Roy Hodgson slams "inexcusable" Christian Benteke

Roy Hodgson slams "inexcusable" Christian Benteke

An angry Roy Hodgson said that Christian Benteke's red card after full-time was "inexcusable"  as Crystal Palace went down 2-0 against Aston Villa

Martin Atkinson sent off the former Villa striker in what was indicated in the match report as an "off-the-ball incident" with Villa defender Ezri Konsa, after a melee following the final whistle at Villa Park.

Tempers flared after full-time with Wilfried Zaha and Mohammed Sakho involved in an animated altercation with Villa keeper Pepe Reina. 

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."

"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 has made 25 appearances this season with 14 starts, two goals and an assist.