Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew gave credit to “relentless” AFC Bournemouth after his in-form side were held to a 0-0 Premier League draw at the Vitality Stadium.
Victories over Southampton and Stoke City had moved Palace level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham before the trip to Bournemouth, but they were left clinging on for a draw towards the end of a tight game against Eddie Howe’s resurgent team.
Former Palace striker Glenn Murray missed a number of chances for Bournemouth, and Pardew admitted his side were on the ropes at times during the match.
“Physically, mentally it was a tough game,” he said. “You have to take your hat off to Bournemouth, they’re relentless.
“They wouldn’t let up. I had to bring on Yohan Cabaye to help us keep the ball.
“We could have done better, but I’ll take a point. Fifth in the Premier League.
“Our back five were terrific. The goalkeeper and defenders are so organised. We didn’t give many chances away.”
Tempers flared throughout as the two sides battled for dominance in the middle of the pitch, and Palace midfielder Wilfried Zaha was scythed down by Bournemouth’s Harry Arter in the first half, prompting calls for a sending off from some visiting players.
But Pardew agreed with Michael Oliver’s decision to book Arter, saying; “The ref made a good call on Harry Arter. He mistimed it slightly, but that was the only moment.
“Wilf had a tough game today, but he worked hard. I brought Yohan Cabaye on and a few moments from him and Jason Puncheon showed a bit of quality from us.”