Hodgson on Benteke red: “It’s inexcusable, basically, that’s the bottom line”
Last Updated: 12/07/20 5:59pm
Roy Hodgson slammed Christian Benteke’s “inexcusable” red card after full-time of Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Benteke, the former Villa striker, saw red from Martin Atkinson for what the Premier League described as an “off-the-ball incident” with Villa defender Ezri Konsa, after a melee following the final whistle at Villa Park.
Tempers were high after full-time, but, with Benteke now missing the final three games of the season for Palace, frustrated manager Hodgson insists the Belgian should not have been provoked.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s inexcusable, basically, that’s the bottom line. There was a lot of niggling going on on the field, we’re close enough to be aware of that, but the thing is that is part and parcel of the game we play. It is quite often present in a lot of football matches.
“And you must not allow it to provoke you into doing something that is going to stop you playing for the rest of the season.
Benteke in 2019/20
“He’s unhappy about that, of course, as we are, but unfortunately I can’t excuse it, no matter how provoked he may have been, no matter what might have been said. You know that when you kick out at an opponent, and the referee sees it, you get sent off. That has been happening in football for as long as I can remember.
“All Christian can do, I guess, is apologise to his team-mates and accept his punishment.”
Benteke had been given a run in the team before and after coronavirus halted football following a long spell out of Hodgson’s plans, and the Palace boss seemed annoyed that the striker had thrown away his chance of regular football before the end of the season.
He added: “Christian Benteke just came back into the team, is playing his fifth or sixth game in a row, which of course he wasn’t doing before football was halted, and it was a great opportunity for him to finish the season by getting these games under his belt, and now he’s going to miss them.”
Palace host Manchester United at 8.15pm on Thursday, before going to Wolves on July 20, and hosting Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season on July 26.