Crystal Palace finished 2022 in style with a commanding 2-0 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League, putting them within a point of the top half and a healthy nine clear of the relegation zone.
There were only 19 minutes on the clock when Jordan Ayew fired the Eagles into the lead, although Patrick Vieira’s had already forged a few half chances by then.
The goal was deserved after that early spell of pressure, with Ayew successfully wriggling free of any defensive attention to meet Michael Olise’s high corner with his head. But Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers will have been disappointed not to have commanded the situation better.
Olise was a source of danger for Palace, both from set-pieces and open play. Around half an hour in, his cross found Wilfried Zaha in the box and Travers needed to be alert to stop it.
Bournemouth hadn’t had a single shot by that stage and then found themselves 2-0 down. Another Olise corner, but a low one this time, pulled back to Eberechi Eze on the edge of the area. It was impressive and controlled finish when the temptation would have been there to lash it.
The Cherries actually responded more to conceding a second and began the second half the better of the two teams. They even had a decent chance when Dominic Solanke forced a good save out of Vicente Guaita after being fed by substitute Siriki Dembele.
Bournemouth spent the next portion of the game launching the ball in the direction of Kieffer Moore to little avail and Palace were closest to the next goal when Zaha got into position in the box, only for the cutback from substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta to be just off the mark.
Mateta himself later missed the target, while Palace definitely finished the strong. Before the end, Odsonne Edouard, another off the bench, forced Travers into a save, with Zaha’s follow up effort on the rebound blocked by Adam Smith.
GK: Travers (5); CB: Smith (6), CB: Senesi (6), CB: Kelly (6); RM: Anthony (6), CM: Cook (6), CM: Lerma (7), CM: Billing (5), LM: Zemura (5); ST: Solanke (5), ST: Moore (6)
SUBS: Dembele (7), Rothwell (6), Lowe (6), Christie (6)
GK: Guaita (7); RB: Clyne (7), CB: Andersen (7), CB: Guehi (7), LB: Ward (7); CM: Doucoure (8), CM: Schlupp (7); RM: Olise (9), AM: Eze (8), LM: Zaha (6); ST: Ayew (8)
SUBS: Mateta (7), Edouard (6), Hughes (N/A)