Hodgson smoothes over Benteke penalty miss

Hodgson smoothes over Benteke penalty miss
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LONDON (Reuters) - Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson attempted to play down Christian Benteke's penalty miss after the club's former goalkeeper said he would have broken the striker's nose for the costly blunder.

Belgian striker Benteke went rogue and took the stoppage- time penalty against Bournemouth with the game locked at 2-2, even though Luka Milivojevic was the designated taker.

Benteke's weak spot-kick was saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Palace had to settle for a point which dropped them back to the foot of the table.

"If I had still been playing for CPFC I would have broken Benteke's nose after in the dressing-room," John Burridge, who kept goal for Palace from 1978-80, said on Twitter.

After the game Hodgson admitted Benteke's miss could "cost his side in May" but with a home clash looming against Watford on Tuesday the 70-year-old was more philosophical.

"Christian was very confident, he had played well and he believed he was going to score that penalty," Hodgson said on Monday.

"He persuaded Luka to let him take it. He wanted it and felt good, but unfortunately it didn't work out.

"No guarantee Luka would've scored it either, of course."

It was disappointing because when you have a penalty in the last minute you see a victory looming," he added.

Palace captain Scott Dann also offered support to Benteke, despite the fact that Milivojevic had scored from the penalty spot earlier in the game.

"It takes a lot of courage to go up and take a penalty in the last couple of minutes," he said.

"Unfortunately he's missed - but we had so many other chances to win this game."

Hodgson's side have drawn four and won one of their last five Premier League games and with the three sides immediately above them all facing tough fixtures this week, Palace have another chance to climb out of the bottom three.

"One or two of our recent draws have felt like victories and Saturday's like a defeat," Hodgson said.

"Sometimes we get more than we deserve, sometimes less. We're five unbeaten and I'm happy with the five performances."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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