Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew admits he was impressed by Eddie Howe’s “phenomenal” Bournemouth after the two sides played out a goalless draw.
Pardew’s men picked up their 36th Premier League point on the road in 2015 at the Vitality Stadium, but he acknowledged the Cherries’ set-up made them hard to beat.
“Their work-rate was phenomenal,” he said. “They wouldn’t let us have a rest, they wouldn’t let us keep the ball. I had to bring on Yohan Cabaye to try and get some of the ball and in the last few minutes I thought it showed.
“Bournemouth really couldn’t raise a leg at that period – probably our best period of the game – so I am full of admiration for what they did today.
“Physically, mentally it was a tough game. You have to take your hat off to Bournemouth, they were relentless.”
Pardew was happy with the handling of a controversial moment in the first half, when Bournemouth’s Harry Arter received a yellow card for a late challenge on Wilfried Zaha.
The incident riled both sets of fans, but after waiting for things to calm down referee Michael Oliver opted only to book Arter.
Pardew said: “The ref made a good call on Harry Arter.
“He has done brilliant, he just slightly mistimed that.
“That was the only moment where it got a little unsavoury, but in the end the referee made the right call and it was all sorted out.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was in agreement about the incident, saying there was “an atmosphere to the game” but that Oliver dealt with the players well.
“I think the referee managed the situation very well with the reaction of the Palace players, supporters who were close to the incident,” he said.
“He could have easily had a different reaction and over-reacted to that feeling, so credit to him for how he refereed that game because I thought he did well.”
Arter was substituted at half-time and Howe added: “I just thought one more tackle from Harry would have seen a different reaction and I just wanted to take him out of that environment.”
The Cherries boss was pleased with his side’s performance and a point in front of the home fans to take their unbeaten run to six matches.
“I think it is a sign we have grown as a side, that we can continue to improve,” said Howe. “We are harder to beat now.
“That is six games unbeaten, which at this level, if you can pick up points in a run of games, certainly does you no harm and reinforces really that confidence is improving and belief is growing within the camp.”