Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s draw against Crystal Palace.
Thomas Frank named an unchanged starting XI to face Crystal Palace. Brentford’s 4-3-3 was firing on all cylinders against Fulham, and the Bees looked to come away with another win. Brentford’s last four matches against Crystal Palace have ended in draws, with some extraordinary goals from Palace and last-minute equalizers from Brentford. Brentford’s front three consisted of Schade, Wissa, and Premier League leading goal scorer, Bryan Mbeumo. Brentford’s depth was dealt some blows with Dasilva and Baptiste both out extended periods of time.
Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace also had an unchanged starting XI. The 4-2-3-1 consisted of Edouard, the lone striker, supported by Schlupp, Eze, and Ayew behind him. Doucourè and Lerma started in a double pivot. Centrebacks, Guehi and Andersen, were accompanied by fullbacks, Mitchell and Ward. Crystal Palace were missing young talent Michael Olise, but were still not short of skilled wingers.
Possession: Brentford 60% – 40% Crystal Palace
xG: Brentford 0.97 – 0.80 Crystal Palace
xGOT: Brentford 0.56 – 0.75 Crystal Palace
Shots: Brentford 12 – 15 Crystal Palace
Shots on Target: Brentford 1 – 5 Crystal Palace
Clearances: Brentford 9 – 24 Crystal Palace
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 20 (54%)
A disappointing result for Brentford fans with the Bees not able to hold onto the 3 points. After going up a goal early, Thomas Frank’s conservative approach wasn’t able to keep Crystal Palace from scoring an equalizer.
Both Brentford and Palace didn’t create much xG, and the xGOT suggests the sides really didn’t make the most of their chances. Brentford ended with 60% possession, but Crystal Palace made it difficult for Brentford to build out of the back.
Palace’s high press to start the match, and then midblock throughout, made it difficult for Brentford to progress the ball. Crystal Palace ended with 24 clearances which made it difficult for Brentford to consistently create chances in dangerous areas.
Schade’s positioning made it hard for him to get forward, but he was still able to score an incredible individual goal. Sometimes Schade drifts inside to a second striker role or works in the half space. This seems to be the space Brentford have wanted to play KLP, but Thomas Frank sees Schade, Wissa, and Mbeumo the best front 3 right now.
Flekken showcased why Brentford were so keen on signing him, with a huge double save and outstanding passing ability. Flekken completed 16 of 18 long passes and his distribution was an integral part of Brentford able to beat Palace’s press. Unfortunately, a fluke goal will cast a shadow on his otherwise superb performance.
Nathan Collins was massive again and will surely be giving Ben Mee competition for the starting XI when healthy. Collins won all of his aerial duels and routinely won back possession for the Bees.