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Crystal Palace vs Brentford 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

The return of a full Selhurst park had finally arrived, and the best atmosphere in the league was back after 532 days of being away! On Saturday 21st of August Crystal Palace faced newly promoted side Brentford, who had previously beaten Arsenal 2-0.

It was great to be able to get back to see my friends and family in the pub before the 3pm kick-off. It was also my mum’s first game back in a while as my step dad had been taking me to matches. We were back in our regular season ticket seat in the main stand, so had access to the Glaziers pub. It wasn’t as busy as expected but this may have been because we are used to people standing around, it was a warm day, so most people went straight into the stadium.

Before the game the players were welcomed onto the pitch by Selhurst Park being covered in stripes of red and blue, created by mini flags each fan was given, as the lyrics of ‘Glad All Over’ echoed around the stands. There was a banner presented in the Holmesdale end that read 'the soul of Palace returns, the terraces come alive'. This was the first time Viera had managed the boys in front of a full home crowd and was also home debuts for our new signings. McArthur was named as captain while Luka is out for personal reasons. Palace were shooting towards the Sainsburys end for the first half and the goal was directly in front of us. Although we did get a bit wet in this seat, I much prefer being pitch side closer to the action in comparison to the seats we had for preseason, this seat was also located next to my friend Katie. Viera went for a more experienced team for this game, it was exciting to see his new tactics in place this week against a slightly weaker opponent.

The first 5 minutes of the game was dominated by Palace, playing the ball around nicely, winning corners and creating chances where possible. In the 7th minute new boy Conor Gallagher had a great chance to put us ahead, as the ball is whipped in to him in the box by Zaha, but his shot was kept out by the bar. It was a bullet of a shot which was unlucky to not find the back of the net. Connor showed great talent and eagerness throughout the whole game, his energy was something Palace lacked last season. Brentford immediately went up the other end, but the strikers attempt was comfortably wide. Shortly after they too hit the bar from a free kick, both teams showing some attacking threat. The rest of the half both teams were pretty evenly matched with Brentford growing into the game causing mistakes from us. It has become evident early in the Viera era that we are much better at playing the ball to each other and keeping possession, showing his new tactics were paying off. the final chance of the game came to Brentford, but it was an easy save for Guaita, meaning the half ended 0-0.

Palace had a chance to put themselves in front early in the second half, as Ward whipped the ball onto the head of Benteke, who raised well but his header was sent just over the bar. After any attempt we had the stadium was electric trying to encourage the boys even more, now the fans are back home advantage is definitely a thing again which is shown in the majority of the other results. Viera made one change in the game with Ayew coming on in replace of Schlupp in the 68th minute, hopefully this isn’t a regular occurrence as we need substitutions to change the dynamic of the game. Another change on tactic was that when we had goal kicks Guaita would play the ball short to the centre backs, this is very nerve wracking as it invites pressure, but the boys did well to handle it and play the ball out from the back. The second half bought multiple fouls on Zaha once again, causing frustration, one being on the edge of the box, the ref said play on as the ball fell to McArthur who’s shot from outside the box was deflected out for a corner. Nothing came from the corner, which was the story of the match for both teams. The final chance of the game for Palace came very late in the added time, as the ball was whipped in by Gallagher from a set piece, but Andersen’s header was just too high. The game ended 0–0 both teams sharing the point, putting Palace up to 14th.

Although the game had no goals, I was very impressed with the new boys (Gallagher, Guehi and Andersen). It was the centre back pairs first game together and they were very dominant in defence holding onto their clean sheet. Conor was put on free kicks and corners showing the trust the manager has in him. It’s nice to see some young players in the team bringing energy and pace, hopefully there are still some more to come into the club.

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 52.7% possession, Brentford had 47.3%

• Palace had a total of 7 shots with 2 on target.

• Brentford had 14 shots with 3 on target.

Our next Premier League game is against West Ham away, I’m not sure if I’ll be attending that game, but if not, my next post will be on the Tottenham game which is at home after the international break.

Thank you for reading

Ellie x


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