Crystal Palace – Leeds was a strange game, as Leeds had plenty of the ball but the hosts ruthlessly punished the visitors to win 4-1 at Selhurst Park.
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Goals from Scott Dann and Eberchi Eze put Palace 2-0 up, but Patrick Bamford had one goal ruled out for offside and then scored another either side of that goal.
A Helder Costa own goal and Jordan Ayew strike finished Leeds off as they’ve suffered back-to-back 4-1 defeats.
3 things we learned: Crystal Palace – Leeds
1. Leeds miss Phillips: Without the fulcrum of their midfield, Leeds look lost. Kalvin Phillips’ shoulder injury was a big blow for Bielsa’s side and even though they created lots of chances, they couldn’t quite control the game. Now that they have been hit by injuries, we are starting to see this Leeds squad isn’t quite as strong as we thought it was.
2. VAR got it right, but rules are ridiculous: Nothing seemed wrong with Patrick Bamford’s goal and last season it would have stood. This season the new VAR rules about being able to score with the upper part of your arm (the sleeve area) mean that even though Bamford’s entire body was offside, half of his outstretched arm was offside and the goal was chalked off. If he had drilled the ball in with his upper arm, do you think it would have counted? I guess so. This situation highlighted the absurdity of the new rule and knocked the stuffing out of Leeds who conceded a second soon after.
3. Palace fly under the radar: The Eagles have now won four of their first eight games of the season and are well on their way to the magic 40-point marker to secure safety. Roy Hodgson, amid plenty of injuries, has done a superb job as Palace have started so well. This season they must now not drop off and build on this start. With Zaha operating close to his best, they will always have a chance to win games if they can stay solid at the back. Luckily for Palace, they wanted to
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha – He was involved in everything good Palace did and had a wonderful assist for Ayew and set up the chance for Palace’s third goal. Zaha has delivered when it has mattered most.
Palace started well with Andros Townsend looking bright, and captain Scott Dann headed home from a corner as his effort hit the bar and went in.
The visitors thought they were level moments later as Luke Ayling played it to Mateusz Klich and his lovely pass found Bamford who dinked home a superb effort to make it 1-1. Or so they thought.
VAR ruled out the goal for offside as Bamford’s outstretched arm was pointing to where he wanted the ball played and that put him offside. Moments later Palace rubbed further salt into that Leeds wound as Eze curled home a magnificent free kick off the bar and in.
Leeds pulled one back before half time as Bamford volleyed home after Klich flicked the ball into his path to set up an intriguing clash.
The goals kept on coming, as Helder Costa then put the ball into his own net as he diverted Patrick van Aanholt’s cross past his goalkeeper to put Palace 3-1 up at half time in bizarre fashion.
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The second half was less lively, as Pascal Struijk headed a corner just wide as Leeds pushed hard to get back in the game.
Alioski then flashed a shot on goal which Vicente Guaita tipped just wide, then Jack Harrison volleyed on target but Guaita saved easily.
Palace then caught Leeds on the break a Zaha found Jordan Ayew and his shot hit the post and went in to seal a heavy win for the clinical Eagles.
Van Aanholt went close to adding a fifth a Leeds kept pouring forward, but the Eagles settled for four goals and three points.