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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Selhurst Park

Wissa header saves the day for Bees, as they claw back a point following Zaha's stunner for Eagles

Crystal Palace (0) 1 Zaha 59

Brentford (0) 1 Wissa 88

A piece of typical individual brilliance from Wilfried Zaha was not quite enough for the Eagles as battling Brentford stormed back to snatch a point with a late goal.

The Palace winger’s fourth of the season again underlined just how valuable he is to Patrick Vieira’s plans and seemed increasingly likely to settle a tight affair.

But Yoane Wissa came off the bench to nod in a floated Vitaly Janelt cross from the left – his effort from six yards giving Vicente Guaita no chance, although a VAR check was needed to satisfy officials that there was no offside.

And right at the death, the Bees twice might even have won it, as Rico Henry darted onto a pass from Ivan Toney, only to fire from close range into the legs of the Palace keeper, before Ben Mee’s header came back off the crossbar at a corner in a thrilling finale.

Zaha had found it quite tough going against Aaron Hickey in the first half, but the Bees defender – who played in Italy last season and looks a fine prospect – stood off his man just too much on the edge of the penalty area, and Zaha sized up the equation with customary precision to curl past David Raya and into the far corner.

It was a superb strike worthy of winning any match. But it didn’t win this one.

These two teams don’t seem to bring the best out of each other and the prospect of repeating last season’s two 0-0 draws looked on the cards after a drab opening half.

Maybe it did not help that the game took a while to ignite, despite the best efforts of the Holmesdale Stand to fire up the Eagles.

But a dazzling drop of the shoulder to shrug off Shandon Baptiste by Jeffrey Schlipp inside his own half and subsequent charge up the pitch to the opposition box raised the temperature a little – even if the final shot was too central to trouble David Raya.

For the most part, Brentford had more control, with Bryan Mbeumo looking the man most likely. Michael Olise got little change out of Henry.

Janelt floated a ball towards the right byline for Toney to hook back to an incoming Zanka, but the defender’s effort cleared the bar by a sizeable margin.

Olise and Zaha finally found each other with the first half 30 minutes old, but Hickey refused to be undone by the Ivorian’s turn and got in a fine block – repeating the trick just before the break.

When Cheikh Doucoure dispossessed Mathias Jensen just outside the area early in the second half, it seemed we must have a breakthrough, but again a final shot from Schlupp was too easy for Raya.

Olise then cut in from the right to curl a shot against the far post and it perhaps hinted at better things to come for the hosts.

Yet the Bees saved their best for last to prove there is stacks of character running through the squad. They seldom look out of it and were well worthy of their point in the end.

Eagles: (4-1-4-1) Guaita – Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Clyne – Doucoure – Olise (Mitchell 80), Schlupp (Milivojevic 76), Eze (Ayew 76), Zaha – Mateta (Edouard 54). Subs not used: Johnstone, Ebiowei, Richards, Phillips, Rodney

Bees: (4-3-3) Raya – Hickey (Ghoddos 79), Zanka, Mee, Henry – Baptiste (Damsgaard 68), Janelt, Jensen (Wissa 79) – Lewis-Potter (Dasilva 68), Toney, Mbeumo (Onyeka 68). Subs not used: Strakosha, Bech Sorensen, Roerslev, Stevens


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