A point each at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace 0
Leeds United 0
Palace: Guaita (GK), Ward, Guehi, Ayew (Olise 67’), Eze (Schlupp 79’), Zaha, Mateta (Benteke 84’), Andersen, Clyne, McArthur (C), Gallagher. Subs not used: Butland (GK), Tomkins, Kouyate, Hughes, Edouard, Kelly.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling, Cooper (C), Raphinha, Llorente, Dallas, Rodrigo (Gelhardt 74’), James (Greenwood 59’), Harrison, Phillips, Klich (Koch 45’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Firpo, Struijk, Bate, Cresswell, Kenneh.
Venue: Selhurst Park
Referee: Darren England
Booked: Andersen (Palace) James, Llorente (Leeds)
Jesse Marsch’s side made it five games unbeaten on Monday evening, coming away from Crystal Palace with a hard-earned point and clean sheet.
The game got started under the lights of Selhurst Park with the two teams being supported from the stands in what was an impressive early atmosphere in South London.
The first couple of efforts went the way of the home side, but they didn’t trouble Illan Meslier too much between the posts for the Whites. Jean-Philippe Mateta got in behind and looked to put the ball past Meslier but Llorente cleared, before Wilfried Zaha put a header into the arms of the ‘keeper.
Llorente was on hand again moments later as Jordan Ayew flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal, only to see the Spaniard get a vital touch before eventually it went behind off the lively Mateta.
The Whites then tested with a couple of efforts of their own. Jack Harrison and Stuart Dallas had goal bound efforts well blocked, before Liam Cooper connected well with a Harrison corner only to see Vicente Guaita save his header.
The rest of the first half saw plenty of stop-start moments, with plenty for referee Darren England to blow for. Little free-kicks were being awarded in all areas of the pitch which stopped any flow or rhythm that either team could attempt to get into.
When the whistle went for the interval, no major chances had come at either end meaning each goalkeeper hadn’t really been tested either. The teams went in level, in a match that was becoming more of a battle by the minute.
HALF TIME: Crystal Palace 0-0 Leeds United
Robin Koch entered for the second half in place of Mateusz Klich. Palace came out unchanged as both teams attempted to break the first half deadlock and it was the visitors who had the first chance, with Raphinha breaking into the box but seeing his strike deflected wide.
A lively feel to the match continued. Zaha was the player who the home side were looking to get more of the ball too but the defensive efforts of Luke Ayling and Llorente had thwarted the winger up to this point.
After picking up a booking in the earlier exchanges, James departed the pitch with 30 minutes or so left in the match. Sam Greenwood came on in his place to take up an attacking position for Leeds who continued to search for an opener.
Zaha did skip down the wing with 25 minutes to go and created one of the clearest openings of the game. His low left-footed ball into the middle found Mateta in space, but the forward smashed it high over the bar.
Two more chances went the way of the Eagles and they were dangerous moments for the Whites. Zaha predictably again was at the forefront as he forced Meslier into a good low save, then a few minutes later Gallagher had an even better opportunity in front of goal but saw captain Cooper slide in to block the strike.
Marsch looked to his bench for the final time with a quarter of an hour to go, as Joe Gelhardt entered the action in place of the hard-working Rodrigo up top.
As the game reached its final 10 minutes, chances came at either end. Gelhardt tested Guaita and saw his effort saved, before Zaha had two strikes in quick succession well stopped by Meslier as the ‘keepers had to become more alert.
Despite the best efforts at either end, neither team could break the deadlock and the final whistle went meaning the sides earned a point apiece on the night. Next up for the Whites is a match with top of the table Manchester City, at Elland Road.
FULL TIME: Crystal Palace 0-0 Leeds United