per­fect start to the sec­ond half, with Luka Milivo­je­vic curl­ing in a 25-yard free-kick af­ter Jer­main De­foe had brought down Yo­han Cabaye. Bournemouth were quick to re­spond with Marc Pugh and Lewis Cook draw­ing saves from Wayne Hen­nessey.

Bournemouth sub­sti­tute Lys Mous­set took one crisply struck shot as he swept in from the edge of the area af­ter good work from Ryan Fraser. That did little for Zaha’s petu­lance as the Ivo­rian con­tin­ued to be­rate each of his team­mates when­ever the ball failed to reach him. His spir­its im­proved as he ex­e­cuted a 360-de­gree turn to evade Fraser on the edge of the area be­fore scor­ing, via a slight de­flec­tion.

With the fourth of­fi­cial pre­par­ing his board, Bournemouth won a corner. It was flicked it on and King pro­vided the cru­cial touch, giv­ing the hosts par­ity.

Late lev­eller: Joshua King slots home in the 89th minute to earn Bournemouth a point

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