Benteke Shouldn’t Have Taken Penalty – Hodgson

Crystal Palace’s manager Roy Hodgson (file photo) Ben STANSALL / AFP


Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said Christian Benteke was not supposed to have taken the stoppage-time penalty he squandered in his side’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.

Luka Milivojevic had netted a penalty earlier in the game, but when Charlie Daniels was deemed to have fouled Wilfried Zaha in injury time at Selhurst Park, Benteke snatched the ball.

The Belgium striker’s tame spot-kick was saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to leave Palace at the foot of the Premier League table.

Hodgson became involved in a heated discussion with a fan at the final whistle and he told the BBC: “The guy was only asking a question. He was asking why Benteke had been told to take the penalty.

“I was telling him he hadn’t. Benteke got hold of the ball. It was a unilateral decision. No-one on our team was able to wrest the ball from him.

“We, the management, don’t expect players to change those decisions. We tried to shout out our instructions. They obviously didn’t reach the penalty spot.”

Hodgson  Photo: Ben STANSALL / AFP

After Jermain Defoe put Bournemouth ahead, Palace came from behind to lead through Milivojevic’s penalty and a close-range effort by substitute Scott Dann, who came on for the injured Mamadou Sakho.

But Defoe earned the visitors a point with a magnificent, dipping shot from the right-hand side of the penalty area in first-half injury time.

Palace are now unbeaten in five games and Hodgson tried to put their disappointment into context.

“The fact is, even if we had come out of the bottom three, we’re still very much anchored near the foot of the table,” said the former England manager, who succeeded Frank de Boer at Palace in September.

“We missed an opportunity today. I believe we did enough to get the three points. If you miss penalties at home, you’ve only got yourself to blame.”


EURO 2012: Jermaine Defoe loses father, flies home

England football squad for the EURO 2012 tournament is one man short as Striker Jermaine Defoe returned home from Poland where the tournament opened today with news of father’s death Jimmy who died overnight.

On hearing the sad news, Jermaine flew back to England and it has been confirmed that the striker could miss England’s opening game against France which will be played on Monday.

Jermain’s father; Jimmy has been battling throat cancer for a while now before he died early hours of today.

The English Football Association released a statement to confirm the return of the Tottenham star saying: “England striker Jermain Defoe has returned home to England this morning following the passing of his father overnight. Jermain will re-join the England Euro squad in due course. There will be no replacement player called in.’

Defoe left England’s hotel ten minutes before the rest of the squad boarded a coach for their first training session in Poland having only arrived in the country on Wednesday evening.

Tottenham Hotspur passed on their condolences to the forward. A statement on their website said: “Jermaine Defoe has returned home from the England squad base in Poland this morning after receiving the sad news of the passing away of his father overnight.”

England players paid their respects to Jermaine, who grew up in Beckton and is currently a supporter of many local charities, at press conferences this afternoon.