Crystal Palace burst Bournemouth’s Hollywood bubble

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Bill Foley has big plans for Bournemouth. The club’s new owner took to the field alongside co-owner and Hollywood A-lister Michael B Jordan before kick-off to greet the club’s supporters, before watching his new team slump to a home defeat.

“We’re not going to be relegated,” predicted the 78 year-old Foley when speaking ahead of the game.

But the Cherries are just three points above the bottom three following their sixth league defeat in seven games after goals from Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze sealed the points for Patrick Vieira’s side.

Foley has promised “proper resources to stay up” and then to “really start investing in new infrastructure.” That may mean the redevelopment of The Vitality Stadium or a new site entirely to increase the current 11,300 capacity.

Co-owner Michael B Jordan is paraded on the pitch at Vitality Stadium by Bill Foley

Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

On this evidence, Gary O’Neil is sorely in need of new recruits as he watched his team conceded their 11th and 12th goals of the season from set pieces in what he described as the worst performance since taking over as manager.

“I think it’s the first time since I’ve taken charge that we’ve fell well below the standards that we’ve set. Very disappointed with nearly all the aspects of the game,” said O’Neil.

“I haven’t seen the chairman after the game. You always want the team to perform when the chairman is here. The transfer window opens and, like the other 19 teams, we’ll be looking to improve.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure we look much better than that the next time we play. There’s two things to look at. The performance being flat and I’m furious about the goals. Defensive set plays have been a thing all season really – we’ve struggled with them.”

Both goals were incredibly simple. The first came as Michael Olise swung in a corner from the left and, despite Bournemouth picking three central defenders, Ayew rose unmarked to head it in from six yards out.

Jordan Ayew buries the first

Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images

The second was an Olise delivery from the other side. This time he pulled his delivery low to the edge of the box where Eze was waiting to brilliantly score first time into the left corner of the goal.

“It was a really good team performance,” said Patrick Vieira. “We were aggressive, we were disciplined and when we had possession we showed some quality.

“I didn’t think we were the worst team in the world when we lost to Fulham and I don’t think we are the best team in the world after we have beaten Bournemouth. I invite everyone to be a bit more consistent in their emotions,” said the Frenchman whose team are 11th.

Vieira declared himself happy with the current playing squad but did not rule out new additions at the club in January.

He said: “Of course we want to improve the squad and we have identified the profile of players we need. Now it is up to the scouting department.”

There was a marginal improvement from Bournemouth in the second half but they were unable to create clear chances against a well-marshalled Palace defence.

Boos rang out at the final whistle. Bournemouth’s owners might be wishing they had stayed in Las Vegas to see in the new year.