This was a lunchtime start that had threatened to go unnoticed, but Wilfried Zaha’s explosive return, coupled with another video assistant referee controversy, which led to West Brom being cut down to 10 men with an hour to play, He assured that the debate would continue for a long time. after the full-time whistle.
Matheus Pereira was found guilty of violent conduct following an innocuous collision with Patrick van Aanholt and, while there was no commotion, his red card paved the way for Crystal Palace to get away with the victory, with Zaha scoring twice and Christian Benteke recording his first goals. Since July.
Things looked sinister for Pereira from the moment referee Paul Tierney addressed the court’s VAR monitor. Pereira put his hands on his hips, nervously awaiting his fate, and Slaven Bilic stayed behind Tierney, trying to look over his shoulder at the collection of reps, but unable to change the outcome. The official had booked Pereira, who appeared to make contact with Van Aanholt’s groin after trying to stand up, but VAR Michael Oliver encouraged Tierney to take a second look and, presumably, with the sound of Stockley Park ringing. in your ears. , updated the punishment.
That decision crushed West Brom, who had a jump in his stride for four minutes after a magnificent draw from Conor Gallagher, a player on the Palace’s wish list in the summer. The loan from Chelsea, who opened his account with victory last weekend, ended coldly by converting Darnell Furlong’s cut after a superb weighted pass from Semi Ajayi.
If West Brom was aggrieved by Pereira’s expulsion, they were up in arms when Vincente Guaita, the Palace goalkeeper, appeared to finish off Branislav Ivanovic. Tierney later ignored Gallagher’s half-hearted appeal as the midfielder went to the ground under pressure from James McArthur.
Benteke scored twice in the Palace jersey for the first time in three years and this was also his first five-goal road shooting in the top flight. Zaha’s virtuosity is not so rare (they had lost 15 of their previous 17 matches without their talisman) and, after missing the losses to Burnley and Newcastle after a positive coronavirus test, he was brilliant on his return here and the architect as Palace opened the advantage. in eight minutes. Moments after skimming the bar, he rolled Pereira, picked up Luka Milivojevic’s pass and delivered a devilish cross, which Furlong unfortunately passed over Sam Johnstone.
Zaha rattled into Palace’s second after dancing inside the box on the left flank, and from there, the floodgates opened. Benteke nodded at Van Aanholt’s cute cross at the front post before Zaha doubled his tally after feeding off the remnants of a good run from Eberechi Eze. There was still time for Palace to amplify Albion’s agony, with Benteke hammering in a fifth later.
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