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West Brom 2–2 Crystal Palace: Controversial Clattenburg in Eagles draw

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By Mark Ritson at The Hawthorns - follow on Twitter @MR_LWMedia

CRYSTAL Palace were held to a 2-2 draw away at West Bromwich Albion this afternoon in what turned out to be quite a controversial encounter at The Hawthorns.

Brede Hangeland gave the Eagles the lead with a close-range volley from a corner, before Mile Jedinak doubled the lead from the penalty spot before the break.

The Baggies grabbed a goal back through Victor Anichebe, which saw goalkeeper Julian Speroni go off for a head injury despite saying he was fine to carry on.

And the hosts pulled level late on with a penalty themselves after Jedinak had committed a foul.

But it was the baffling decisions of Clattenburg at times which left both set of supporters frustrated in a decent encounter in the West Midlands.

West Brom started the better and forced the Eagles back, but Yannick Bolasie had the first opportunity, jinking past a defender after collecting Fraizer Campbell's pass before seeing his cut-back cut out.

Bolasie went extremely close moments later with a long-range effort, which went inches wide and against the side netting.

Wilfried Zaha won a free-kick in a dangerous position, and from Joe Ledley's delivery Fraizer Campbell's looping header was tipped over by Ben Foster.

And from the corner, Palace took the lead thanks to Brede Hangeland. The centre-back rose highest and saw his initial header blocked, before the ball fell to his feet and he volleyed home.

Julian Speroni pulled off a fine save to deny Craig Gardner, and from the corner the goalkeeper missed the cross and was relieved to see Graham Dorrans fire over.

It was nearly number two midway through the half as Bolasie powered down the left and played in a great ball towards Campbell, who got in front of his marker and missed the ball by inches with his outstretched leg.

West Brom crept back into the contest and nearly got back on level terms when Chris Brunt's cross caught Speroni out and the ball curled inches wide of the far post.

Zaha appeared to be taken out inside the penalty area but referee Mark Clattenburg failed to see any wrongdoing despite television replays showing there was contact.

However, Clattenburg and his assistant were in great positions to award Palace a clear penalty when Bolasie was taken out by Sebastian Pocognoli.

And Jedinak did the rest, sending Foster the wrong way to send the Eagles into half-time with a comfortable lead.

West Brom were expected to start the second half brightly, and they did just that, grabbing a goal back through substitute Victor Anichebe in controversial circumstances.

As the ball came in from a corner, Craig Dawson's arm/elbow clattered into Speroni's face before the striker Anichebe forced the ball home.

No foul was given and the custodian lay down for a good three minutes receiving treatment. After getting up and insisting he was fine to carry on, Wayne Hennessey was already waiting to come on as Neil Warnock's waved for Speroni to come off.

The goalkeeper clearly didn't want to but new rules in the Premier League this season by medical experts meant the shot-stopper had to come off despite his own personal opinion.

The Baggies were on top before Jason Puncheon entered the fray and the winger immediately found Bolasie on the edge of the box, whose low shot was easily smothered by Foster.

Gardner then struck the Palace crossbar midway through the half with a dipping effort, while Speroni could be seen holding an almighty big ice pack on the side of his head in the dugout.

The Baggies kept banging the Palace door as James Morrison's shot was blocked from a cross, and from the follow-up, Berahino placed high and over.

Substitute Adlene Guedioura shot tamely at Foster after an excellent break through the middle from Puncheon, and then the two combined again only for Foster to come out and smother.

However, West Brom drew level late on when Clattenburg pointed to the spot after Jedinak committed a clear foul.

Puncheon looked to have been fouled in the build-up after trying to wriggle his way out of danger but the referee gave nothing.

Berahino levelled and Palace were stunned. Six minutes were added on but neither side could force a winner.

Warnock may have a few words to say about the referee again, it could perhaps be said.

Palace: Speroni (Hennessey 55), Ward, Mariappa, Hangeland, Kelly, Jedinak, Ledley, Zaha (Puncheon 64), Bolasie, Chamakh (Guedioura 73), Campbell.

Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Fryers, Bannan, Doyle, Gayle.

West Brom 2–2 Crystal Palace: Controversial Clattenburg in Eagles draw


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