Elland Road played host to a relegation scrap between Leeds United and Crystal Palace, with both sides coming into the game off wins against respective bottom half rivals. With Wilfried Zaha still unavailable to play for the London side, United would have fancied their chances coming into this game.
LEE: Meslier; Firpo, Struijk, Koch, Ayling; Roca, McKennie; Sinisterra, Aaronson, Harrison; Bamford
CRY: Johnstone; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edouard, Olise
Leeds started the game on the front foot with Luis Sinisterra nearly opening the scoring within the first two minutes. A defensive error by Marc Guehi saw the Colombian in acres of space, however his shot fizzed past the post.
United were the side showing the initiative, and Sinisterra could have had two in the space of 15 minutes. A lovely ball found the Leeds winger, however his tame headed effort fell straight into the hands of Palace ‘keeper, Sam Johnstone.
Their early pressure finally paid off as Patrick Bamford got away from his marker to head the ball beyond Johnstone. The ball struck the inside of the post before nestling into the back of the net for the English striker’s 50th Leeds United goal.
Just before half-time, the Eagles found their breakthrough arguably against the run of play. Once again, a set-play caused the issue at the back for Leeds and Schlupp’s guided header found Guehi who got in front of his man to head home from close range.
Palace were quick off the blocks in the second half, and their early persistent pressure paid off. a wonderfully floated ball from Michael Olise found Jordan Ayew in the box, with the Ghanaian rising highest and redirecting the ball beyond Illan Meslier’s reach to put the Eagles in front.
Two soon became three for Palace, as the Leeds United defence started to crumble. Olise picked the ball up on the right wing before finding Eberechi Eze who had made a great run from midfield. All Eze had to do was put it beyond Illan Meslier, and he made no mistake in doing so.
Crystal Palace’s relentlessness did not let up, and Odsonne Edouard put his side 4-1 up with 20 minutes to go. After a Leeds attack broke down, Palace had a four-on-two attack, and once again Olise popped up with the assist, playing the Frenchman in behind the Leeds defence. Edouard’s finish was clinical, and Palace were well and truly in dreamland.
The nightmare got worse for Leeds, as Ayew got his second in the game – and Crystal Palace’s fifth. A deflected effort from Will Hughes fell to the feet of the Palace striker who nestled it into the bottom corner of the net. After a short VAR check, the goal was confirmed to the dismay of many Leeds fans who started to leave their seats.
Crystal Palace saw the rest of the game out and managed it well. Roy Hodgson’s side face a trip to Southampton next weekend – while Leeds will need to bounce back ahead of a tough home game against Liverpool.