Christian Benteke said he never stopped believing

  • Christian Benteke scored his first goal of the term for Crystal Palace on Saturday 
  • Benteke’s goal against Leicester in the 3-0 win was his first since May 
  • The striker said after the game that he never stopped believing he would score 

Christian Benteke did not feel he needed to prove anything to his Crystal Palace team-mates as he finally ended his goal drought and atoned for last week’s penalty misery.

Benteke scored his first goal since May when he headed home in the 3-0 win at 10-man Leicester, one which lifted the Eagles at least temporarily out of the Premier League relegation zone.

This came a week after he defied team orders by taking and missing a penalty in the draw against Bournemouth, but the Belgian striker says he was not under pressure to deliver on Saturday.

Christian Benteke headed Crystal Palace into the lead against Leicester City on Saturday

He told Sky Sports: ‘Not owed something because we are a team but I just wanted to show that I’m always involved and I will do everything to get back on my form.

‘I’ve been really patient, I’ve been through a hard time but I’m a big believer and I really work hard. I just got what I deserved to get.

‘I won’t give up and I will just keep going.’

Palace came into the game having not scored a goal away from home all season but Benteke made further amends as he set up the impressive Wilfried Zaha to score, with Bakary Sako adding a late third.

It was Benteke's first goal of the season and his first for Palace since May last term

It was Benteke’s first goal of the season and his first for Palace since May last term

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Zaha said: ‘I’ve always had confidence in the team and we’re having a good run so it was only a matter of time before we started putting the performances together and just getting up the table.

‘The team’s buzzing, we played so well today and took our chances so I’m happy for the squad.’

Leicester were trailing 2-0 when Wilfred Ndidi was sent off just after the hour mark for two yellow cards on his 21st birthday.

Foxes boss Claude Puel felt his side put in a below-par performance.

He said: ‘It was not a good day for us.

‘I think our play was too slow against a good team. We needed to have more quickness, more quality on the play and it was not possible today.

‘It was not our day, it was not a good game for us. Crystal Palace deserved this result; they played with desire, togetherness and quality. We didn’t deserve a win today.’

After the game the striker said he never stopped believing that he would eventually score 

After the game the striker said he never stopped believing that he would eventually score 

Palace manager Roy Hodgson felt Palace had been building towards this result after improving displays on the road in recent weeks.

He said: ‘We’ve been getting closer and closer and today it all fell for us. I’m delighted with the victory, but I’m not that surprised because we’ve been threatening to do that for quite a long time now.’

Hodgson was particularly happy with Benteke’s performance being recognised by the travelling fans.

The former England manager added: ‘I think the crowd appreciate not just the goal, but the fact that Christian was working so hard in the other aspects of his game as well.

‘They were singing his name which was fantastic because after missing the penalty he perhaps rightly, many people were saying, got some stick from the crowd.

‘But on this occasion they’ve turned very quickly singing his name and that was fully deserved.’