AFC Bournemouth moved up to 15th in the Barclays Premier League after a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park, a result which could potentially defy their season.
If Eddie Howe’s men are to keep picking up results like this, they could be looking more towards a mid-table finish as opposed to beating the drop.
The result actually leaves The Cherries just three points behind tonight’s opponents, which just shows the unpredictability of this year’s campaign and also how wonderfully compelling it has been.
Crystal Palace may be struggling for form but Selhurst Park is never an easy place to come, and they fell behind after 27 minutes when defender Scott Dann met the lively Wilfried Zaha’s fizzing low ball to give the hosts an early advantage.
But that lead only lasted five minutes after some neat footwork from midfielder Marc Pugh led to an opening just outside the box, and the 28-year-old made no mistake with a slotted finish past ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey.
After a slow start to the second half, it was Bournemouth that eventually created the first opportunity of the half, and one in which they capitalised on. Goalkeeper Hennessey could only parry Matt Ritchie’s low strike, and Benik Afobe was quickest react to the loose ball, swooping to head his side in front.
There was of course late pressure from Crystal Palace and they rallied through the introduction of new signing Emmanuel Adebayor, but this was to no avail and Bournemouth picked up their third win on the road in the last seven.
This was the first time this season that The Cherries managed to come from behind and win, and boss Eddie Howe was absolutely delighted with his side’s performance and especially his defence.
Howe told the daily echo:
“To come back from a goal down was the biggest highlight. To win away from home at this level is very difficult so we have to try and cherish it and keep going.”
“Our defenders played well along with our goalkeeper, that was very pleasing,” he added.
Howe has also heaped praised on new boy Benik Afobe after the striker scored his third goal in four games since joining from Wolves.
“It’s a great lift for him and a great lift for us because you need the main striker in your side to give you goals and he’s done that.” Howe told sky sports after the win.
“I thought he linked the play very well, in the second half too. He always works hard and there’s more to come. He’s only young so the future is bright for him.” The 38-year-old added.
Next up for the south coast side is a televised clash against title-challenging Arsenal at the Vitality, do they dare to dream?