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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Benteke aims to reach 10-goal mark for the Eagles before season ends

By Alessandro Schiavone

Christian Benteke has set his sights on reaching double figures in what could be his final three games in a Crystal Palace shirt before moving to pastures new.

The striker, 30, scored after 133 seconds to put Crystal Palace in the driving seat last night before the Eagles went on to lose the game 3-1 at Southampton.

The Belgian centre-forward has so far struck eight times in 28 Premier League appearances, eclipsing his own total of six in the previous three campaigns combined.

He is only two goals off hitting the 10-goal mark and, if he succeeds, it will be only the second time he does so after netting 15 goals in his debut season in 2016/2017.

Crystal Palace take on Benteke’s former sides Aston Villa and Liverpool, sandwiched by a home fixture against Arsenal in front of their returning fans.

Benteke often plays to his strengths against Arsenal, having scored four times already against the Gunners since he moved to England from Jupiler Pro League giants Racing Genk in 2012.

Benteke said: "That would be a good season. But there's three more games to go, so hopefully I will finish on a high. We've got some great games, especially our game against Arsenal at home with our fans – we look forward to it.

"But first, on Sunday, we've got a tough game against Aston Villa and we'll see how it goes."

Benteke reflected on the chastening 3-1 defeat at St Mary’s, which was the first the Eagles didn’t come away from the South Coast with at least one point in more than four years.

He said: "We had a great start and then had a couple of chances to have scored more, but we didn't and Southampton were more efficient than us.

"After our early goal they didn't give up, they kept going. They came back in the game but we could have done better with some of our chances.

"For a striker it is important to score and it is just a personal part where you feel pleased to score, but, in the end, we didn't win and, as a team, you just want to keep winning games – that's the most important thing.

"I'm doing well and I just want to keep going and keep pushing myself, working as hard as I can.

"I feel mentally and physically strong and fit, and that’s the result of my work."


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