Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Crystal Palace

Match Analysis: West Brom 2-0 Crystal Palace
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Sports Mole analyses West Bromwich Albion's 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in this afternoon's Premier League match at The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 in their Premier League match this afternoon.

Both teams were looking to put recent defeats behind them and pick up valuable points in their battle to stay up.

Saido Berahino and Gareth McAuley scored the goals that gave the home side all three points and leave the visitors bottom of the table.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the events that unfolded at The Hawthorns.

Match Statistics:

West Brom:
Shots 9
On Target 4
Possession 49%
Corners 10
Fouls 11

Crystal Palace:
Shots 12
On Target 4
Corners 3
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

In the end the home side did just enough to deserve the three points today. They have played far better this season but the quality of their side proved decisive today. Palace had slightly more of the ball but they did not use it as well as their opponents and lacked a real cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

West Brom's performance

It took the home side a long time to get started and their manager Steve Clarke will not have been impressed with how they begun the match. They surrendered possession far too easily and were losing the battle in midfield. The game changed when Berahino came on and injected some pace into the team, with the striker eventually scoring the goal that set them on their way to victory. They came under some pressure from Palace midway through the second half but after McAuley's goal, Albion saw the game out and claimed all three points.

Crystal Palace's performance

Palace started the game well and saw more of the ball than the home side but they were guilty of allowing Berahino too much space to get his shot away as they looked to be heading into the break level. They pushed for a goal at the start of the second half and should have levelled through Mile Jedinak, but in the end they lacked enough attacking quality to seriously trouble the West Brom backline.

Sports Mole's man of the Match

Saido Berahino: West Brom were looking rather lacklustre until the young striker came on and he certainly made a big impression when he arrived on the pitch. With the game goalless heading into the break, Berahino scored a fine goal of his own making to give his side the lead. He continued to cause Palace problems into the second half and there is no doubt that Albion have a very special player in their ranks.

Biggest gaffe

With West Brom leading 1-0, Jedinak had the perfect chance to bring his side level. The Palace midfielder looked certain to head home from a corner but he directed his effort wide. With a free header in the box he had to hit the target at least and will look back at a moment that could have changed the outcome of the match.

Referee performance

It was a quiet afternoon for referee Neil Swarbrick, who did not have too many incidents of note to deal with. The only booking of the game was handed out to Jerome Thomas for a challenge from behind that warranted a yellow card.

What next?

West Brom: The Baggies travel to Stamford Bridge where they will face Chelsea in the Premier League next Saturday.

Crystal Palace: Palace are also in Premier League action next Saturday and will host Everton at Selhurst Park.

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on November 2, 2013
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