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Close... but no Pat on the back; VIEIRA 'CALM'... BUT STILL NO GOAL FOR NEW EAGLES BOSS.

Byline: IAN BAKER at Selhurst Park

CRYSTAL PALACE 0 BRENTFORD 0

PATRICK VIEIRA made it look easy as a player - but already he seems to be finding the Premier League a little more difficult as a manager.

The Frenchman is still awaiting his first win and even his first goal as Crystal Palace boss, after a promising start to this game ended in stalemate.

There may not be major problems just yet for the ex-Arsenal favourite, a three-time Premier League winner.

But despite good signs from debutant Conor Gallagher and occasional moments from Wilfried

Zaha, the Eagles attack failed to impress yet again - a constant theme over the past few seasons.

Vieira admitted: "We need to improve. We need to win games at the end of the day.

"We need to improve by getting more players inside of the box as Christian Benteke was isolated. We will work on that. But I'm calm, it's important to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

"We will get better, we need to be demanding of ourselves. The performance was better than the last game." Brentford had a wonderful opening day win over Arsenal and were arguably the better side again in another London derby.

But Ivan Toney had an off day in front of goal as he awaits his first topflight strike.

Palace, well beaten 3-0 at Chelsea on the opening day, were the latest club to welcome fans back after their enforced absence and that meant a carnival atmosphere.

And initially their players matched the intensity in the stands in an impressive opening period.

It was Gallagher, making his first Eagles appearance, who so YET waiting nearly broke the deadlock on seven minutes seeing his effort hit both the post and bar from Zaha's pass.

At the other end in this first game between these two sides since 1978, Toney shot out of nothing from 25 yards, but just wide, as the Bees responded.

Bryan Mbeumo then saw an effort go wide after some fine build-up play from the visitors.

Gallagher was offering Palace's best moments as he shot straight at David Raya from the edge of the area.

It was then Brentford's turn to hit the woodwork as

Mbeumo's free-kick had Vicente Guaita beaten

SHINE Vieira is for breakthrough but not the upright. Toney's afternoon was starting to get frustrating and he was unable to convert from Rico Henry's cross, while Frank Onyeka's powerful shot was held by Guaita.

And Toney twice missed great chances early in the second half - both from Mbeumo corners.

Firstly one delivery hit the unmarked Brentford hitman on the shoulder and was gathered by Guaita before Toney beat the Palace keeper to the next corner but missed the target.

The game fell flat, although Benteke did head over from Joel Ward's cross in a rare second-half moment of encouragement for the hosts.

Later James McArthur was denied by an impressive stop from Raya after being set up Zaha, a man who spent too much time arguing with referee Martin Atkinson.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank said: "Ivan Toney will score goals. He will be tough on himself because he should have scored. It could have been a beautiful 1-0 away win. He will give us some goals at another time.

"I'm enjoying the Premier League life and I hope it continues. I'm pleased and proud of how we are presenting ourselves - aggressive and brave - and we will do our best to continue that."

HOW THEY RATED

C PALACE 4-3-3 Guaita..............................................7 Ward BOOKED ................................. 5 Andersen BOOKED...........................7 Guehi ...............................................7 Mitchell .......................................... 6 McArthur........................................ 6 Kouyate .......................................... 6 Gallagher.........................................7 Zaha ................................................7 Benteke BOOKED............................ 5 Schlupp .......................................... 6 SUBS J Ayew (Schlupp 68)...................... 5 SUBS NOT USED Butland, Tomkins, Mateta, Matthews, Kelly, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi.

NEXT FIVE MATCHES...

CRYSTAL PALACE Aug 24 Watford (a) ... EFL Cup Aug 28 West Ham (a)......... PL Sep 11 Tottenham (h) ....... PL Sep 18 Liverpool (a).......... PL Sep 27 Brighton (h)........... PL

MAN OF THE MATCH

CONOR GALLAGHER

Impressive loan debut for Palace, the midfielder was very unlucky not to score.

BRENTFORD 3-5-2 Raya ................................................7 Ajer..................................................7 Jansson.......................................... 6 Pinnock ...........................................7 Canos ............................................. 6 Onyeka ............................................7 Norgaard BOOKED ...........................7 Janelt ............................................. 6 Henry ..............................................7 Mbeumo ..........................................7 Toney.............................................. 5 SUBS Ghoddos (Onyeka 70) .................... 6 Wissa (Mbuemo 77) ....................... 5 Bidstup (Janelt 87) SUBS NOT USED Goode, Forss, Dervisoglu, Bech Sorensen, Roerslev, Fernandez.

NEXT FIVE MATCHES...

BRENTFORD Aug 24 F'st Green (h) EFL Cup Aug 28 Aston Villa (a)........ PL Sep 11 Brighton (h)........... PL Sep 18 Wolves (a).............. PL Sep 25 Liverpool (h).......... PL

VITAL STATS CRYSTAL PALACE BRENTFORD 2.............ShotsonTarget...........3 5 ............. Shots off Target........... 7 0 ............... Blocked Shots ............ 4 3 ..................... Corners...................5 12.......................Fouls .....................9 1 ...................... Offsides .................. 2 3 .................Yellow Cards ............... 1 0...................Red Cards ................0 75.2..... Passing Success %.. 70.5 55.................Duels Won ..............59 48.2.......DuelSuccess%......51.8 15.....................Tackles.................24 53.3......... Tackles Won %....... 41.7 53............. Possession %...........47 43.3 ...... Territorial Adv %.... 56.7 423.............Total Passes ......... 370 10............... Total Crosses ............15 165 ............... Lost Balls.............. 161 69................ Recoveries..............77 50.2 ........1st Half Poss %. ..... 49.8 56.......... 2nd Half Poss %........ 44 Referee: Martin Atkinson 7 Attendance: 23,091 | |Crystal Palace are now winless in their last 10 Premier League London derbies (D5 L5).

MATCH FACTS | |Palace and Brentford played out a goalless draw for only the second time in their 40 meetings.

CAPTION(S):

WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT Gallagher hits the post for Crystal Palace
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN BAKER at Selhurst Park
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2021
Words:875
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