West Brom 0-2 Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend claw Palace out of drop zone
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 04/03/17 5:22pm
Crystal Palace put daylight between themselves and the Premier League relegation zone following a fine 2-0 win at West Brom on Saturday.
Following a first half lacking in chances, Wilfried Zaha gave the visitors the lead 10 minutes after the break, firing home from 12 yards after taking the ball down on his chest from a Yohan Cabaye ball.
Andros Townsend got Palace's second in superb style, showing great stamina to pick the ball up in his own half, pile into the area and find the near post from 12 yards out.
The result means Palace are up to 17th, and are now three points clear of the drop zone after their third win in five games, while West Brom stay eighth, nine points off the top six.
Both sides were unchanged following victories in the Premier League last weekend, and though the intensity was high in the first half, chances were at a premium.
The only opportunity of the first 45 minutes fell to Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke, who saw his unmarked header from a Cabaye corner cleared off the line by Chris Brunt.
West Brom, managed by former Palace boss Tony Pulis, did appeal for a penalty after Cayabe looked to trip Salomon Rondon, but referee Mike Jones rightly waved play on.
Palace scored out of nowhere through Zaha on 55 minutes, who superbly chested the ball beyond Brunt from Cayabe's ball and fired past Ben Foster with a fierce left-footed effort into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Zaha nearly had a second moments later having got between two West Brom defenders and through on goal, but Foster rushed out to dispossess, before Jason Puncheon poked the ball wide on the rebound.
Foster was at it again with 10 minutes remaining, denying Townsend after he was put through one-on-one by Luka Milivojevic, but the winger earned Palace a superb second with six minutes remaining.
Picking the ball up in his own half, Townsend shook off a challenge before getting into the area and firing into the bottom corner from an angle.
Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was rarely tested throughout the clash, and Palace thoroughly deserved the three points in their fight against relegation.
West Brom: Foster (5), Dawson (6), McAuley (5), Evans (5), Nyom (5), Livermore (6), Fletcher (5), Chadli (5), Morrison (5), Brunt (5), Rondon (5)
Subs: Robson-Kanu (5), McClean (5), Leko (NA)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (7), Tomkins (7), Sakho (8), Van Aanholt (6), Milivojevic (7), Cabaye (7), Puncheon (6), Zaha (8), Townsend (8), Benteke (7)
Subs: Dann (6), Schlupp (6), McArthur (NA)
Man of the match: Andros Townsend