West Brom – Crystal Palace: An early West Bromwich Albion red card helped Crystal Palace stop its losing run at two with a 5-1 defeat of the Baggies at the Hawthorns on Sunday.
Darnell Furlong scored an own goal but assisted Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher’s equalizer before Matheus Pereira was sent off in the 34th minute for a VAR-reviewed foul on Patrick van Aanholt.
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Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke scored twice for Palace, who had lost to Burnley and Newcastle in its past two outings. This win moves them into 11th on 16 points.
The 19th-place Baggies lose their seventh of the season, a week after beating Sheffield United to collect their first win to go with three draws.
Three things we learned from West Brom – Crystal Palace
1. VAR changes the game: West Brom was feeling good after Darnell Furlong helped make amends for an early and unlucky own goal by setting up Gallagher’s equalizer, but VAR sent referee Paul Tierney over to the pitchside monitor to take a closer look at Matheus Pereira’s foot to the groin of Patrick van Aanholt. The slow motion replay showed Pereira straightening his foot after tumbling to the turf and Tierney was swayed. There was seemingly a lot of grey area here but the visitors eventually wore down Slaven Bilic’s Baggies.
2. Benteke awakens: Belgian veteran Christian Benteke scored his first goals of the Premier League season and first brace in the English top flight since an April 23, 2017 double against former club Liverpool. His second goal was very nice, a reminder of how the big man can also dance. If Benteke can find the form that saw him score 15 PL goals for Palace in his first season at Selhurst Park instead of what’s seen him bag five goals in two-plus seasons heading into Sunday, look out.
3. Zaha return is Palace’s tonic: The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international was not in the lineup for the losses to Burnley and Newcastle, and it’s no surprise that he was responsible for producing Palace’s first goal in 208 minutes. Zaha’s cross was put into the West Brom goal by Darnell Furlong but the next two were properly his.
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha
Zaha has seven goals and two assists in nine starts for Palace, who has four wins and a draw when Zaha has a goal or assist and is 0-5 when he does not.
West Brom – Crystal Palace recap
A short-played free kick saw Wilfried Zaha put his man on the turf with a powerful move and cross into the box, Furlong’s lunging bid to put it wide of his near post instead went inside it.
Furlong worked hard to keep position and put a header off the cross bar in the 18th minute, nearly getting redemption on a chipped Matty Phillips cross.
Furlong did help in the equalizer, a cutting run toward the end line allowing the full back to send the ball back to the top of the 18 for Gallagher to slot low inside the near post.
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But VAR reviewed Matheus Pereira’s actions while prone on the turf, the Brazilian’s foot catching Patrick van Aanholt in the groin. It felt harsh.
West Brom wanted a penalty when Karlan Grant got on the end of a loose ball in the box and saw his shot blocked by Christian Benteke, whose hands were raised.
It was all Palace after that, as Zaha slotted home and Benteke stooped to head home in his return to the Starting XI.