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February 8, 2014
• Selhurst Park, London
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 24501
T. Ince 15'
J. Ledley 27'
M. Chamakh 69'
West Bromwich Albion
T. Bifouma 46'
The final whistle is blown, and Crystal Palace emerge as 3-1 victors over West Brom to send them three points clear of the Premier League relegation places! The visitors, however, drop into the bottom three courtesy of their defeat and are still winless under Pepe Mel after four matches. I've been Livio Caferoglu and it's farewell from me!
90' + 2'
We're two minutes into the three that have been added on by the fourth official.
BERAHINOOOO!!! Lady luck just hasn't been on the side of West Brom's this afternoon. A corner is delightfully whipped into the box by Brunt, and it ricochets off the substitute and towards the wrong side of the post!
Ledley roams out towards the right and attracts a foul off Brunt. Jedinak's free kick, however, curls straight into the gloves of Foster.
Ince goes for the spectacular from a layoff on the right-hand side, but his shot is so bad that it cannons off the camera picture and into the orbit!
It's Jones turn to test Speroni with an attempt of his own after cutting inside from the right, but the Argentine is in no mood to be beaten by the right-back!
ANICHEBE!!!! The Nigerian does fantastically well to drop deep, turn his marker using nothing but brute force and steamroll towards goal, yet he can't find the target with his strike.
Berahino is adamant that his quick feet have done enough to win West Brom a free kick on the edge of the box, but a corner is all he can get from the referee. Brunt's delivery - for the umpteenth time - is easily cleared for a throw.
Yellow Card Chris Brunt
A diagonal pass is sent towards Murray, who hangs around the shoulder of the last man in the West Brom defence, but Foster quickly darts off his line to smother the ball.
Jedinak manages to ease the pressure off his team-mates by using his experience to buy a free kick from Anichebe. However, the ball returns to the Eagles box in a matter of seconds, yet Berahino is too clever for his own good as he foolishly strikes an effort from the byline. It's all too simple for Speroni at the near post!
The ball is currently being played around deep in the Palace half, after the subsequent corner from Anichebe's strike was poorly dealt with, but it's eventually cleared by Dikgacoi.
A real heart-warming moment sees Glenn Murray - the 30-goal hero of Palace's promotion push last season - coming on for his first appearance of the season after nursing a serious knee injury. In the other corner, Saido Berahino is thrown on by Pepe Mel in a bid to further underline his wonderkid credentials.
Penalty Goal Marouane Chamakh
Another quick-fire Palace break is on, which results in Foster hauling Chamakh to the ground. There's no question about the penalty, and the striker steps up to smash the ball into the bottom-right corner of the West Brom goal!
PENALTY TO PALACE!!!!!!
SPERONI AGAIN!!! Would you believe it... Mulumbu is in the box to hammer home from close range after the corner is deflected into his path, yet the shot-stopper somehow gets both hands on the ball!
Yellow Card Claudio Yacob
GREAT SAVE SPERONI!!! Morrison looks to take matters into his own hands following Yacob's booking by launching a vicious drive towards the Palace goal, but the goalkeeper is at full stretch to deny the midfielder!
Ince has been on the receiving end of two robust challenges from Dawson now, as the centre-back perfectly executes another intervention into the side of the Blackpool loanee!
Jones has been arguably the best player since the restart, and he shows that he hasn't neglected his defensive duties after clearing Delaney's header off the line!
Palace almost hit West Brom on the break from a throw deep in the visitors' half, and Bolasie dispossesses Sinclair near the corner flag fairly to earn his side the set-piece opportunity.
For all of West Brom's misgivings, Dawson has been a rock in the heart of their defence, as he does superbly well to stop Ince in his tracks with a crucial sliding tackle in the box.
Bolasie and Brunt have been engaged in a fascinating duel this afternoon, and the former has certainly come out on top. In another phase of play involving the two wide men, the Northern Ireland international was forced all the way back to his own corner flag!
The ex-Preston right-back is caught offside this time after trying to meet a Chamakh through ball. Credit to Palace for not letting their heads drop in the face of adversity!
Jones sends a low cross into the box from the right-hand side, which has proved so popular with West Brom attacks today, but it's cleared in an instant.
Baggies boss Pepe Mel spoke highly of his new striking arrival from Espanyol earlier in the week, and he's been vindicated in little less than a minute of making his debut! Elsewhere, Scott Sinclair has replaced Liam Ridgewell.
Assist Victor Anichebe
Goal Thievy Bifoum
WELL, WELL, WELL!! It's the substitute Bifouma, who plays a give-and-go with Anichebe in the box and rifles home a strike across goal. Game on!!!
The second half is now under way... AND IT PRODUCES A GOAL TO WEST BROM INSIDE JUST 45 SECONDS!!!!
We're back out onto the pitch for the second half, with the restart now imminent...
This is all happening while Crystal Palace continue to defy the age-old argument that new signings need time to gel together! Maybe Tottenham could take a leaf out of their book... Their cause is certainly being helped by Pulis' back-to-basics approach to football - two banks of four, accompanied by a little-and-large partnership up top. Sometimes the simplest things are most effective!
Pepe Mel will surely have learned from the experiences of Michael Laudrup that to succeed in the Premier League, you need a strong foundation first and foremost. They have shown some impressive rhythm in their passing game at times, but they are suffering from an alarming lack of pace and width in their backline. At the moment, their insistence on playing with four slow centre-backs is undoing all of their fluid football.
Bolasie looks for options to his left, but none are forthcoming and the referee blows his whistle to signal the half-time interval!
There will be two minutes of time added on.
McAuley is unmarked again in the Palace box, as he does his best to meet a diagonal free kick, but he can't keep his effort down.
The corner amounts to nothing more than a momentary phase of West Brom pressure, leaving Ward to pick up the pieces and take the throw.
Anichebe's movement catches the proverbial eye once more as Jedinak barges him off the ball on the wide right. Mulumbu's receives the rebound from the free kick and forces through a corner after Chamakh heads his volley over the bar!
Yellow Card Billy Jones
The first yellow card of the game is shown to Jones for cynically sliding into the back of Ince.
Pepe Mel looks on pensively from the touchline. His team may have seen two thirds of the ball in these opening 36 minutes, yet they have nothing to show for their efforts. It's another rude awakening for an overseas import to the trials and tribulations of Premier League football!
... which Speroni clutches gratefully! Meanwhile, McAuley's diving header from an inswinging West Brom corner is blocked and Palace's two-goal lead is preserved.
Dikgacoi hacks down Morrison, who was in the process of setting himself up for the half-volley. Brunt lines up the free kick in a promising position...
CHAMAKH!!!! Ince lays off yet another tantalising through ball, which the onrushing Moroccan latches onto, but Foster is alert to the danger.
Mulumbu tries a speculative effort from some way out, but it's light years away from troubling Speroni. These are times of desperation for West Brom!
Assist Thomas Ince
Goal Joe Ledley
It's a second debut goal for a second debutant in Joe Ledley! A corner is driven into the box, and the mid-season arrival from Celtic jumps highest to nestle the ball into the back of the net.
PALACE DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brunt, not for the first time, can't quite steer his dead ball onto the head of an intended target.
Pepe Mel's troops are beginning to dominate possession now. However, as we've seen so many times before, they need to match that technical ability with more of Mulumbu's brute force! Meanwhile, a corner is given...
Anichebe ventures out wide and wins West Brom a free kick on the edge of the box, which Brunt can only bend into the wall!
Mulumbu's determination can never be in question, but he needs to tone down his intensity. He wrestles another opponent to the ground and is lucky to get away with just a talking-to from the referee.
Assist Yannick Bolasie
Goal Thomas Ince
GOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!! Ince breaks his duck on his debut after collecting Bolasie's through ball and blasting a finish beyond Foster! Palace deservedly take the lead after just 15 minutes.
Puncheon stretches play down the right-hand side and crosses the ball towards the far post, but Bolasie can only aim his header at Foster.
The Congolese midfielder suddenly shoots back up onto his feet and monstrously breaks up two Palace attacks one after another! They'll need more of that commitment to the cause this afternoon.
Mulumbu is upended near the centre-circle and requires treatment. That should prove to be some welcome respite for his side.
Chamakh charges towards the byline and wins a corner off McAuley, and Dikgacoi almost nods the resulting cross in! West Brom are looking extremely sluggish in these early stages and need to pick things up urgently if they are to stay on equal terms with Palace for a little longer.
It's been an exciting start to the match by Ince, who attracts the wrath of Yacob again - this time more centrally. However, his set-piece harmlessly sails over the bar!
Gera is tripped up in advanced position by Delaney. However, the visitors fail to make anything come of their free kick.
Ince makes his first Palace foray down the right-hand side, but he is well marshalled in the end by Yacob.
We're under way in South London!
Meanwhile, Pepe Mel has yet to make a significant impact in the vein of his managerial opponent since being appointed West Brom boss last month. The 50-year-old Spaniard was unable to add beyond Thievy Bifoum to his squad.
It's a refreshed Eagles line-up named by Tony Pulis, who strengthened his ranks considerably during the January transfer window. Scott Dann, Thomas Ince and Joe Ledley - all deadline-day arrivals - slot straight into the side.
Last but not least, we have the Baggies: Foster; Jones, Dawson, McAuley, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Morrison, Gera, Brunt; Anichebe.
The team news is in! This is how the hosts line up: Speroni; Ward, Jedinak, Dann, Delaney; Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Ledley, Puncheon; Ince; Chamakh.
Hello and welcome to LIVE commentary of the Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and West Brom! I'm Livio Caferoglu, and I'll be guiding you through all the action as it happens from Selhurst Park this afternoon.
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