Benteke apologies for penalty controversy

Christian Benteke has apologised for breaking ranks and missing a stoppage-time penalty at the end of Crystal Palace's 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

After Jermain Defoe had opened the scoring after 10 minutes at Selhurst Park, Luka Milivojevic levelled with a 41st-minute spot-kick.

Scott Dann then sensationally turned the tie on its head as he fired Palace into the lead a minute before half-time.

Defoe, though was on target just three minutes after the break, to level the scores once again, and that was how it stayed until Wilfried Zaha was adjudged to have been fouled in the area with 93 minutes on the clock.

And despite Milivojevic having earlier scored from the spot, Benteke claimed the ball but failed to win all three points for his side with a poorly-taken kick saved by Asmir Begovic.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson revealed that Benteke, who was booed off at the final whistle, apologised to him before speaking to the team.

Hodgson said: "The first opportunity this morning, he gets the players around, says his piece.

“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 that 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, the way he’s taken responsibility, the way he’s explained that to the rest of the team, not just to myself.

“He’s had the courage to talk in front of the team and explain his decision and apologise for not following the instructions.

“I’m happy with that, but I’m never happy when very clear instructions like that are given, and everyone knows they are there to be followed.

Up next for bottom-placed Palace is a tricky test against Watford at home on Tuesday.

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