Newly appointed West Brom boss Alan Pardew earned a point against his former club Crystal Palace as both struggling sides settled for a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

By 90Min
December 02, 2017

Newly appointed West Brom boss Alan Pardew earned a point against his former club Crystal Palace as both struggling sides settled for a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The big team news before the game was Julian Speroni coming in for Wayne Hennessey, who was initially down to start but was injured in the warm-up - leaving Palace without a back-up goalkeeper on the bench.

Roy Hodgson was returning to the Hawthorns for the first time since he left in 2012 - he replaced centre back James Tomkins with Stephen Kelly and the injured Yohan Cabaye with James McArthur.

Pardew made one change to the side that let a two goal lead slip against another of his former clubs Newcastle in midweek, replacing the injured Matt Phillips with Jay Rodriguez.

West Brom should have had an early lead in the ninth minute as the ball fell kindly for Hal Robson-Kanu in the penalty area but he could only slice the ball over as he fell off balance.

Crystal Palace instantly replied with a nice one two between Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha which sent the Ivorian through but his shot was smartly saved by Ben Foster at his near post.

The early exchanges were very open as both sides appeared shaky defensively - Crystal Palace in particular from corners. Ahmed Hegazi almost took advantage of that by peeling off to the back post but he couldn't direct his header on target.

Palace then went on the counter and the ball ended up at the feet of Foster, who inadvertently attempted a Cruyff turn that hit his knee and bobbled towards Zaha, but the Baggies goalkeeper managed to block the Ivorian off and cleared the danger.

The Baggies were dealt an injury blow in the 29th minute as Gareth Barry was forced off with a thigh injury and replaced by Claudio Yacob.

Things quietened down until the 42nd minute when Christian Benteke had a hat-trick of chances - the first was a wonderful run past a flurry of West Brom defenders but Foster spread himself well to pounce on the ball. 

Jordan Mansfield/GettyImages

The Belgian striker then won both his headers from the following two corners but his efforts were dealt with comfortably.

The second-half started quickly and West Brom almost gained the lead when Sam Field ghosted in at the back post much like his goal against Newcastle in midweek, but this time Joel Ward was there to block with a terrific challenge.

West Brom kept pushing for an opener and had the most clear-cut goal scoring opportunity of the game when Jay Rodriguez went through on goal but Speroni used his experience to make himself big and smother the chance.

As both struggling sides looked to settle for a point in fear of losing, the game slowed right down and although it remained just as open as the first-half, there was a real lack of chances and talking points in the final third of the game.

In the 82nd minute, Allan Nyom put in a high looping cross for Salomon Rondon to head just wide of the post - the ball bouncing off the greasy surface as the heavens opened.

The goalless draw means Crystal Palace remain in the relegation zone on ten points, with West Brom hovering dangerously three points above them in 17th.

 

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