Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira was delighted with the performance of Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher as his side played out an entertaining yet goalless draw with Brentford.
Palace played host to their London neighbours in what was Vieira’s first home league game in charge. He nearly got off to the perfect start to life at Selhurst Park when summer signing Gallagher fired towards goal from close range. But his effort struck the inside of the post and bounced away.
Eagles captain James McArthur went close with a curling effort. Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo saw his free-kick clip the top of the crossbar at the other end.
Neither side could find a breakthrough, though, and they were forced to settle for a point apiece.
Reflecting in his post-match interview, Vieira told Match of the Day: “I didn’t have any doubt about the way we were going to improve and play better than we did against Chelsea.
“I’m pleased with the attitude the players show every day in training, and today was a positive performance.
“Of course there is frustration because we wanted to win the game, we wanted to score goals.
“But I think we played in a way that wanted to go forward and score those goals and we didn’t find a way. So this was a positive performance and it is important to build up from it.”
The Frenchman started Gallagher as well as fellow new recruits Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi.
However, he was without Michael Olise. The former Reading midfielder was absent with a back injury.
On Gallagher, he said: “His energy, the runs he made, the pressure he put on the opposition was fantastic.
“We needed that kind of energy and it is important to build up from that and try to improve our decision-making in the last 30 yards and at the same time have more bodies inside the box, to allow ourselves more chances of scoring goals.”
Palace fans didn’t disappoint Vieira
Like fellow top-flight sides Aston Villa, Leeds and Everton, Palace were back in front of full capacity home stadium at 3 o’clock.
Vieira was given a proper welcome by the club’s supporters for the first time and it didn’t disappoint.
He added: “It was all that I was expecting. I’ve heard a lot about the fans and I’ve been here watching games.
“And we are disappointed because we wanted to give them the three points today. They were fantastic and supported us through the game after going through a difficult period.
“They were behind the team and that is really good for the rest of the season.”