The weekend trip to the South Coast ended in a draw but it really should have been so much more. Here are the five things we learnt from the draw with the Cherries.
1. Roy Hodgson needs to make better use of his substitutions. The Palace boss failed to make a change during the draw. While this did not directly impact Bournemouth’s late equaliser, a change could well have been made just to waste time and control the tempo of the latter stages of a game that was incrementally swinging in favour of the hosts.
2. Young full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka still has a lot to learn. The 20-year-old has been almost faultless since his introduction to the first team but his error allowed Josh King to go unmarked and tap home the late equaliser. As is the case with any young player, mistakes will be made in a senior environment against top quality players. The England under-20 international must improve his awareness to avoid similar situations.
3. The run-in is not easy. If anyone was expecting to win comfortably against a Bournemouth side stuck in mid-table with nothing to play for, they were badly mistaken. Each of the remaining five games – including a derby and two against teams in the bottom three – are very tough indeed, so ignore any newspaper spread that tries to persuade you otherwise.
4. Goals need to come from somewhere other than the defensive midfielder. It is great that our favourite Serbian Luka Milivojevic has scored ten times this season, but it is an unsustainable mode of trying to stay in the division. Wilfried Zaha and Patrick van Aanholt both missed opportunities that must instead be hitting the back of the net if Palace are going to survive.
5. Zaha is good, even when he is playing terribly, is carrying a knock and needs substituting. Just look at the stick he was receiving on your Twitter timelines moments before the Ivorian waltzed past one player, pirouetted around another and then found the top corner with his weak foot. A half fit Zaha just has to be on the pitch for every second of the run-in.