Allardyce: Premier League survival scrap is going to go to the wire
Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce believes his side "threw it away" as their winning streak in the Premier League came to an end with a 3-1 defeat to Southampton.
Struggling Palace – who stunned Chelsea in their last match – looked set to hold onto a point at St Mary's Stadium until the hosts netted twice in quick succession inside the final seven minutes.
Christian Benteke had put Palace ahead after half an hour as they sought to make it five wins in a row, but Nathan Redmond's leveller on the stroke of half-time initiated a Saints fightback to leave Allardyce worrying about the dreaded drop.
"It's going to go to the wire, yes. The result was massive against Chelsea, but everyone is picking up points, so we can't look elsewhere for help," said Allardyce, whose side sit three points above the drop bottom three with eight games remaining.
"The way we lost it is a kick in the teeth. We have shown defensive resilience in the last few games and that went missing.
"I'm disappointed not to take the point given the situation we are in. We threw it away and that's not like us.
"Our target is that we still have to get more points than games played. If we have that at the end of the season, it'll be enough."
Meanwhile, Saints goalscorer Ward-Prowse is hoping the victory – Southampton's first win on home soil since January – can propel them into a hunt for European qualification.
"It was a very important win for us," Ward-Prowse told the club's official website.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) April 5, 2017
"The sign of a good team is a good run of home form and hopefully this can be the start of that for us.
"It's not nice going behind but I think it shows the character that we've got in the dressing room.
"Of course we want to get back into Europe. That's a big ambition and whether that's achievable or not is down to us – we have to win a lot of games.
"But we've got a game in hand so we have to make sure that we take full advantage of that and then we can start to move back up the league."