Belfast Telegraph

Howe eager to discover ref's reason for awarding penalties

Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth

By Nick Purewal

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said his club will "await feedback" after complaining to the match officials about both penalty awards in their 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Wilfried Zaha drew contact from goalkeeper Asmir Begovic for the first-half penalty that Luka Milivojevic converted, before Christian Benteke then failed with his spot-kick in second-half injury time.

Howe admitted Bournemouth discussed both incidents which led to the penalty awards with the officials and will wait to see whether any action is taken, with the Cherries manager hinting that Zaha could have dived in the build-up to the game's first penalty.

Everton forward Oumar Niasse became the first Premier League player to be punished for the offence of "successful deception of a match official" - during a match against Palace - last month and was banned for two matches.

"I haven't seen (the incidents) again, the second one definitely our players feel is not a penalty, our players feel Charlie (Daniels) has got the ball," said Howe. "So that really hurts. We would have lost the game but for a great save from our goalkeeper.

"The first one wasn't clear-cut either.

"We're going through a period where we're on the wrong end of the decisions; we've asked the officials to look again at both, and we await feedback.

"I'm really taking my players' word, and presenting that to you. You don't want to see diving in the game, we've all made that very clear as managers.

"I was really pleased with the majority of the game for us. I was pleased with the mentality."

Howe hopes Jermain Defoe can seize upon the "spark" of his stunning goal against the Eagles and rediscover his regular Premier League goalscoring rhythm.

Defoe passed 200 career league goals with a smart brace for the Cherries.

"We hope it's a spark now, he's getting to where he wants to be," said Howe after Defoe broke a seven-game scoring drought. "Ultimately he will feel like he needs to score, so this is a big game for him."

Palace manager Roy Hodgson was left to lament Benteke defying team orders to take - and miss - the late penalty that could have handed the Eagles a priceless victory.

The Selhurst Park outfit stretched their unbeaten run to five matches, but slipped to the foot of the table in blowing a fine chance for their third victory of a testing campaign.

"We expected Luka (Milivojevic) to take it, he's our designated penalty taker," said Hodgson.

"For some reason Christian persuaded him to let him take it, and missed. Christian is stunned, shocked and disappointed.

"It's a great disappointment. Rather than crown a good performance he's put himself in a bit of a black hole with Palace supporters because he's missed."

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