Bournemouth 0-0 Palace: All a bit tame, really

Date published: Saturday 26th December 2015 6:20

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Bournemouth and Crystal Palace drew 0-0 at the Vitality Stadium. Football was not the real winner.

The Cherries, seeking their fourth successive win for the first time since 1989, were frustrated by the high-flying Eagles.

Palace started the game strongly and the home side took five minutes to get into the match, giving away two corners in the first few minutes. However, Jason Puncheon’s deliveries could not be converted and the hosts began to slow the ball down and gain control.

The visitors nearly went ahead after eight minutes when Puncheon’s third corner from the left found Damien Delaney – but Cherries goalkeeper Artur Boruc got low down to keep the match goalless.

Adam Smith and Matt Ritchie caused Palace a few problems on the right, with Bournemouth’s best attacking chances coming from crosses from the pair.

Yet it was Dan Gosling who came closest for the Cherries in the first half with the midfielder’s looping shot saved by the hand of Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Just after the half hour mark, Harry Arter received the only yellow card of the afternoon after sliding in on Wilfried Zaha. After words were exchanged between the pair, referee Michael Oliver calmed the situation down before it got out of control.

Bournemouth striker Glenn Murray had chances to score against his former side before he was replaced on 72 minutes by Tokelo Rantie. The 32-year-old played 113 league games for Palace between 2012 and 2015 and scored 44 goals for the Eagles.

Both sides struggled to make an impact in the box during the second half but it was Bournemouth who looked the more threatening. Ritchie had the chance to open the scoring but his scuffed shot was easily saved by Hennessey.

The Cherries continued to pile on the pressure but the Palace defence stood strong, despite Delaney appearing to be injured as he blocked a Rantie cross. Palace boss Alan Pardew had used his three substitutes so the centre-half had no choice but to continue.

Both sides had chances to win but in a game that was played mostly in the midfield it came as no surprise the clash remained goalless until the final whistle.

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