Brentford headed into this home clash against Crystal Palace sitting in a very respectable 8th position, with their opponents just four places below them in 12th. The hosts made three changes to their last starting eleven against Arsenal, with Ajer dropped for Hickey as the team switched from a 3-back to a 4-back formation. Dasilva was preferred in the midfield ahead of Janelt, and Wissa replaced Roerslev. Patrick Vieira made two changes, with Lokonga favoured over Hughes, and Tomkins dropped for Andersen.
BRE: Raya (GK); Henry, Mee, Pinnock, Hickey; Jensen, Norgaard (C), Dasilva; Wissa, Toney, Mbuemo
CRY: Guaita (GK); Mitchell, Guehi (C), Andersen, Clyne; Lokonga, Doucoure; Schlupp, Ayew, Olise, Mateta
Ben Mee received an early booking after pulling Ayew as the Ghanaian broke free down the right-wing. Sambi Lokonga’s free kick was floated into the box, finding Andersen – but his header was blocked by the hosts’ defence before the centre-back fired the rebound over the bar.
Raya was forced into action early on as he made a good save to deny Olise, who curled a right-footed effort from the edge of the box towards goal – but the Spaniard was able to push it over the crossbar. Having been fouled by Mee earlier in the game, Jordan Ayew was the next player to receive a yellow card, as the Ghanaian stopped Bryan Mbuemo as he surged forwards.
Olise was one of the visitors’ better attacking outlets throughout the first half, with the youngster’s skills on the right-wing causing problems for the Brentford defence. Despite a flurry of chances for either side, the two teams headed in to the break level – after Joachim Andersen received a booking for a collision with Wissa. Although both teams had enjoyed some good build-up play, neither side was able to find that elusive opening to take the lead in the first half.
Palace would finally find the opener in the 69th minute through Eberechi Eze, who had been introduced as a substitute less than ten minutes before finding the back of the net. A cross from Ayew on the left flank found Mateta, who played in Olise – with the young Frenchman sending a ball curling back into the box towards Eze who headed home from closer range.
Christian Norgaard received a yellow card for a tactical foul in the 75th minute, shortly before Ivan Toney volleyed a poor clearance from Andersen over the bar to deny his side an equaliser.
Six additional minutes were enough for Brentford – who finally found an equaliser in the dying seconds as Vitaly Janelt headed home to level the scoring! The German was able to find the end of Bryan Mbuemo’s cross from the right wing, sending the ball flying past Guaita to pick up a point for the Bees.
A point at the Brentford Community Stadium sees the hosts’ unbeaten league run extend further, now sitting at an impressive 11 games. They’re back in action on March 6th, when they’ll host high-flying Fulham. Palace haven’t got to wait as long, as they’ll welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park on Saturday.