Struggling Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke scored his third goal of the season on Saturday after regular penalty taker Luka Milivojevic allowed the Belgian striker to take the Eagles’ last minute penalty in their 5-0 victory over Leicester City.
Benteke subsequently converted the spot kick, prompting the entirety of Selhurst Park to give the struggling 27-year-old striker a standing ovation.
The big Belgian has endured a difficult season with Palace this season, squandering a plethora of scoring opportunities fans had become accustomed to him scoring, with a number of fans becoming increasingly frustrated with his lapse in form.
“I’m not pleased with the season I’ve had,” Benteke said, as reported by The Times. “I just have to be focused to finish [the season] well, and then focus for the next season, mentally and physically.”
The former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker ended 28 game goal drought on Saturday after Luka Milivojevic, Palace’s regular penalty taker, allowed Benteke to take a prime opportunity to get his name back on the score sheet.
Subsequently, the Palace striker commented on the overwhelming support his teammates have offered him as he suffered through his poor run of form.
“They’re all behind me because they know that it’s not the best time for me,” Benteke said. “It’s the first time I’ve been through this hard time without scoring. They wanted to give me a big boost.”
Speaking on the speculation surrounding his future, with suggestions he may be allowed to leave Selhurst Park in the summer, he said: “I want to stay here, and I’m going to speak to the club about what they want to do with me.
“The most important thing is that I’ve got a very, very good coaching staff that have helped me enormously and I’ve been blessed with a good group of players that were vilified after the first four games and they weren’t exactly being feted after the next three either. Seven games, no points, no goals and minus 17 [goal difference].”
Since joining Palace from Liverpool at the start of the 2016/17 season, the Balgian forward has scored 18 goals from 65 games, although his tally of three goals for the 2017/18 campaign is his worst return since the 2008/09 season for Standard Liege.