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Four takeaways from Crystal Palace’s 0-0 draw at Brentford – Eagles’ poor away form continues as season-defining run of games coming up

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Crystal Palace recorded their 11th Premier League draw of the season after playing out a goalless draw with Brentford.

Here are Edmund Brack’s four takeaways from the Brentford Community Stadium.

Tyrick Mitchell in action at Brentford Picture: Keith Gillard

EAGLES POOR AWAY FORM CONTINUES

The Eagles have only won once away from Selhurst Park this season. Granted, it was the 2-0 victory against Manchester City but their other performances on the road have failed to result in three points.

Considering Thomas Frank’s side had lost their previous six games, and conceded 18 goals, Palace’s inability to really test the hosts will be a worrying sign for Patrick Vieira.

While there wasn’t skill or industry on show from Palace in the first 45 minutes, they were fortunate that Brentford delivered a blunt attacking display in front of goal to head into the second half with the clean sheet intact.

Brentford’s best chance came in the 35th minute. Under pressure, Joel Ward played a rushed pass towards Joachim Andersen, which allowed Bryan Mbeumo to break through and play a dangerous ball inside the area.

Wilfried Zaha and Edouard swapped positions, and Vieira introduced three players to change the game, but the Eagles didn’t come alive until added time was announced.

At the moment, Vieira’s side are precariously drawing their way to safety.

James McArthur was a second half substitute Picture: Keith Gillard

SUBS FAIL TO MAKE AN IMPACT 

Vieira’s substitutions on Saturday really failed to have an impact. The 4-2-3-1 formation, which dovetailed seamlessly into a 4-3-3, was simply covered by Brentford in all directions.

The towering presence of Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock smothered Edouard during the first half – Palace’s route to goal was only coming via a pattern of play along the ground.

James McArthur’s introduction was necessary, as Will Hughes was unable to continue, but as Brentford began to turn the screw and put more pressure on Palace’s defence, the game was crying out for Michael Olise.

Once the 20-year-old was brought on in the 78th minute, it took him until the final minutes of the game to start getting up to speed with the tempo.

Conor Gallagher struggled to make any impact against Brentford Picture: Keith Gillard

EAGLES INEFFECTIVE IN INFLUENTIAL PARTS OF THE PITCH

Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew were both lacking options when driving forward, which left the pair losing possession 17 times.

The balance of the front three appeared confused at points during the second half, with Edouard and Zaha both acting as the leading line in the attack.

Conor Gallagher was again unable to get his foot on the ball in the centre of the pitch and make the attacking play click, and Will Hughes and Jeffrey Schlupp struggled against the Brentford press.

Despite having more passes, possession and touches during the course of the contest, they were unable to carve the Bees open.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha Picture: Keith Gillard

FREE HIT AND TWO SEASON-DEFINING GAMES COMING UP

Palace are competitive in games – there is no doubt about that – but they need to rediscover their consistency and the ruthless streak that was lauded at the beginning of the season.

Next Saturday’s game against Chelsea, who convincingly brushed the Eagles aside on the opening day of the season, presents Vieira’s side with a chance to show how far they have progressed over the course of the season.

After the free hit at home to the reigning European champions, Palace’s next two fixtures are against Watford and Burnley – two teams in the relegation zone. Palace need to pick up maximum points to pull away from a battle at the bottom.

While they are nine points clear of 18th-placed Norwich City, teams around Palace have games in hand, and the Premier League is an unforgiving place – no side is too good to go down.

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