If Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had sat down to watch the first Premier League game shown by the streaming service, he could have been forgiven if he had switched off after an hour.
Bezos’ namesake, Palace defender Jeff Schlupp, scored off the bench for the second game in succession as Roy Hodgson’s 10-man side made it two wins in four days, while Bournemouth produced a pitiful display despite playing with a man advantage for 70 minutes, following Mamadou Sakho’s sending-off in the 19th minute.
But for their £90million, Amazon will be expecting a little more excitement than was on show in the first 65 minutes of this match. Hodgson will not care a jot, of course, while the visitors’ run of one win in nine matches – and their lack of bite here – should worry Eddie Howe. The Cherries were truly dire.
Jeffrey Schlupp scored the winner for Crystal Palace in the 76th minute on Tuesday night
Schlupp raced into the area before rifling an effort past Aaron Ramsdale from 12 yards out
MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita 6; Kelly 6.5, Tomkins 7, Sakho 4, Van Aanholt 6 (Schlupp 29, 7); Kouyate 7, Milivojevic 6, McArthur 6; Townsend 6 (McCarthy 46, 6), Ayew 6.5, Zaha 6.
Subs not used: Hennessey, Benteke, Wickham, Camarasa, Riedwald.
Scorers: Schlupp 76
Booked: Milivojevic, McCarthy
Sent off: Sakho 19
Manager: Roy Hodgson 7
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Ramsdale 6; A Smith 6.5, Mepham 6, Ake 6, Rico 6.5 (Francis 63, 6); H Wilson 6, Billing 5.5 (L Cook 80, 6), Lerma 5, Danjuma 5 (Fraser 63, 6); C Wilson 5, Solanke 5.
Subs not used: Boruc, Francis, Gosling, Stacey, Simpson.
Manager: Eddie Howe 4.5
Referee: Anthony Taylor 6.5
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Bournemouth made four changes from the side beaten 3-2 at Tottenham, while Sakho’s introduction, for the injured Scott Dann, was the only tweak Palace boss Hodgson made to the team who won 2-0 at Burnley in the last round of matches.
The Cherries’ full-backs, Adam Smith and Diego Rico, were dealing well early on with the threat of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend on the flanks, but Palace still looked likelier to make the breakthrough before Sakho was dismissed.
Smith’s touch was heavy as he collected Callum Wilson’s return pass following a throw-in, yet Sakho’s challenge was dangerous and referee Anthony Taylor had little choice but to show a straight red card.
Defender Mamadou Sakho was sent off in the 19th minute for a wild lunge at Adam Smith
Sakho caught Smith’s knee on his follow through after throwing himself into the challenge
That did not stop some Palace supporters bizarrely applauding Sakho off as he walked down the touchline, while both Taylor and Smith were booed throughout the remainder of the first half.
With Sakho off, Hodgson instructed Cheikhou Kouyate to drop from midfield alongside James Tomkins in central defence, and the former England manager was forced to reorganise again in the 28th minute when Patrick van Aanholt was forced off.
The Dutchman signalled he was unable to continue after contesting possession with Dominic Solanke, and was replaced at left-back by Jeffrey Schlupp. It was 39 minutes before we saw the first effort on target, a tame shot from Philip Billing that did not trouble Vicente Guaita.
Bournemouth dominated possession but failed to make the most of their man advantage
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe apologised to the visiting fans after the final whistle
Besides that, there was little to keep the supporters in the ground – let alone those with Amazon Prime subscriptions – from switching off. When half-time came, the Palace fans could barely summon the energy to boo Taylor and Smith when the sides walked off.
Hodgson made another change at the start of the second half, sending on James McCarthy for Townsend, while Eddie Howe tried to inject some urgency into his team’s play shortly after the hour mark, when Ryan Fraser replaced Arnaut Danjuma. Earlier, the Cherries had squandered a glorious opportunity to take the lead when neither Solanke nor Callum Wilson could turn in Harry Wilson’s low cross from the right.
At the other end, Zaha – who was effectively only intermittently – tumbled under a challenge from Chris Mepham after a thrilling charge from halfway, only for referee Taylor to reject the penalty appeal.
Palace suffered another early blow when Patrick van Aanholt was forced off by injury
The visitors doubled up on Wilfried Zaha in a bid to frustrate the Palace talisman in first-half
Palace’s frustration turned to joy soon afterwards when Schlupp collected the ball near the halfway line and – with no hint of a Bournemouth challenge – ran all the way into the box before slamming a left-foot shot under Aaron Ramsdale, Ramsdale kept his team in it moments later with a fine save to keep out McCarthy’s dipping effort from distance.
With time running out, Bournemouth finally started to show a little more menace, as Jefferson Lerma forced Guaita to turn his low shot from just outside the box around the post.
Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend takes on Bournemouth defender Diego Rico
Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic and Bournemouth’s Arnaut Danjuma (right) battle for the ball
Crystal Palace enjoyed plenty of possession in the first-half despite being reduced to 10 men
The home side made a bright start after being boosted by Saturday’s victory at Burnley