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CLARK TURNS IN FOR PARDS.

Byline: ADRIAN KAJUMBA

Crystal Palace 2

Blackpool 0

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE made his Crystal Palace debut but it was Blackpool defender Clark Robertson whom Eagles boss Alan Pardew had to thank.

Robertson scored an own goal and was involved in the defensive mix-up that led to Connor Wickham's clincher for Palace.

Belgian striker Benteke (above) looked a menacing threat, following his club record PS32million move from Liverpool. But in his first match since the Euros, he fluffed three decent chances before going off at half-time.

Palace took few chances against League Two Blackpool and also gave France No.2 keeper Steve Mandanda his debut.

Their game-plan of getting the ball out wide and getting crosses in paid off in the 25th minute, when Scott Dann's volleyed cross-shot from Andros Townsend's delivery was turned into his own net by Robertson.

But James McArthur had to hack Blackpool captain Jim McAlister's close-range effort off the line.

Wickham replaced Benteke and made it 2-0 just two minutes after coming on.

Jason Puncheon robbed Robertson as he dawdled on the ball just outside his own box and crossed for Wickham to score.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 24, 2016
Words:187
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