Sakho’s moment of madness gifts Bournemouth late victory

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Junior Stanislas continued his return from injury by scoring an 87th-minute penalty to earn Bournemouth a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Patrick van Aanholt had threatened to seal a point for Palace with an equaliser from an offside position, but Mamadou Sakho conceded a needless late penalty with an inexplicable elbow on Jefferson Lerma, gifting the hosts victory.

Stanislas, yet to start in the Premier League this season following a six-month absence with a knee injury, had only been on the pitch three minutes before grabbing the winner.

Bournemouth, who had taken the lead through David Brooks’ first goal for the club, moved up to seventh in the table after seven games, leaving Palace 13th and struggling for consistency.

It was Palace’s poor, sluggish start as much as the hosts’ intent that contributed to the opening goal.

When Nathan Ake found Adam Smith — playing out of position at left-back — in the fifth minute on the left, he found it as easy to carry possession down the wing as he did to find Callum Wilson in the penalty area with a low cross.

Similarly under minimal pressure, Wilson was able to control before laying the ball off to Brooks, who impressively shot first time with his left foot towards the top left corner and his effort went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Summer signing Jordan Ayew has recently started in the absence of Christian Benteke, who has a knee injury, but for all the criticism of the latter’s lack of goals and confidence his presence was missed.

Palace, handing Max Meyer his full league debut, often worked the ball wide and into the final third with pace, but, without Benteke’s focal point, they struggled to build consistent pressure.

Crystal Palace handed a full league debut to Max Meyer (Nigel French/PA).
Crystal Palace handed a full league debut to Max Meyer (Nigel French/PA).

The winger bent a free-kick from the right wing towards Steve Cook, but the defender’s header from in front of goal could only force a routine save from Wayne Hennessey.

The visitors’ improvement after half-time meant that that miss almost proved costly.

Roy Hodgson’s team returned with greater intensity and were rewarded in the 55th minute.

Wilfried Zaha brilliantly controlled a deflected ball before playing in Van Aanholt in the area. The left-back took a touch before firing powerfully through Asmir Begovic’s hands and into the near top-left corner with his weaker right foot.

The goal, though, should have been ruled out as the Dutchman was offside from Zaha’s pass.

Bournemouth twice missed outstanding chances to restore their lead, first when Hennessey impressively saved with his leg when one-on-one with Wilson and then when he kept out substitute Dan Gosling’s close-range header.

But Stanislas made no mistake when his chance came along.

Sakho pushed his elbow into the face of Lerma, whom he was marking from a free-kick, leaving referee Mike Dean with little choice but to award the penalty.

The defender escaped with a yellow card, but Stanislas ensured he and Palace were punished by calmly converting from the spot to secure all three points.

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