ROY Hodgson admitted Jefferson Lerma’s stunning strike prevented Crystal Palace from an “easier game” against Cherries on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Colombian international's thunderous right-foot effort from 30 yards rocketed into the net to make it 3-1 just before half-time after Michy Batshuayi’s double and a Jack Simpson own goal.

In a frantic second half, Cherries twice came within one goal of the levelling thanks to efforts from Jordon Ibe and Joshua King but Patrick van Aanholt and Andros Townsend netted for the Eagles to clinch victory.

Crystal Palace boss Hodgson said: “I think had we survived that extra two minutes in the first half and not been recipient of that wonder goal from Lerma, which was incredible, if we had of kept it at 3-0 and started the second half as we did with the intensity we showed, I think it would have been an easier game.

“At 3-1 we gave them hope that they could get goals out there as well.”

The former England manager added: “We created some very good opportunities in the first 10 or 15 minutes but didn’t take them, so when it got 3-2 the game is on because both teams when they attack were very dangerous.”