Crystal Palace travelled to the “highest altitude” ground in English professional football to take on West Brom in Alan Pardew’s first game in charge.
|West Bromwich Albion
||0-0|| Crystal Palace
|Livermore 64′, Field 90+2′||Yellow Cards||Ward 76′|
The Expat Eagle’s Verdict
Back from my brush with death, maybe not quite but that’s how it felt, I was in a much better condition to watch today’s game than I was last week.
You couldn’t have predicted this a year ago when we sacked Alan Pardew, that his first game as manager of the next team for him to manage would be against us. Actually, yes. I think most of us could have predicted it because that’s how football seems to go.
Let me get this out of the way at the beginning. I felt Pardew was poorly treated by Newcastle fans. I felt he was given more than enough rope for him to hang himself at Palace and when he was eventually sacked it was deserved and overdue.
I supported Pardew, and Steve Parish, right up until our 5-4 defeat away to Swansea. I believe Pardew tried his best, wanted the best for us in exactly the same way as Parish does. Much like Parish, Pardew isn’t as able as he thinks he is and in the year since they have both made themselves look a little silly.
That aside, Palace travelled to the league ground which lies at the highest altitude in the English league. It always looked like it was going to be a close and tight affair with little between the two teams.
In the warm-up, Hennessey and Dan were declared not fit after being named in the squad so Kelly came into the starting line-up as did Speroni and Palace were forced to name just 5 substitutes.
The first half seemed to be going according to the script though in truth I’d say Palace were the better team. There were few clear-cut chances in the half and the three clearest from either side which sticks in my mind fell to Benteke and Zaha. In all three occasions, both players drew decent saves from Foster.
Benteke had a good header from a corner and a low shot saved on the right and Zaha had a low shot on the left saved.
The second half saw things continue in much the same way that the first half left off only with West Brom being the livelier at the start before Palace reasserted their dominance. That isn’t a sentence I thought I’d write this season.
West Brom edged their way back into the game as it opened up through tiredness and individual mistakes but neither keeper were forced into anything other than run-of-the-mill saves.
As the clock ticked down to full-time it seemed that both teams were going for it and not settling for a draw but ultimately a point away from home against a relegation rival is something Palace should be pleased about.
Just 3½ weeks left until we can sign reinforcements and breath some fresh life into what looks like a tired team. The transfer window can’t open soon enough.
Verdict: Glass half empty or half full? Two games without scoring but then it’s two clean sheets.
|West Bromwich Albion (433)||6.97|| Crystal Palace (442)
|Yacob 31′ (Barry)
McClean ’72 (Robson-Kanu)
Burke 91′ (Rodriguez)
|Sako 86′ (Townsend)
Dann (injured in warm-up)
Hennessey (injured in warm-up)
Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.
|West Bromwich Albion
|Ball Possession %
Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.