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Report: Andersen prods Palace to point at Brentford

Schade 18'
Crystal Palace
Andersen 76'

Joachim Andersen’s second-half equaliser saw Crystal Palace claim a deserved point in a 1-1 draw at Brentford's Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.


  • Both sides name unchanged starting XIs
  • Eze fires straight at Flekken early on
  • Schade cuts inside and rifles Brentford ahead on 18 minutes
  • Ayew and Eze enjoy half-chances as Palace look to hit back
  • Wissa heads over and Collins wide from Brentford corners
  • HT: Brentford 1-0 Palace
  • Hosts start second-half sharply, Guéhi making important block
  • Palace begin to pen Brentford back
  • Edouard has free-kick tipped over the bar
  • Flekken produces remarkable double save to deny Lerma and Ayew
  • Andersen beats Flekken to loose ball to prod in equaliser
  • Brentford forced back and almost net own-goal
  • Both teams press for late winner but run of draws continues
  • FT: Brentford 1-1 Palace

The curious goal – which saw the Danish defender stretch to beat goalkeeper Mark Flekken to a ball running out of play, turning it over the line – was nonetheless a fair reflection on a dominant second-half Palace display, after Kevin Schade's solo effort saw Brentford go in ahead at half-time.

The stalemate saw Palace and Brentford become the first two teams in Premier League history to draw their first five meetings in the competition, and was perhaps a fair reflection on proceedings overall - although both sides will feel they could have won it.

Roy Hodgson named an unchanged starting XI for Palace’s second London derby in the space of six days, as his team sought a first win over their hosts since 1977.

Just four goals across those meetings between the two sides suggested a tight game was in order – and so the case proved in a stop-start first-half in west London.

Palace were up against a Brentford team whose free-scoring had caught the eye at Fulham the prior week, but it was defences who were on top for much of the opening period.

The Eagles’ best early opportunity stemmed from a low Ebere Eze strike after the playmaker had won the ball high – but his low effort did not truly test Flekken.

After the match had began in glorious sunshine, it was replaced by a sudden torrential downpour – the heavens opening signifying what was to come moments later.

Pathetic fallacy took prime effect as the first real moment of attacking quality from either side led to Brentford’s opener: Kevin Schade, isolated on the left, jinked between two Palace defenders and rifled in a top-corner finish which left Sam Johnstone with little chance in goal.

The game remained scrappy, but Jordan Ayew – with a near-post header – and Eze – at the end of a signature slalom run from the left wing – both enjoyed half-chances which went wide of the mark.

Set-pieces produced the best of the first-half chances, but Brentford's Yoane Wissa and Nathan Collins both wasted decent opportunities to double their lead after escaping their markers.

Yet where a stop-start first period yielded little goalmouth action, Palace’s performance hugely improved in the second – and they were much the better team for long stretches.

Having survived a particularly threatening attack immediately after the restart thanks to Marc Guéhi’s smart defending from Rico Henry's pull-back, their chances began to accumulate.

With Cheick Doucouré and Jefferson Lerma wresting control of the match, Palace’s final-third possession increased and their shot count began to stack up, Ayew having one effort blocked before Eze cut inside and fired over.

Midway through the second period, persistence from the pressuring Ayew won a free-kick on the edge of the 'D' which Odsonne Edouard curled towards the top corner, forcing Flekken to tip over the bar.

If that were a good save, Flekken’s next two were remarkable. As Eze’s corner came into the box, Lerma did everything right, heading the ball down towards for the bottom corner, only for Flekken to plunge and get a firm hand to it – before somehow reacting quickly enough to block Ayew’s follow-up strike.

It looked like it could prove to be a frustrating day in west London for Palace – but then another great Dane took hold of the match.

Palace's equaliser initially appeared a curious one, but a just reward for Andersen's growing influence as an attacking threat spraying passes out from the back.

And when the defender appeared to overcook his touch from Ayew's reverse ball into his path, he somehow still managed to sprint onto it and beat the goalkeeper to it before it crossed the byline, prodding over the line despite the best efforts of a trailing defender.

It was the least the Eagles deserved for their bright play following the restart, and they almost forced a late winner; a long pass forwards from Andersen led to Ayew volleying wide, and on two occasions, Brentford deflections almost carried Tyrick Mitchell’s cross and Eze’s low shot into their own goal.

As the clock ticked into injury-time, it was the hosts who perhaps finished the stronger side, but impressive tackling from Guéhi and Joel Ward on Wissa and Rico Henry maintained parity.

And as the sun re-emerged at full-time, it felt like it shone most prominently on Palace, full value for a point following their spirited second-half fightback.

Brentford: Flekken (GK), Hickey, Collins, Pinnock, Henry, Janelt, Nørgaard, Jensen (Onyeka, 72), Mbeumo, Wissa, Schade (Lewis-Potter, 80)

Subs: Balcombe (GK), Zanka, Roerslev, Ajer, Brierley, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe

Palace: Johnstone (GK), Ward, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Doucouré, Lerma, Ayew, Eze, Schlupp (Ahamada, 71), Edouard (Mateta, 71)

Subs: Matthews (GK), Clyne, Tomkins, Richards, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi, Gordon

As It Happened