Benteke Sees Red But Palace Hold On For a Point Against Hammers

A good away performance from the Eagles was marred by a sending off which changed what was an entertaining game but the visitors stuck to their task and battled to hold on for a point at the London Stadium.


16th December 2020


West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace


The London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Stadium, London E20 2ST


Behind closed doors


REFEREE – David Coote

ASSISTANTS – Lee Betts, Nick Hopton, Graham Scott (fourth official)

VAR – Peter Bankes, Stephen Child (assistant)


BOOKINGS – Christian Benteke (31), Luka Milivojevic (75)

RED CARD – Christian Benteke (70)


Christian Benteke (35), Sebastien Haller (55)


Andros Townsend


A good performance from Hodgson’s men up until the dubious red card when required alterations were required to ensure the game was not loss. In all honesty, the hosts rarely threatened to find a winner after a sending off that spoilt what was an entertaining game up until that point. The draw means that the Palace make it three game unbeaten heading into the home game with Liverpool at the weekend.


Nothing to note but questionable as to why there was not more of a look at the second booking for Benteke.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“As predicted, with three games in seven days, Hodgson made a limited rotation of our starting XI. However, such is our strength in depth that we would not have known as Dann, Townsend and Ward fitted seamlessly into the team. We totally dominated the first half with some fine flowing football. We were finally rewarded with a headed finish by Benteke after a fine cross by Ward. In fact Benteke could have added a second after a well worked move and cut back from inside the area by Townsend. It probably would have ensured us all three points.

The second half was more even and despite a ‘worldie’ overhead equaliser by Haller, West Ham rarely threatened our defence. A potential turning point was the soft sending off for Benteke after two yellow cards for having the temerity to jump using his arms – a poor decision by the referee. The chances of gaining all three points receded and we battled hard to see out the remaining 20 minutes. The performance confirmed that we have good depth in our squad and can play free flowing football whilst still have the ability to grind out a result if circumstances dictate. Honourable mentions go to Ward and Townsend. They typified the hard work and discipline required to secure a ‘respect the point’ outcome. Onwards to an easier fixture on Saturday lunchtime! Up the Palace!”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – One good save in the first half to keep things level but had very little to do after that.

2 JOEL WARD (8 – ASSIST!) – Brilliant cross from the returning full back right onto the head of Benteke to set up the opener in what was a surprise inclusion but completely justified.

6 SCOTT DANN (6) – Stepped in for Cahill and put in a strong performance at the centre of the defence.  

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Seemed to be on the end of everything during the first half against his former employers and stood firm alongside Dann in the second.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – One clearance on the volley from the edge of his own six yard box went well over the half way line just summed up the back line in one moment – completely committed to the cause.

10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (8) – Back in the starting line up and put in a real shift. Almost set up a second for Benteke after a brilliant run into the penalty area. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 86 minutes to provide much needed fresh legs for the ten men.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Surprised the engine of the side started a second game of the week but continued to do his busy job in the middle of the park alongside Luka.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7 – CAPTAIN! BOOKED!) – Started the build up to the opening goal with a pass out wide to Ward after breaking up an attack, continued to work well alongside McArthur.

25 EBERECHI EZE (6) – Had plenty of the ball in the first half and confident with it but faded in the second before be sacrificed after the red card. Replaced by 9 JORDAN AYEW (6) on 76 minutes in an enforced change, a direct result of the sending off.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – Constantly a tricky customer for the hosts to deal with but they kept him quiet for the most part.

20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6 – BOOKED! GOAL! RED CARD!) – An all action performance from the in-form striker but harshly sent off for two dubious bookings. Could have had a hat-trick by the break with three excellent chances, but managed to convert one to give the Eagles a half time lead.


1 Jack Butland, 5 James Tomkins, 23 Michy Batshuayi, 27 Tyrick Mitchell, 44 Jairo Riedewald


1 Fabianski, 5 Coufal, 23 Diop, 21 Ogbonna, 3 Cresswell, 41 Rice, 28 Soucek, 20 Bowen, 9 Benrahma, 18 Fornals, 22 Haller

SUBSTITUTES – 7 Yarmolenko (replaced Bowen on 80 mins), 10 Lanzini (replaced Fornals on 45 mins), 11 Snodgrass (replaced Benrahma on 88 minutes), 15 Dawson, 16 Noble, 24 Fredericks, 35 Randolph


ROY HODGSON – “The sending off is hard to accept. Two challenges in the air – honest challenges – and he’s been sent off. It’s a good point before the game, but the way it panned out I’m disappointed we didn’t get more. Up to the sending off we were looking dangerous going forward. I was pretty confident really. We had to deal with the fact they scored a wonder goal. I’ve always believed that if Benteke gets a run he will rediscover his form. We will miss him in terms of the way we want to play and it is a personal blow because he won’t be able to show Liverpool what they’re missing.”

DAVID MOYES – “It was a pretty flat display by us tonight. Not the intensity or speed in the way we’ve played. But we’ve seen that sort of flat display in a lot of Premier League games. Lanzini gave us a bit more creativity, not that we were lacking it but we couldn’t break down Palace. We thought we would have the creativity to do it but we didn’t. I didn’t think it was sending off for Benteke. If you jump then there’s the fear of clashing of heads or flailing arms. At half-time I would have snatched your hand off for a point. Even at 10 men I didn’t think we played well enough for the win.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Vladimir Coufal (8.4) while the most shots were from Christian Benteke (5). The most tackles were by Andros Townsend (7) while Said Benrahma and Andros Townsend (4) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 6.60 – 6.55
  • Total shots: 9 – 8
  • Shots on target: 2 – 2
  • Possession: 51.7% – 48.3%
  • Pass success: 86% – 77%
  • Passes: 429 – 415
  • Dribbles: 6 – 8
  • Aerials won: 20 – 18
  • Tackles: 19 – 22
  • Fouls: 8 – 12
  • Corners: 5 – 3
  • Saves: 1 – 1
  • Dispossessed: 17 – 13


Palace move on to 18 points from 13 games played and 12th in the Premier League at the time of writing, level on points with Villa in 11th and a point ahead of Leeds in 13th.


19/12/2020 Liverpool (h) – Premier League (12.30pm – BT)

26/12/2020 Aston Villa (a) – Premier League (3pm – BBC)

28/12/2020 Leicester City (a) – Premier League (3pm – Prime)


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