LONDON (AP)Crystal Palace and Brentford played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday to give Eagles coach Patrick Vieira his first managerial point in the Premier League.
Both teams hit the woodwork during the first half, with Conor Gallagher going closest for the hosts before Bryan Mbeumo also hit the crossbar for the visitors.
It was the first meeting between the sides since 1977 and while six goals had been produced on that occasion, this contest finished as a stalemate with clear-cut chances lacking throughout despite plenty of endeavor from the London rivals.
Vieira handed full debuts to Palace duo Joachim Andersen and Gallagher, the Chelsea midfielder who was ineligible to face his parent club last weekend, while Brentford was unchanged from its impressive opening-day success over Arsenal.
With the backing of the home fans, it was Vieira’s side who started the strongest and it came within a whisker of taking the lead in the seventh minute.
Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha combined excellently on the right, with the latter picking out the midfielder with a well-timed pass, but the loanee saw his curled effort ricochet off the post and onto the crossbar before it bounced to safety.
During the opening half-hour the Palace summer signing had run the show, with his energy too much for the visitors to handle, but Brentford had their moments, with Ivan Toney and Mbeumo dragging efforts wide.
Eventually the Bees grew into the contest and they finished the first period strongly, with Thomas Frank’s men hitting the woodwork themselves when Mbeumo curled a free kick onto the top of the crossbar in yet another warning sign to the hosts.
The opportunities kept coming for the Premier League new boys and Toney should have opened his top-flight account three minutes after the restart.
Sergi Canos picked him out with a corner, but the forward mistimed his jump and the ball came off his shoulder, which allowed Vicente Guaita to punch clear.
Palace did respond and Christian Benteke headed over from eight yards after Joel Ward had got to the byline as the full-blooded nature of the London derby showed no signs of slowing.
Brentford goalkeeper David Raya was also forced into a finger-tip save to deny James McArthur’s crisp effort.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports