Crystal Palace 2-2 Millwall
MILLWALL fought back from two goals down to earn a point against 10-man Crystal Palace in a pulsating south London derby at Selhurst Park.
Goals from Mile Jedinak and Damien Delaney put the high-flying Eagles 2-0 up but Dean Moxey’s 41st minute sending off paved the way for a Lions comeback as Liam Trotter and Mark Beevers earned the visitors a point.
Palace made one change from their 4-3 win over Burnley two weeks ago.
Owen Garvan returned to the starting XI in place of Andre Moritz, who dropped to the bench.
The Lions were without James Henry and Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh, who suffered concussion while on international duty.
It was a tight start with neither team testing the opposing keeper in the opening 15 minutes.
The Eagles carved out the first chance after a good run and low cross from Wilfried Zaha down the right.
Zaha beat Jimmy Abdou for pace before picking out Kagoshi Dikgacoi, who saw his shot from eight yards saved by David Forde.
Five minutes later Millwall manager Kenny Jackett was furious with the fourth official after Darius Henderson appeared to be brought down by Peter Ramage.
Henderson would have been through on goal but referee Phil Dowd gave nothing.
Henderson then had Millwall’s first chance in the 27th minute.
Chris Taylor beat Moxey before picking out Henderson at the far post but the striker’s header back across goal went harmlessly wide.
It was then the home side’s turn to threaten as Glenn Murray found Delaney at the far post with a floated cross two minutes later.
The Eagles centre-back had the goal at his mercy with Forde hopelessly out of position but he headed into the side netting.
Millwall then had an appeal for a penalty turned down as Chris Wood was crowded out in the area.
The breakthrough came, though, in the 34th minute and it was Palace who took the lead.
Jedinak ran onto a loose ball and let fly from 30 yards with his effort finding the bottom corner to the delight of the home crowd.
And the lead was doubled just four minutes later as Delaney, this time, found the target with his header.
It was a free-kick from Garvan which picked out the defender, who headed in at the near post in simple fashion and Palace appeared to be cruising.
But the game was turned on its head in the 41st minute as Moxey handballed on the line when Henderson’s header seemed to be looping in.
The Eagles defender was shown red by Dowd and Trotter sent Julian Speroni the wrong way with the penalty to bring Millwall back into the match.
The visitors then had a golden opportunity to pull themselves level in the 45th minute.
Trotter played a lovely ball over the top in behind substitute Jonathan Parr for Taylor to run onto but his header hit the bar.
It was a first half full of incident and Palace were happy to hear the half-time whistle as Millwall put the 10-men under heavy pressure.
Palace started the second half well and Murray felt he should have had a penalty after he was pulled by Danny Shittu in the 52nd minute.
The Crystal Palace forward hit the ground but Dowd waved away the appeals.
The game then settled into a familiar pattern as Millwall were on the front foot pressing for an equaliser against their 10-men opponents.
Taylor had a half chance to pull the Lions level but his right-foot shot from Henderson’s lay off hit the side netting in the 59th minute.
But the visitors did draw level in the 73rd minute when Beevers converted Josh Wright’s corner at the far post.
Beevers battled with Ramage at the far post and the ball hit the Millwall man in the midsection and found a way past a despairing dive from Speroni.
Both sides pushed for a winner but the match ended as a draw.
Ironically, Palace have won their last two home games from 2-0 down but let a two-goal lead slip here.
Next up for Palace is a Tuesday night trip to Oakwell to face Barnsley where the Eagles will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.
Meanwhile, Millwall face Birmingham at The Den on the same evening having now drawn three out of their last four matches.
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Crystal Palace: Speroni, Blake (Ward 65), Ramage, Delaney, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Garvan (Parr 43), Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Bolasie (Williams 82). Subs not used: Price, Wilbraham, Easter, Moritz.
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Smith, Taylor, Trotter, Abdou (Wright 68), Malone (Feeney 56), Henderson, Wood (Batt 83). Subs not used: Taylor, Lowry, N’Guessan, Osborne. Att: 16,124.