A second away point of the season was enough to take Palace off the bottom of the Premier League table on Roy Hodgson’s return to West Bromwich Albion.
Following on from Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at the Amex, the Eagles guarded the net for a second consecutive 90 minutes, this time with Julian Speroni between the posts after Wayne Hennessey sustained an injury in the warm up.
The home side had the first chance of the afternoon, when Jay Rodriguez’s low cross, just behind Hal Robson-Kanu, was guided narrowly over the bar by the off-balance Welshman.
Palace didn’t threaten until the 13th minute, when a neat passing move involving Luka Milivojevic, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha saw the latter have an effort blocked into the side-netting and behind for a corner.
Zaha had another effort blocked on 21 minutes, which sailed narrowly wide of Ben Foster’s goal, though nothing came of the resulting corner. The Ivorian continued to threaten, getting in behind the Baggies backline twice in quick succession and having two penalty shouts dismissed by Michael Oliver as the Eagles flourished in a revised 4-3-3 formation.
A lively Christian Benteke had Palace’s next good chance, turning three West Brom defenders and skipping past another challenge before having his shot turned behind from a corner. He then had two headers saved from the two resulting corners, as he looked to get off the mark for the season.
Julian Speroni made a superb save with his chest to deny Rodriguez after the West Brom forward wriggled free in the box, as both sides probed for the opener in the early exchanges of the second half. Speroni made another good stop with 20 minutes to go, parrying a powerful Robson-Kanu from the edge of the area.
Neither side had a real clear cut chance to win it in the final 35 minutes, but both had spells on top. In the end, a point apiece was a fair reflection of the afternoon’s action.
Palace XI: Speroni; Ward, Kelly, Sakho (c), Schlupp; McArthur, Loftus-Cheek, Milivojevic, Zaha, Townsend (Sako, 86); Benteke.
Subs: Van Aanholt, Fosu-Mensah, Riedewald, Puncheon.
West Brom XI: Foster; Nyom, Evans (c), Hegazi, Gibbs; Field, Barry (Yacob, 29), Livermore, Rodriguez (Burke, 90), Robson-Kanu (McClean, 71), Rondon.
Subs: Myhill, McAuley, Melbourne, Krychowiak.
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