The Hawthorns love-in predicted by Alan Pardew extended to West Brom and Crystal Palace sharing a point that provides only modest gratification to either.
Each manager was facing a former club where success of sorts had been achieved and after all the pre-match hugs and handshakes their teams could not be split.
While Pardew’s name was sung in the first minute by his new team’s fans, it was Roy Hodgson serenaded at the final whistle in appreciation of his work at West Brom before becoming England manager.
Alan Pardew took charge of his first game as manager of West Brom against his former club Crystal Palace at the Hawthorns
Pardew applauds the home support as he is introduced before a clash between two of the Premier League bottom five
Pardew is greeted before the game by opposite number Roy Hodgson in what was a must win game for both sides
West Brom (4-3-3): Foster 6; Nyom 6, Hegazi 6.5, Evans 7, Gibbs 7; Livermore 7, Barry 6 (Yacob 29’ 7), Field 7.5; Robson-Kanu 7 (McClean 72’), Rondon 7, Rodriguez 7 (Burke 90’)
Booked: Livermore, Nyom, Field
Subs not used: Myhill, Krychowiak, McAuley, Melbourne
Manager: Alan Pardew 7
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Speroni 7; Ward 6.5, Kelly 7, Sakho 7, Schlupp 6.5; Loftus-Cheek 7, McArthur 6.5, Milivojevic 6.5, Townsend 6.5 (Sako 87’); Zaha 7, Benteke 7
Subs not used: Van Aanholt, Fosu-Mensah, Puncheon, Riedwald
Manager: Roy Hodgson 7
Man of the Match: Field
Ref: Michael Oliver 7
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Hodgson achieved finishes of 11th and 10th while playing attractive football and Pardew admitted that is the target his is aiming at once settled into position.
Hodgson himself can only dream of making the kind of impact Pardew enjoyed at Palace when taking over in January 2015, when the side rose from the relegation places to 10th.
After a calamitous start to the season, this draw made it five points from three games for Palace and West Brom in 17th are only three points ahead.
Pardew certainly provided signs he will deliver on a promise to get West Brom playing a more adventurous game than under Tony Pulis and the club’s hierarchy will be satisfied if he can repeat his instant surge from Palace.
Julian Speroni was drafted into the Crystal Palace team at the last minute after Wayne Hennessey was injured in the warm-up
West Brom keeper Ben Foster had an awkward moment when he dawdled on a back-pass, and seemed to trip Wilfried Zaha
Zaha appealed to referee Michael Oliver and was convinced he should have had a penalty, but nothing was given
How his tenure tailed off at Selhurst Park is reason for the lukewarm reaction Pardew got from sections of the away section but West Brom supporters are happy to have him at least and they provided applause at the final whistle in recognition of their team’s attempts to win the game to the last kick.
Palace had been dealt a double blow before play even commenced. Not only were neither James Tomkins nor Scott Dann judged fit but Wayne Hennessey then broke down in the warm-up.
It meant Hodgson had to position Martin Kelly at centre-back and could name only five substitutes on his bench, with no back-up goalkeeper.
Hodgson could at least continue the 4-4-2 system trialled at Brighton on Tuesday night, with Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke reprising the little-and-large striking duo he has tended to favour in his career.