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October 28 2020 10.51pm

Sam is off the mark

January 31 2017

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce picked up his first Premier League win as Crystal Palace manager with a 2-0 success at Bournemouth.

Allardyce finally got off the mark by leading his side to a vital three points as the team bids to get away from relegation danger.

He handed Patrick van Aanholt his debut at left wing-back, after joining from Sunderland this week, as part of a five-man defence.

Wilfried Zaha – who was back in the side after being away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast – was inches away from scoring early, but his shot hit the post.

Palace went ahead just a minute into the second period after Bournemouth failed to properly clear a corner and Jason Puncheon's cross from the left was turned home by Scott Dann at the far stick.

And they made the points safe with a stoppage-time second goal when substitute Andros Townsend pulled back the perfect cross for an unmarked Christian Benteke to head in.

Palace remain in the bottom three but claim only their second clean sheet of the season and a first win over the Cherries since 1988.

Allardyce said: "It’s relief for me. It [the first league victory victory] really should have happened in the first game at Watford and it’s been a long haul since.

"The players today looked like what I would expect a team of mine to look like. You can't argue with the result with the amount of chances we created. They executed the game plan brilliantly today.

"It’s a great result. It’s a first clean sheet, hopefully of many. It's three massive points away from home. I’m so pleased about the 'nil'.

"The key today was keeping Bournemouth in front of us. We’ve let too many peole get through us and behind us recently and we had to stop that. I think Bournemouth found that frustrating.

"My phone's buzzing in my pocket so I'll check in with him [chairman Steve Parish] when I get on the coach. We've been interested in a couple of players, whether we have or not I don't know."

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