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Match Reports

Albion 0 Crystal Palace 0

2 December 2017

ALBION started life under Alan Pardew with a point as they registered a third successive Premier League draw courtesy of a goalless encounter against Crystal Palace.

Both sides went close during a lively encounter at The Hawthorns, with a positive Baggies outfit largely on the front foot and enjoying the better opportunities, but they could find that crucial breakthrough or fortunate break and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

It was Albion's first clean sheet since mid-September in what was newly-appointed Head Coach Pardew's first match since taking charge on Wednesday, extending the club's unbeaten run to three matches.

The Baggies will draw confidence from the performance, in which they enjoyed 20 shots on goal were only denied by a resilient Eagles rearguard, and take plenty of optimism into next weekend's trip to Swansea City.

Pardew, who both played for and managed Palace, was given a warm reception by home supporters ahead of kick-off - while there was also a welcome return for former Baggies boss Roy Hodgson in the opposite dugout.

Pardew made one change from the midweek 2-2 draw against Newcastle United, Jay Rodriguez replacing the injured Matt Phillips, while there was a place on the bench for 19-year-old Academy graduate Max Melbourne.

Albion, operating with a 4-3-3 system, started brightly and immediately put the visitors under pressure - Hal Robson-Kanu, Salomon Rondon and Ahmed Hegazi all enjoying chances.

Ben Foster was almost caught out by Wilfied Zaha following Allan Nyom's backpass, before both the Eagles man and Rodriguez were thwarted by crucial blocks at either end.

Gareth Barry was forced off due to injury on the half-hour mark, replaced by Claudio Yacob, who made his 150th Premier League appearance for the club.

And Albion were twice indebted to Foster for keeping the scores level at the interval, spreading himself well to deny Christian Benteke before collecting a header from the Belgium international.

Baggies captain Jonny Evans made a vital clearance to deny an onrushing Benteke soon after the restart before Rodriguez, clean through, was denied by Julian Speroni just minutes later.

James McClean replaced Robson-Kanu, with Rondon heading narrowly wide in the latter stages and Sam Field's effort blocked as the encounter finished all square.

ALBION: Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans (c), Gibbs, Barry (Yacob 30), Livermore, Field, Robson-Kanu (McClean 72), Rondon, Rodriguez (Burke 90+1).

Subs: Myhill, Melbourne, McAuley, Krychowiak.


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