West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Crystal Palace: Berahino, McAuley win it for Baggies

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West Brom continued their resurgence by beating lowly Crystal Palace 2-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies took the lead just before half time, as substitute Saido Berahino finished to put the home side ahead. To their credit Palace battled back in the second half as Mile Jedinak and Jason Puncheon both went close, but Gareth McAuley’s header in the 83rd minute sealed the win for West Brom.

Three points for Steve Clarke’s men sees them rise to 11th in the league, while a ninth defeat in 10 games for the Eagles keeps them rooted to the bottom of the PL table.

It was a lively start for the home side who whipped in several challenging deliveries in blustery conditions that Palace’s defense dealt with well.

And it was the away side who almost took the lead as Adlène Guédioura broke free and had a shot well saved by Boaz Myhill in the 10th minute. West Brom continued to push forward throughout the first half, but the Eagles remained resolute and kept the Baggies at bay.

Two injuries broke up the first half as first Guédioura went off injured for Palace and was replaced by Jason Puncehon. Then Billy Jones looked to have pulled his hamstring as he raced down the right flank, so England U-21 international Berahino replaced him.

It was the sub Berahino who put the Baggies ahead, after he coolly finished off Stephane Sessegnon’s feed to make it 1-0 to West Brom just before the break.

Following the interval the game was extremely even, as windy conditions affected the match. Palace pressed to try and get level, but West Brom always looked more likely to grab a second with Sessegnon and Long looking dangerous up front.

In the 60th minute Puncheon and Marouane Chamkh combined to see the former strike a fierce shot on goal that was pushed away by Baggies ‘keeper Myhill. Palace were buoyed by that effort, as moments later Jedinak saw his header go just wide after a tremendous corner from Jerome Thomas.

The South London side continued to press as a long clearance found Chamakh in the box who got his legs all messed up and the ball bobbled harmlessly towards goal and was cleared by Liam Ridgewell.

Shane Long should have sealed the win for West Brom but the Irish international dallied on a great ball through from Berahino and Dean Moxey got back to make a last-ditch block for Palace.

But in the 83rd minute West Brom did seal the win as Chris Brunt’s corner was headed home by Northern Ireland defender McAuley to make it 2-0 to the Baggies after a brave fight back from Palace.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Myhill; Jones (Berahino, 32), McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Morrison (Yacob, 73); Amalfitano, Sessegnon (Vydra, 86), Brunt; Long

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi (Gayle, 79), Bannan (Bolasie, 65), Thomas, Guedioura (Puncheon, 22), Chamakh

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