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Four takeaways from Crystal Palace’s 2-2 draw with West Ham – Conor Gallagher shines for Eagles


Crystal Palace picked up their second point of the Premier League season on Saturday afternoon, with Conor Gallagher’s brace helping them twice come from behind to secure a draw in east London.

Vieira made only one change from the side that drew 0-0 in the Premier League with Brentford last time out, with Jordan Ayew replacing Jeffrey Schlupp.

The home side opened the scoring through Pablo Fornals, who finished off from close range after Michail Antonio cut through the Palace defence with ease.

 

THE EAGLES CAME ALIVE IN THE SECOND HALF

Gallagher brought Palace level after his shot inside the area was too powerful for Lukaz Fabianski and crept in from a tight angle.

Michail Antonio restored West Ham’s lead in the 68th minute, outmuscling Joachim Andersen to the ball and whacking a shot past Vicente Guaita.

Gallagher brought the Eagles level once again just two minutes later, twisting and turning inside the area to place a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

Here are Edmund Brack’s four takeaways from the London Stadium:

 

PALACE BREAK THEIR DUCK

It took 328 minutes for the first goal of the Vieira reign to be scored, and it came from summer arrival Gallagher.

Wilfried Zaha’s cross from the left was met by Benteke, who lept highest inside the area to nod the ball down to Gallagher. The 21-year-old turned the ball home from a tight angle to bring the Eagles back into the game.

The goal woke Palace up, and Vieira’s side spent the following 10 minutes trying to take the lead, with Jordan Ayew and Zaha causing the West Ham defence to drop deeper and deeper.

CONOR GALLAGHER SHINES ONCE MORE

Without Conor Gallagher, the Eagles would have been staring at another disappointing afternoon.

The combative midfielder showed on his debut that he could be a threat from the centre of the pitch, and today he professionally executed his two chances.

Gallagher, who was playing slightly further up the pitch in the second half, brought creativity and attacking intent to Vieira’s side. Despite scoring two goals, Gallagher also carried the ball up the pitch and dragged his side towards the opposition goal three times during the 90 minutes.

PALACE LET WEST HAM SUFFOCATE THEM IN THE FIRST HALF

Palace’s first-half showing at the London Stadium only highlighted the large gulf between where West Ham are in terms of their ‘project’ and where the Eagles are in terms of theirs.

The Eagles were dominated by David Moyes’ side, smothered of space on the pitch and overwhelmed by the Hammers’ forward players whenever the duo of Marc Guehi or Joachim Andersen looked to bring Palace forward.

After seven shots at Vicente Guaita’s goal, West Ham finally broke the deadlock.

Michail Antonio danced his way through the Palace defence before cutting the ball back to Pablo Fornals for a simple tap-in.

BENTEKE ISOLATED, AGAIN

On the rare occasion that Palace ventured out of their own half during the first 45, Christian Benteke once again found himself distant from any support and intelligent runs that he could use to spring a counter-attack.

It was a similar story against Brentford, with the Belgian winning nine aerial battles, only to see the ball eventually stolen away from him by the swarm of Brentford bodies.

In the 4-3-3, Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew are simply too far away from Benteke for the Eagles to forge an attack at the opposition goal. In the first half, there was no coherent bond between Vieira’s attacking force.

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