Football: Crystal Palace hit EPL top five after holding Bournemouth

BOURNEMOUTH, United Kingdom (AFP) - Crystal Palace crept into the Premier League's top five after denying Bournemouth a fourth straight victory in a 0-0 draw at Dean Court on Saturday.

Both teams were in form heading into their first meeting since March 1989, but had to settle for a point that tightened Palace's grip on a European place and kept Eddie Howe's Bournemouth in 14th place.

Alan Pardew's Palace, who started and finished the game strongly, are now unbeaten in five league games, while Bournemouth's improved form means they have not tasted defeat in six outings.

Manchester United's 2-0 defeat at Stoke City had moved Palace up to fifth place even before a ball had been kicked and Pardew's men made a purposeful start in the first ever top-flight encounter between the teams.

Scott Dann headed over from a first-minute corner and Fraizer Campbell - in for the injured Connor Wickham - saw a cross deflected onto the roof of the net and fired over from a Damien Delaney pass.

Delaney also had a half-volley scrambled off the line by Simon Francis, with a meek Harry Arter effort that was easily saved by Wayne Hennessey the best Bournemouth could offer in response.

But mid-way through the first half the hosts came to life, Matt Ritchie heading wide from a Junior Stanislas cross and then narrowly failing to pick out the stretching Glenn Murray with a right-wing cross.

Hennessey had to claw away a deflected attempt by Dan Gosling and Stanislas blazed over after Delaney had cut out Charlie Daniels's cross.

Both sides made changes at the interval, Yohan Cabaye replacing Jordon Mutch for Palace and Howe sending on Eunan O'Kane for Arter, who had been booked for a late challenge on Wilfried Zaha.

O'Kane almost made a stunning entrance, stinging Hennessey's palms with a rasping shot after Francis had picked his way around a pair of defenders.

South Africa international Tokelo Rantie also caught the eye after coming on for Murray, but it was Palace who came closest to netting a second-half winner, Artur Boruc repelling a flick from substitute Marouane Chamakh.