Stalemate at the Palace, as Brentford comfortably keep Vieira's Eagles under wraps
Crystal Palace (0) 0
Brentford (0) 0
It finished all square in the first ever top-flight meeting of Eagles and Bees – both sides hitting the bar but lacking enough finesse in the final third to edge the contest.
Both sides should be reasonably happy with the outcome, with Patrick Vieira claiming his first point since taking charge in the summer, while the Premier League newcomers again kept a clean sheet to stay unbeaten.
As the away side playing among the elite after 74 years away, Thomas Frank’s men will arguably draw even greater satisfaction from what was a first league clash of any kind between the two clubs since 1964.
We could easily have had a different script as Palace carved out a great chance early on when Wilfried Zaha’s pass into space presented Conor Gallagher with a clear target and the on-loan Chelsea midfielder fizzed a powerful strike onto the underside of the crossbar.
Ivan Toney responded with a raking low left-footer from outside the area which skimmed past an upright and Rico Henry fed Bryan Mbeumo for another off-target effort.
The Bees came even closer when a curling free-kick from Mbeumo on the right edge of the penalty area – won by the busy Frank Onyeka - bounced off the top of the crossbar as it dipped over Vicente Guaita.
And Onyeka himself thrashed a venomous shot straight at Guaita as the first half drew to a close.
Toney should have nabbed his first goal of the season three minutes into the second half when he managed to get behind two defenders at an Mbeumo corner, only to fluff a free header as it bounced tamely off his shoulder.
He made better contact with another cross but his effort, this time under pressure from defenders around him, his attempt sailed over the bar.
Saman Ghoddos came on for Onyeka and soon presented Toney with another chance through the inside left channel, but a cross-shot drifted well wide with no-one following up to apply a finishing touch.
For Palace, Christian Benteke headed just over from a Joel Ward cross and James McArthur fired just over, moments after Jordan Ayew had been brought on to add more zip in attack.
The livewire Gallagher was arguably the Eagles’ biggest plus point on a day when they struggled to build any sustained pressure. His powerful running set up some of Palace’s most promising attacks but he was also a likely source of goals.
After good work to wriggle out of the right corner flag by Jeffrey Schlupp – who once had a loan spell with the Bees – he was there to send a low shot at David Raya. It was too straight to trouble the keeper, however, and Vieira will feel his players did not work him anywhere near enough.
Eagles: (4-3-3) Guaita – Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell – Gallagher, Kouyate, McArthur – Zaha, Benteke, Schlupp (Ayew 68). Subs not used: Butland, Tomkins, Mateta, Matthews, Kelly, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi
Bees: (3-5-2) Raya – Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock – Canos, Onyeka (Ghoddos 70), Norgaard, Janelt (Bistrup 87), Henry – Mbeumo (Wissa 77), Toney. Subs not used: Goode, Forss, Dervisoglu, Bech Sorensen, Roerslev, Fernandez