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September 22 2018 8.32am

Palace suffer third straight defeat in Saints setback

September 1 2018

Wayne Hennessey

Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace lost their third successive league game with a 2-0 loss at home to Southampton.

Manager Roy Hodgson was dealt a blow with Wilfried Zaha unavailable due to a groin injury sustained in training this week, while James Tomkins was still out with his calf problem.

With the talismanic Zaha out, Southampton had the better of the openings in a first half devoid of much quality at a sun-baked Selhurst Park.

Wayne Hennessey tipped over Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's shot from long distance and later had to use sharp reflexes to repel a Luka Milivojevic header from flying into his own net.

Two minutes after the break, Saints notched the opening goal when striker Danny Ings got in behind Martin Kelly to slot Cedric Soares' right-wing cross through Hennessey's legs.

That seemed to give Palace a shot in the arm and they were inches away from equalising when James McArthur's long-range strike smacked against the crossbar.

Benteke had a shot was saved by former Palace keeper Alex McCarthy and neither Patrick van Aanholt, Jordan Ayew or McArthur could put the ball away in the resulting scramble.

Saints were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute after Aaron Wan-Bissaka handled in the area. And fortunately for the Eagles, Hennessey made his first penalty save for the club by denying substitute Charlie Austin's kick down the middle with his long legs.

Hennessey kept the core down by thwarting Nathan Redmond with a low block and the visitors then crashed the upright themselves through Mohamed Elyounoussi's effort.

McCarthy made further stops to keep out substitute Cheikhou Kouyate, Van Aanholt and McArthur, then Benteke's header from close range as Palace searched for a leveller.

Just like in the previous home game against Liverpool, Southampton nabbed a second goal in stoppage time on the counter as Matt Targett played in Hojbjerg on the left and he rifled beyond the onrushing Hennessey.

Palace: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Townsend (Kouyate 72), McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp (Meyer 76), Ayew (Sorloth 76), Benteke.

Not used: Guaita, Ward, Riedewald, Puncheon.

Southampton: McCarthy, Soares, Vestegaard, Hoedt, Bertrand, Elyounoussi (Targett 72), Lemina, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Long (Austin 62), Ings (Romeu 78).

Not used: Gunn, Yoshida, Davis, Ward-Prowse.

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