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Soccer-Palace held by Brentford in goalless stalemate

LONDON :Crystal Palace were held to a goalless home draw by promoted Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday in a game short on quality, leaving Patrick Vieira's side still waiting for a goal under their new manager.

New signing Conor Gallagher almost gave Palace an early lead when he smashed a shot against the bar after being played in by Wilfried Zaha in a bright start from the hosts in Vieira's first game at Selhurst Park, having lost 3-0 at Chelsea in their opening game.

Brentford enjoyed a dream start to Premier League life with a 2-0 home win over Arsenal last week but struggled to get going on Saturday and needed 21 minutes to have a first shot, French winger Bryan Mbeumo missing the target from range.

Mbeumo then hit the woodwork later in the half with a free kick and nearly laid on a pass for the opening goal moments after the interval.

Mbuemo got down the wing and his cross found Ivan Toney but the striker could not get clean contact on his attempted header, instead striking the ball with his shoulder.

Palace striker Christian Benteke then sent a header over the bar while midfielder James McArthur let fly from outside the area and was only denied by a top class save from Brentford keeper David Raya.

Benteke was given extra support in attack when Jordan Ayew came off the bench and the Belgian fed the substitute late on but he could not keep his volley under the bar.

Palace's standout player was debutant Gallagher, who has joined on loan from Chelsea after spending last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion.

Gallagher swung in a free kick in added time which again caused problems for Brentford's defence and found Joachim Andersen but the Danish defender's header missed the target.

"I think it was a positive performance," Gallagher told Premier League Productions.

"We're still learning the style of play, we’re getting better in training and defensively we look good, but we need to get better going forward to score more goals."

Palace were playing their first game in front of a full crowd at Selhurst Park since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and the home fans made their mark on their return even though they could not inspire their side to victory.

"They were unreal – so good," added Gallagher.

"It was just so loud. It's not the biggest stadium compared to other teams in the Premier League, but the noise is crazy in here."

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: Reuters

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