Two of the Premier League’s least glamorous sides faced off in Saturday Night football and we were treated to a spectacular, end-to-end match that shocked the majority of the footballing world.
Both Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis will have been as surprised as the rest of us when they saw this fixture was picked for the televised game, but we were fortunately treated to a great spectacle on a cold night in the midlands.
West Brom, who were the second lowest scorers in the league before this game, scored three quick-fire first-half goals before the removal of Emmanuel Adebayor at half time saw Pardew’s Palace spark in to life.
Yannick Bolasie wreaked havoc amongst the West Brom defence from the moment he replaced Adebayor and Pardew will be delighted to see his star winger return to fitness. West Brom are all but safe, whilst Pardew looks to arrest a Palace slide down the table that stinks of the same troubles he faced at Newcastle.
So, here is it, what we learned from the late kick-off..
As one of several strikers to have failed to deliver for Alan Pardew this season, Connor Wickham has come in for a lot of criticism.
Eyebrows were raised when Palace spent so much on forward, but Wickham’s brace against West Brom gave a glimpse of the player he has always promised to become.
His second finish, particularly, was a scorcher.
Adebayor’s signing was always going to be a gamble and Pardew’s decision to substitute him at half-time might give an indication to the manager’s feelings about the striker.
Connor Wickham, who usually takes about 6 months to get a goal, was preferred for the second half and we could be seeing Pardew’s first tinges of regret.
Rondon arrived at West Brom with a big reputation and the powerful striker showed just how dominating he could be against two good centre-backs, in Scott Dann and Damien Delaney.
The Venezuelan has a tough role in Pulis’ side but more performances like this one and he will quickly become one of the most feared strikers in the league.
When Bolasie came on at half time, it completely change this game.
The tricky winger terrorised the West Brom defence with stepovers, accurate crosses and direct dribbling and the return of Yannick Bolasie could correct the trajectory of Palace’s season.
His return to the first team was always going to be pivotal and this performance will give faith that the long injury lay-off did not damage the fear factor.
Are there shoots of maturity in the petulant career of Saido Berahino?
The West Brom youngster has hardly been popular with the Baggies’ fans over the last 18 months or so and his recent apology about his transfer request shows that he is ready to turn over a new leaf.
Clubs are sure to be after the starlet in the summer and his performance against Palace saw a creative side to his game that has been missing previously.