Brentford ended their long losing run in the Premier League on the day new signing Christian Eriksen was introduced to the fans but a 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday did little to soothe the club’s relegation jitters.
A dreadfully dull game was crying out for the watching Dane’s flair as defences ruled the day and the two teams cancelled each other out.
Brentford, who have dropped too close for comfort to the bottom three after five successive defeats from an admittedly tough run of fixtures, had marginally the better opportunities to break the deadlock.
Bryan Mbeumo went close in the first half but could not poke his shot past Palace keeper Vicente Guaita who also saved after the break from Pontus Jansson.
There was an anxious moment for Brentford in stoppage time when Wilfried Zaha went down in the penalty area but referee Simon Hooper saw nothing wrong.
Brentford had an earlier penalty claim turned away when Palace defender Marc Guehi appeared to handle under pressure from Christian Norgaard, but again Hooper was unimpressed.
The draw kept Brentford in 14th place with 24 points from 25 games, seven points clear of the relegation places.
Palace moved up a spot to 12th with 26 points.
“We needed to create more to get one goal — that’s maybe down to the quality on the day. There are a lot of positives to take from this game,” Brentford manager Thomas Frank said.
Eight months to the day since Denmark midfielder Eriksen collapsed having suffered cardiac arrest in the Euro 2020 game against Finland, he was given a rapturous ovation as he made his way on to the pitch before kickoff.
“It’ll be a big moment in world football when he steps out on to the pitch to play. We’re pleased he’s with us, but we’d have supported him whichever club he was with,” Frank said.
Opposite number Patrick Vieira said it was a “fantastic story.”
Eriksen, who joined Brentford last month and is now fitted with a special heart-starting device known as an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) will play in a friendly match on Monday but his debut for the west London club cannot come soon enough if they are to rediscover their form.
Without injured top scorer Ivan Toney, Brentford lacked attacking thrust, although the clean sheet was welcome.
Jansson’s powerful header in the second half was about the closest either side came to scoring, with Palace’s best effort wasted by Jordan Ayew who screwed a shot wide.
Home keeper David Raya, like his opposite number, had a quiet afternoon but did well to stay alert and keep out a dipping effort from James McArthur.
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