BY MATT WOOSNAM
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson bemoaned his side’s ill-discipline after a late Junior Stanislas penalty saw Bournemouth take all three points at the Vitality Stadium on Monday night.
The Eagles had gone behind after just 5 minutes to an excellent David Brooks strike, before Patrick van Aanholt equalised in the second half, but Mamadou Sakho’s foul on Jefferson Lerma saw the Cherries awarded a penalty with just three minutes of normal time remaining. Stanislas duly made no mistake from the spot.
The penalty arose from a foul conceded by substitute Alexander Sorloth when the hosts had the ball some distance from goal and posing little threat, and Hodgson felt the challenge was unnecessary.
He said: “It’s always frustrating to lose to a needless free-kick given away which led to a penalty, especially after doing so well by first of all overcoming the shock start and the goal that Brooks scored to then get back onto an even keel in the first half. Then we came out in the second half on the front foot, showed a lot of initiative and got an equaliser.
“At that stage I was hoping we would go on and win it, but in the end we paid a high price for the mistakes we made and we have nothing to show for our efforts.”
The Eagles boss reluctantly accepted that Sakho’s inexplicable decision to obstruct Lerma with his arm having just been warned by referee Mike Dean, was indeed a penalty, but appeared to feel slightly aggrieved nonetheless.
“When the ball is put into a crowded area and suddenly the referee blows his whistle, from our position on the bench we haven’t got a clue what’s gone on,” he added.
“You have to have a TV screen and look at it in slow motion, and I think that Mamadou Sakho has got no intention to elbow the player or use it to stop him getting to the ball, because he wouldn’t have got there as they wouldn’t have scored from the actual cross itself.
“But I can’t deny that having seen it on the TV that Mamadou does catch the player, and as a result the referee is quite entitled to give a penalty.
“When those things happen the players feel aggrieved. In football we are used to when you give a penalty away it’s because you’ve deliberately stopped someone from scoring a goal or a chance to score, so when there’s some sort of collision in that way and the referee blows for a penalty, all defenders will be very upset by it.”
German midfielder Max Meyer made his first Premier League start for the visitors and looked their best attacking option throughout, and his performance was noted by his manager.
“I thought he did well,” said Hodgson. “He got on the ball in the first half, and especially in the second half when we had the lion’s share of possession, were creating opportunities and playing very much in their half of the field, and so he did exactly what we wanted him to do.
“He tired towards the end as did the other two players that I took off, but that’s because they put a lot of work in. It was a high tempo, high intensity game today.”
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