Premier League Benteke can be impossible to defend - Pardew

Alan Pardew had nothing but praise for Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha following Crystal Palace's win over Middlesbrough

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Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has hailed Christian Benteke's performance in the wake of Saturday's 2-1 win over Middlesbrough and feels the Belgium international can be impossible to defend against in certain circumstances.

Benteke earned Palace the lead early on at Riverside Stadium with a fine header after Wilfried Zaha's cross, sending the away team on the way to their first win of the Premier League season.

And Pardew was pleased to see the former Liverpool centre-forward open his Eagles account.

"I think it's very important for a striker to get that first goal," Pardew told a news conference.

"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."

Zaha also impressed after returning to the starting XI as he got an assist before scoring the winner and Pardew was understandably pleased with the winger's outing.

"We started the last game without him because of the transfer situation, but he was terrific today," Pardew said, referring to Tottenham's failed attempt to sign the former Manchester United forward.

The manager added: "Not just the goal and the assist, but also his [Zaha's] defensive performance against George Friend, who bombs up and down the line was exceptional."

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