Cherries hit back twice in Palace point
- Jonathan Moss
AFC Bournemouth scored late again to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace in an entertaining game on the south coast.
After a goal-less first half Luka Milivojevic scored a terrific freekick within minutes of the restart, only for the Cherries to level midway through the half through substitute Lys Mousset's excellently controlled finish just outside the area.
Wilfried Zaha restored the Palace lead when his deflected 18-yard effort found the net, though the sides were equal again late on when Steve Cook's header from a corner was tapped home from close range by Joshua King, also introduced from the bench.
The game finished all square despite late chances, the point moving Bournemouth to 38 points in their quest for a fourth straight Premier League season.
King and Jordon Ibe were missing from the starting 11 with slight injury and illness, Jermain Defoe and Marc Pugh coming into the line-up after being involved as substitutes seven days ago at Vicarage Road.
After a minute of applause in recognition of the passing of former England captain Ray Wilkins, Callum Wilson had a presentable opportunity, just two minutes in, but the striker was unable to convert a bouncing Charlie Daniels cross swept in from the left.
The hosts continuing their positive start, Defoe went close as he swivelled on a ball at the near post and Dan Gosling was closer still as he looked to get his head onto returning captain Simon Francis' dangerous cross.
The away side began to grow into the game and James McArthur was set up nicely by Ruben Loftus-Cheek who squirmed to the byline, Nathan Ake making a well-timed block.
Following a cleared Cherries set piece Lewis Cook's pass found Ryan Fraser, the Scot's first-time cross dropping for Wilson, but his header was over the bar.
Defoe then found himself in space and onside eight yards out, his low effort deflected behind, while at the other end Zaha showed trademark ball control to beat his man in the area and tee up Yohan Cabaye, though thankfully for the home fans the Frenchman lost his footing at the vital moment.
A dropping ball seemed perfect for Wilson to strike goalwards, but the sliced effort was slashed wide, Wilson then going close with a header following a cross.
Despite an open and engaging 45 minutes at Vitality Stadium the score remained goal-less at the break.
The deadlock was broken, for the second week running, not long after the break, Palace taking the advantage with a brilliant freekick from a central 25 yard area, Milivojevic swerving home the set piece with class.
There was an instant response from the Cherries, one which almost led to a goal, Daniels passing to Marc Pugh who forced a fine save from 'keeper Wayne Hennessey.
Moments later Hennessey was at full stretch again to keep out Lewis Cook's bouncing drive. The pressure continued before Palace had a glorious chance for a second after a home corner.
Hennessey's quick throw out to Zaha on halfway allowed the Ivorian to spot Patrick van Aanholt's rampaging run through the middle, bearing down on goal with just the 'keeper to beat, Begovic stood up and foiled the full-back with a fine save.
Begovic did well again to deny a stinging Zaha shot, the Eagles' attacker gaining more space as the home side pushed for a way back into the game.
Fraser's cross was agonisingly close to picking out Defoe in space in the Palace area, a double change soon seeing King and Lys Mousset coming on for Pugh and Wilson.
The change paid near-immediate dividends as Mousset slammed home with one of his first touches.
Fraser in the area played back into the striker's path and Mousset's immaculate 20-yard finish was equal parts power and precision to beat Hennessey and tie the scores.
The game open and both sides looking well capable of scoring the game's next goal Zaha's header was saved by Begovic, though a minute later the Palace man had scored to put his side in front for a second time.
Andros Townsend was set free and pulled the ball back to his team-mate. Zaha switched the ball onto his left foot before driving home a shot from the edge of the area that took a slight nick off Gosling on its way in.
The Bournemouth push recommenced and with time running down a second leveller arrived, King the scorer.
The home pressure resulted in a Bournemouth corner and Steve Cook rose highest to flick downwards, King on hand to convert from three yards out.
Into three minutes of added time and a late winner seemed possible for both sides. Bournemouth won a freekick on the very edge of the area after Tomkins fouled, Fraser taking but only finding the home end with the final action of the game.