Belfast Telegraph

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Benteke holds up his hands and apologises for penalty blunder

By Declan Warrington

Crystal Palace's "pantomime villain" Christian Benteke has said sorry to manager Roy Hodgson and his team-mates for ignoring instructions before missing a stoppage-time penalty against Bournemouth.

Benteke wrestled the ball off regular penalty taker Luka Milivojevic - who had already converted a first-half spot-kick - only to see his effort saved by Asmir Begovic as Palace drew 2-2.

Instead of securing a victory that could have taken Palace out of the Premier League's relegation zone, the 27-year-old striker was booed off by the club's supporters at the final whistle of a match that leaves them bottom.

Hodgson revealed Benteke spoke to him yesterday morning before apologising to the Palace squad and the former England manager considers the matter over, even if the Belgian may have to fight to again win over the club's fans.

"The first opportunity this morning, he gets the players around, says his piece," said Hodgson. "He's already said it to me - that's a strong and correct thing to do - and he makes it perfectly clear.

"'I took this responsibility. I shouldn't have done because I'm breaking ranks, I'm not obeying team instructions, so I apologise for that, but I'm now going to get on with it', and I'm pretty sure he'll make it up to us.

"I'm very happy with the way he's reacted to it."

Palace host Watford tonight (8pm) while Huddersfield Town entertain Chelsea (8pm) and Stoke City travel to Burnley (7.45pm)

Belfast Telegraph

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