BOSS Eddie Howe admitted he was “disappointed” with Cherries’ first-half showing as they ended their Premier League campaign with defeat at Crystal Palace.

The Eagles had raced into a 3-0 lead at Selhurst Park thanks to a Michy Batshuayi brace and Jack Simpson’s own goal before Jefferson Lerma’s wonder-strike pulled a goal back for the visitors before the interval.

Despite second-half strikes from Jordon Ibe and Joshua King - the former being Cherries’ 200th top-flight goal - Patrick van Aanholt and Andros Townsend fired for the Eagles to wrap up a 5-3 victory.

Assessing the display, Howe said: “I was really disappointed with the first half. We didn’t respond well to conceding that first goal. I think that was critical.

“Our reaction was disappointing, we then conceded a couple more and at half-time it looked like it could be a difficult afternoon.

“Credit to the players for how they responded. In the second half we showed our best side, our quality and our ability to control the game. We created numerous opportunities and the score line could have been different in the end.”

Palace playmaker Wilfried Zaha was instrumental in his side’s attacking prowess.

Quizzed on whether the Ivory Coast international had been too hot to handle, Howe replied: “Every time we play Crystal Palace we know his qualities and we didn’t do very well with dealing with him.

“He was difficult to contain, he moved all over the pitch, he wasn’t pinned down to one position and he has qualities in tight areas even when you do get tight to him.

“Credit to him for what he delivered but we have to look at ourselves, be critical of our defending and analyse that - certainly that’s a big area for us to focus on for next season.

“We have conceded too many goals and it’s hampered our ability to win too many games.”

With as many as nine first-team players out through injury for their season finale, Howe admitted he was happy for Cherries’ summer break to come around.

He added: “When you looked at our squad you could see how light it was in terms of senior professionals.

“With how many injuries we have got you could have almost put another team out on the pitch and they would have held their own in this game.

“That has been understated from our perspective but we’ve got through it, picked up points and managed to do enough to stay in the league.

“I will certainly be very pleased to have the break that we have to try to get some bodies back.”