Yannick Bolasie strike helps Crystal Palace to victory
Published 03/10/2015 | 14:46
Yannick Bolasie's first goal at Selhurst Park in over two-and-a-half years set Crystal Palace on their way to taking all three points from a steely West Brom.
The 26-year-old has recently signed a new deal with the Eagles and was a constant thorn in the side of a stubborn Baggies defence - putting Alan Pardew's side ahead before the points were wrapped up as Yohan Cabaye's penalty sealed a 2-0 win.
All-but one of West Brom's eight points earned ahead of this clash have come away from home and they had not even shipped a goal on their travels in the Barclays Premier League before their trip to south London.
Baggies manager Tony Pulis, returning to Selhurst Park for the second time since leaving on the eve of last season, set his stall out to maintain that record, with his side frustrating the Palace attack for large periods.
But, in the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Bolasie, Pardew has a trio who can unlock most defences and that was the story here as the latter scored his first goal of the campaign and his first at Selhurst Park since New Year's day 2013 in a victory over Wolves in the Championship.
The warning signs for Pulis' men was quick in coming as Congo international Bolasie was involved from the start, cutting in from the left but shooting straight at Boaz Myhill.
Zaha was the next to try his luck, picking up a long pass from Puncheon but only able to hit the side-netting once he had burst into the box.
West Brom had started out resolutely at the back but were hit by another injury to their defence as Jonny Evans was replaced after 25 minutes before Chris Brunt was caught in the face by an accidental elbow from Zaha, forcing him off for treatment on a bloody nose.
Cabaye, the match-winner at Watford last Sunday, tried his luck with a swinging volley but again it was too close to Myhill to cause the Baggies stopper any concern.
The reshuffle at the back for the visitors opened up the chance for Palace to push forward and Zaha finally tested Myhill with a close-range shot the goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner.
Moments later and it was almost a carbon copy as the England winger skipped past Brunt before drawing another smart stop out of an increasingly busier Myhill - who got through to half-time with his clean-sheet in tact.
Referee Jonathan Moss was unmoved when Palace wanted a penalty as Cabaye's free-kick struck the arm of half-time substitute Craig Gardner inside the box before Palace's pressure finally paid off as Bolasie timed his run perfectly to head home Cabaye's cross as the back post.
Zaha was booked for an altercation with Claudio Yacob but moments later he showed why he is back in Pardew's good books as he burst past Brunt to earn a penalty just as he did at Watford - with Cabaye again on hand to convert from 12 yards.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
"@rioferdy5: Wilfred Zaha is taking liberties here on @BTSP for Palace. Needs a goal or an assist to cap a top display" - Former England captain Rio Ferdinand was impressed by a lively showing from his former Manchester United teammate.
Wayne Hennessey: 6
Martin Kelly: 6
Scott Dann: 6
Brede Hangeland: 6
Pape Souare: 6
James McArthur: 6
Yohan Cabaye: 8
Yannick Bolasie: 8
Jason Puncheon: 7
Wilfried Zaha: 8
Dwight Gayle: 6
Fraizer Campbell: 5
Joe Ledley: 5
Boaz Myhill: 7
Craig Dawson: 5
Gareth McAuley: 7
Jonny Evans: 6
Chris Brunt: 6
Claudio Yacob: 5
Darren Fletcher: 6
James Morrison: 5
James McClean: 5
Saido Berahino: 5
Solomon Rondon: 5
James Chester: 6
Craig Gardner: 6
Callum McManaman: 5
Yannick Bolasie: The winger was overshadowed by Wilfried Zaha's cameo in the win at Watford a week ago but was on form here and is getting back to his blistering best from last season. He gave Craig Dawson the runaround and deserved his goal - remarkably his first-ever Premier League goal at Selhurst Park.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Yannick Bolasie: His headed goal on 68 minutes finally breached a West Brom defence that had not conceded on the road. Timed his run perfectly to nod home Cabaye's cross and, with the Baggies so focused on a defensive approach, the effort set Palace up for the win.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Alan Pardew will be pleased with a second home league win of the season as his Palace side continue to show they are becoming a Premier League force. Meanwhile Pulis, who won 2-0 on his first return here last season, will want to move on quickly with a number of injuries adding to a bad afternoon at the office for the Welshman.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
West Brom may have been the only side left in Europe's top-five leagues to not ship an away goal before kick-off here but, despite coming to Selhurst Park with Saido Berahino and club-record signing Solomon Rondon in attack, they were so determined to keep a clean sheet they offered very little going forward and had just two shots on target.
WHO'S UP NEXT
Crystal Palace v West Ham (Barclays Premier League, Saturday October 17)
West Brom v Sunderland (Barclays Premier League, Saturday October 17)
After the game, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew praised the character of his side after they eventually broke down a dogged West Brom defence.
"West Brom are a tremendously defensive side in the way they set up and the discipline and you have to admire that," he told BT Sport.
"I was really pleased to get that second goal because it gives you that little rubber stamp of the performance because it's as well as we've played really."
He singled out Wilfried Zaha and Yoann Cabaye for praise. Zaha, who has previously been criticised by his manager, was a constant threat down the wing and won the penalty for the second goal.
Pardew said: "He (Zaha) is a player who can beat players and when you get to or three of those in your side it gives you great creativity, but I thought the middle of the pitch was our strength today.
"Cabaye showed why we had such great faith to bring him here. He orchestrated the whole game and Wilf is on the end of some fantastic passing from him."
On his side's bright start to the season, he added: "The last time we had 15 points in the Premier League, we were eating our Christmas dinner and we got it on October 2, so we've got ourselves in a great position.
"You have periods of form and how long we can keep that we'll have to wait and see, but I can compare this season to the team I had twice at Newcastle and this is a team that can be as good as that team.
"It's just about consistency and if we can play to the standard we did today, we have a chance."
A disappointed Tony Pulis said: "I just can't believe thats the same team that started and played so well at Aston Villa.
"The contrast between the Villa performance and today was chalk and cheese."
On the decision to substitute Saido Berahino at half-time, he added: "Saido was one of a number of players who never turned up today."