Victor Anichebe came off the bench for West Bromwich Albion to inspire a second half comeback as his side drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace in an entertaining affair at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies were 2-0 down at half time when the Nigerian came off the bench to score the first and win the penalty for the second goal to rescue a point for his side.
His first goal caused much controversy. Six minutes into the second half, Chris Brunt whipped an in-swinging corner from the right which was headed in by Anichebe. However in the action, Baggies defender Craig Dawson jumped straight into keeper Julian Speroni, a challenge described as an "assault" by Palace manager Neil Warnock, knocking the keeper unconscious for a few seconds.
Under the new FA guidelines the Argentine would have to be substituted but he resisted, arguing his recovery despite looking evidently dazed. After five minutes he finally left the field to be replaced but Warnock argued the goal should have been disallowed but it stood and the Baggies’ were back into the game.
Anichebe played an important part in the equalising goal too. Receiving the ball from the right hand side, spinning off his marker when he was brought down by Palace captain Mile Jedinak seconds before he was about to pull the trigger. Saido Berahino stepped up to take the penalty two minutes into injury time to level the game, presenting his side with a fair point which on reflection on the performance was fair to both sides.
After their impressive 2-2 draw last Monday against Manchester United, the Baggies just didn’t seem to turn up as they did five days ago and as a result it took 17 minutes for the visitors to take the lead.
An inswinging corner from the right hand side was whipped in by Joe Ledley. The original ball was headed up into the air but it fell to defender Hangeland two yards out from goal, who made no mistake in volleying home to inject some life into the game. There were claims that keeper Ben Foster was waved away by referee Mark Clattenburg.
One minute into first half stoppage time the Eagle’s doubled their lead. Yannick Bolasie was found on the right hand side and was brought down by Sebastian Pocognoli and Jedinak coolly converted from 12 yards to give his side what seemed like an unassailable half time lead.
After the interval, the substitution of Anichebe from Sessegnon was a masterstroke by Irvine. The home side had a different feel to them. Graham Dorrans came narrowly close to scoring from 30 yards while Craig Gardner had a shot blocked with Berahino firing the rebound over the bar. Despite all this they just weren’t the clear and concise team they were on Monday. As the winter is fast approaching, the Baggies could have done with three points as if history repeats itself from last season, this is where they lost their form, which inevitably lead to them slumping down the table and narrowly avoiding relegation.