Hull City 3 Crystal Palace 3: Campbell equaliser buys Pardew time
Alan Pardew may have earned another stay of execution after Fraizer Campbell snatched a 3-3 draw for Crystal Palace at relegation-threatened Hull City in the Premier League.
The hosts had been in front at the break courtesy of a contentious Robert Snodgrass penalty at a sparsely populated KCOM Stadium.
Palace levelled, also from the spot, when Christian Benteke stroked home after Snodgrass, who dived to win his own penalty, felled Wilfried Zaha just inside the area early in the second half.
Zaha put Palace ahead with a brilliant strike in the 70th minute, but Hull responded almost immediately, Adama Diomande netting courtesy of a dynamic solo effort of his own.
Hull regained the lead through Jake Livermore, the former Tottenham player sauntering unopposed into the Palace area to score with 13 minutes to go.
But just as the visitors' infamous defensive woes appeared set to heap yet more pressure on Pardew, substitute Campbell delivered when his manager needed him most, heading home against his former team to snatch a share of the spoils.
Daunting assignments await both of these teams in midweek, when Hull visit Spurs and Palace stage an FA Cup final rematch against Manchester United at Selhurst Park.
After a slow start, Hull slowly began to exert some control on proceedings. Chances remained hard to come by for the home team, but they were handed an early Christmas present courtesy of Mike Jones when the referee was fooled by a blatant dive from Snodgrass.
The Scotland international went down in the area despite receiving no contact from Palace centre-back Scott Dann, who was booked for his vociferous protest, leaving Snodgrass to get up and emphatically stroke home the penalty in the 26th minute.
The impressive Zaha was involved as Palace drew level six minutes into the second half, the forward drawing a foul - ironically from Snodgrass - in the box to afford Benteke the opportunity to equalise from the spot, which the striker duly did by wrong-footing goalkeeper David Marshall with a cool effort.
The goal sparked both teams into life, Diomande twice going close for Hull after breaking into the area and shooting narrowly wide of the near post.
Palace took the lead with 20 minutes to go, Zaha gathering possession on the edge of the area, beating two defenders with a stepover and some clever close control before lashing a fierce finish past Marshall.
Their advantage lasted just two minutes, though, before Diomande delivered on his earlier threat, holding off Dann with his back to goal, nutmegging the centre-back and then prodding the ball smartly beyond Wayne Hennessey.
The Palace defence inexplicably parted in the 78th minute to allow Livermore to waltz into the area and score Hull's third, a defensive aberration worthy of Palace's calamitous 5-4 loss to Swansea City last month and which has become symptomatic of the malaise afflicting the Eagles for much of 2016.
But there was one more twist in the tale, Campbell, who helped Hull to promotion in 2008, returning to haunt his old club by meeting a pinpoint Zaha cross and cushioning home a headed finish out of Hennessey's reach.