West Bromwich Albion 3-2 Crystal Palace: Baggies build 3-0 lead, hold on for win

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Craig Gardner had a goal and an assist in the opening 20 minutes as West Bromwich Albion condemned Crystal Palace to yet another Saturday defeat.

The Hawthorns was the scene, and Craig Dawson scored the second goal with a header off Gardner’s free kick in the 20th minute. Saido Berahino also scored in the 3-2 win.

Connor Wickham scored two goals for Palace, which mounted a second half comeback bid after going down 3-0. Palace is winless in 10-straight PL matches, and remains just eight points ahead of the drop zone. West Brom rises 11 points clear.

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Fresh off an apology to chairman Jeremy Peace, Berahino showed why he’s worth the time of Tony Pulis. Berahino played a through ball for Salomon Rondon that Wayne Hennessey saved straight to Gardner. 1-0.

After Dawson’s header made it 2-0, Berahino got back on the scoreboard. The English striker took a a grand diagonal pass from Stephane Sessegnon and slapped it by Hennessey. Scenes.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Craig Gardner of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on February 27, 2016 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

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The Baggies let Palace back into the game when Jonas Olsson inexplicably let a long ball bounce instead of heading back to Ben Foster, and Wickham darted past both to tap a left-footed goal home. 3-1. Game on?

Moments later, Palace should’ve been given a penalty when Scott Dann was taken down in the box. Soon after, Berahino tried to ruin any comeback hopes with a gorgeous run past Martin Kelly and a bending shot that cranked the pipe where the right goal post meets the cross bar.

And they should’ve absolutely been given one when Yannick Bolasie was blocked just inside the 18. The second half sub was arguably the prime component of Palace’s second-half life blood.

Then Wickham got a second goal, and it was a sensational side volley finish. Foster had no hope of stopping the highlight reel strike. Wow. Eight minutes from time, Palace was within one.

The Eagles would not level it up, though, despite several chances in the final 10 minutes.