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Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was in good spirits after his side grabbed its first win of the season by defeating Middlesbrough 2-1 on Saturday at Riverside.
Christian Benteke scored his first goal for the club to give Palace the lead in the 16th minute with a deft header on a cross by Wilfried Zaha. After a tying goal by Daniel Ayala in the 38th minute, Zaha scored the winner early in the second half to earn Palace a much needed three points. Pardew thought that the game was similar to others that they have played this season, but that they had some things go their way on Saturday.
“It was very similar to the other games that we’ve had in this division this year as it was so tight and the breaks went our way today,” Pardew told the club’s official website. “I was pleased with the first 20 minutes of each half and I felt that we controlled those periods, but then maybe because we hadn’t won for a while we sat back towards the end of the first-half.
“I sent them out early for the second half to just replicate what we did in the first and try and stay with it and we got a goal. At the end of the game we were hanging on against a very confident Boro; they didn’t look like a team that has just been promoted, they look better than that.”
Pardew also thought it was vital for Benteke to get his first goal for the Eagles, as the Belgian international has a lot of pressure on him to perform after the club paid £27 million to Liverpool to bring him in.
“I think it’s very important for a striker to get that first goal, and as soon as the cross came in you knew – I don’t think any defender can defend against him in that position when he’s coming on the back of you like that. It’s almost impossible to defend,” Pardew said.