Crystal Palace 0-0 Brentford: Patrick Vieira draws first home game

Report and free match highlights as Patrick Vieira draws his first home game as Crystal Palace manager; Conor Gallagher impressed on his debut, hitting the post early on; Bryan Mbeumo also hits the woodwork for Brentford; Crystal Palace have their first point of the season

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Saturday 21 August 2021 17:25, UK

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Patrick Vieira has his first points on the board as Crystal Palace manager after his side played out a 0-0 stalemate against Brentford at Selhurst Park.

There was a raucous reception for the new manager ahead of the game, and the Palace players responded brightly to the welcome as the impressive Conor Gallagher hit the woodwork inside seven minutes.

But as they showed against Arsenal in the opening game of the Premier League season, Brentford are going to be intimidated by little this season and soon pushed Palace deep into their own half. Bryan Mbeumo also hit the post with a well-taken free kick in the first half.

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Brentford dictated the play for much of the second half too, but there were openings at both ends. Christian Benteke and Ivan Toney both nodded over, but neither side were able to find the breakthrough in a rather feisty affair.

It was a much-improved performance from Vieira’s Palace as the manager drew his first game in front of the home fans – although he awaits the first goal of his tenure – while Brentford continue their unbeaten start to life in the Premier League.

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How the points were shared at Selhurst

There was festival atmosphere at Selhurst Park ahead of kick-off, with the Holmesdale End unfurling a banner that read ‘the soul of Palace returns, the terraces come alive’.

Palace could have scored inside seven minutes too. Gallagher had a lively debut and linked up well with Wilfried Zaha down the right. It was the pair that combined for a great chance, as Zaha placed a lovely pass into the middle for his new team-mate, but Gallagher’s effort hit the post before smacking the top corner of the crossbar and going wide.

Player ratings

Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (7), Guehi (7), Andersen (7), Mitchell (7), Kouyate (6), McArthur (7), Gallagher (8), Zaha (7), Schlupp (6), Benteke (6).

Subs used: Ayew (6).

Brentford: Raya (6), Ajer (7), Jansson (7), Pinnock (7), Canos (7), Onyeka (7), Norgaard (7), Janelt (6), Henry (7), Mbeumo (7), Toney (7).

Subs used: Ghoddos (5), Wissa (5), Bidstrup (n/a).

Man of the match: Conor Gallagher.

Soon after, at the other end, Brentford had their opening shot of the game. Despite being surrounded by defenders, Toney did well to find himself an inch of space and struck on the volley, but it just flashed wide.

Gallagher continued to be Palace’s best attacking threat, and after leaving Frank Onyeka in a heap outside the area, broke down the other end and forced a stretched save from David Raya. Then, Vitaly Janelt and Mbeumo had their sights of goal, but were unable to find a way through.

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Brentford soon managed to pin Crystal Palace into their own half, and had a few efforts to take the lead. Mbeumo took a superb free-kick from the right, but he could not quite dip it in time as it pinged off the far corner of the goal.

Toney struck again just before the break, but after some good defending from Tyrick Mitchell, landed straight in Vincente Guaita’s hands. Onyeka had been in the wars in the first half, but almost capped it with a fine strike. However, the fierce drive was held by Guaita.

Palace could again have taken an early second-half lead. Joel Ward did well down the right flank, managing to send in a cross, but Benteke nodded his effort over the crossbar. It was the same story at the other end soon after as Mbeumo delivered another superb corner, but Toney could not find any direction on his header as it whistled over the crossbar.

The two Brentford forwards combined again as the half ticked by. Toney was slotted through inside the area, but his flashed effort through the six-yard box just evaded the run of Mbeumo. Palace substitute Jordan Ayew almost fired the hosts ahead late on, but skied an effort deep into the stands.

Man of the match – Conor Gallagher

Gallagher’s influence was evident from the first minute. He was unable to play against Chelsea last weekend, but he bought a passion to the Palace midfield that is exactly what the fans want.

Not only was he there with silky passes for Zaha down the right, he made his fair share of tackles too. Gallagher was also Palace’s biggest goal threat, having hit the woodwork early on.

He had the most shots (2), crosses (3) and joint-most tackles (3) of the Crystal Palace squad. The signs are good for a successful loan for the midfielder.

Analysis: Tough run ahead for Palace

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

“So Patrick Vieira gets his first point on the board as Palace boss – but he’ll know he has work to do to get this side firing, after they managed just two shots on target against newly-promoted Brentford.

“It could have been different if Gallagher’s shot against the woodwork had gone in during the first half but Palace looked to be missing a spark up top today. They’ll have to be sharper in the tough run of games they have coming up.

“Next in the Premier League they have West Ham (away), Tottenham (home), Liverpool (away), rivals Brighton (home), Leicester (home), Arsenal (away).”

Opta stats – Brentford remain unbeaten

  • Crystal Palace are winless in their last 10 Premier League London derbies (D5 L5), managing a draw this time around after losing each of their last four.
  • Brentford extended their unbeaten run in the league (excluding play-offs) to 14 games (W7 D7), registering a clean sheet in eight of the last 10.
  • Since their return to the Premier League in 2013-14, Crystal Palace have been involved in 13 goalless draws in home games in the competition, with only Manchester United managing more in that time (14).
  • Since 2018-19, Brentford are only the second promoted side to take 4+ points from their first two Premier League games of the season, after Sheffield United also enjoyed a win and a draw in their maiden games in 2019-20.

What’s next?

Both sides are in Carabao Cup action on Tuesday – Crystal Palace travel to Watford and Brentford welcome Forest Green. On Saturday, Crystal Palace travel to West Ham in the Premier League while Brenftord travel to Aston Villa. Both games kick-off at 3pm.

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