Brentford 1 – 1 Crystal Palace. Joachim Andersen’s scrappy second-half goal secured a valuable point for Crystal Palace against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
The Bees had taken the lead through Kevin Schade’s brilliant first goal for the club but both sides lacked a cutting edge.
Palace were deserving of the draw after stepping up a gear from a dominant Brentford first half, despite horrendous rainy conditions.
Thomas Frank’s men made their strong start count through Schade just shy of 20 minutes in.
The German striker met a sumptuous cross-field pass from Christian Norgaard before driving in from the left and bending a shot into Sam Johnstone’s top-right corner.
Palace looked to force the issue more in the second half, with Cheick Doucoure and Eberechi Eze both noticeably more involved.
Mark Flekken was tested from an Odsonne Edouard free-kick before a stunning double save to deny Jefferson Lerma and Jordan Ayew.
Andersen levelled for Palace on 76 minutes, somehow squeezing the ball underneath Flekken after a mix-up in the area with Collins.
There were a lot of extremely good passages of play from the home side, particularly early on. The goal came from lovely movement deep on the left from Schade and the link-up in midfield was excellent.
But without Ivan Toney up front, they lacked the necessary focal point and they couldn’t build on such a good foundation.
Yoane Wissa missed a good chance before half-time and wasn’t able to capitalise on winning the ball high a couple of times, while Bryan Mbeumo couldn’t get into the game.
With Toney changing agents this week amid speculation linking him with a move, perhaps this was a warning shot to Frank that more firepower could be required before the transfer window shuts next week.
Roy Hodgson’s men are also in dire need of a striker after another rather toothless display overall, but the way they grew into the game as it went on shows their Premier League nous.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Eze who continues to be Palace’s shining light since Wilfried Zaha departed in the summer. Michael Olise and Matheus Franca remain out injured.
Interest from Manchester City in Eze will do little to quell fears around their attack and. on a personal note, there were some nice moments from him as Palace improved. But Hodgson has already spoken about not wanting to rely on him to inspire them.
It was telling that Flekken wasn’t tested at all until Edouard’s free-kick which preceded his excellent double save.
Palace continue to look bright on the counter-attack and more than competitive in midfield but they could be in for a long season if they don’t begin to create and take more chances.
source – BBC