Report: Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace

Report: Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace

Defeat at Elland Road.

Premier League

Leeds United 1 (Bamford 21’)

Crystal Palace 5 (Guehi 45’, Ayew 53’, 77’, Eze 55’, Edouard 69’)

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (C), Firpo (Kristensen 60’), Koch, Aaronson (Gnonto 60’), Roca, Bamford (Rutter 79’), Harrison, Struijk, Sinisterra (Rodrigo 60’), McKennie. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Forshaw, Cooper, Summerville, Greenwood.

Palace: Johnstone (GK), Ward (C) (Clyne 87’), Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell, Guehi, Olise, Ayew (Mateta 80’), Eze, Schlupp (McArthur 80’), Andersen, Edouard (Hughes 74’), Doucoure (Milivojevic 80’). Subs not used: Whitworth (GK), Tomkins, Lokonga, Riedewald. 

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 36,427

Referee: Simon Hooper

Booked: McKennie, Gnonto, Firpo (Leeds) Ward (Palace) 

Crystal Palace came away from Elland Road with three points after coming from behind to run out comfortable winners. Despite a positive first half display from Leeds they were made to rue missed chances, with the Eagles were clinical in the second 45 minutes to return home with the win.  

Getting underway in front of a huge amount of noise, the game had a really fast start and three good chances in the opening five minutes. Luis Sinisterra had the first at the back of the box, controlling the ball before firing low and just wide of the post.

Junior Firpo then looked to turn provider as he burst forward, cutting it back and finding Brenden Aaronson. The attacker improvised well by flicking the ball on target, only to see Sam Johnstone make an equally impressive save to deny him. 

Next up, two further efforts went close as Leeds continued with the pressure. Sinisterra forced Johnstone into another good save from a 25-yard strike, before the ‘keeper was spectator moments later when Patrick Bamford’s long-range effort flew narrowly over the bar. 

United’s number nine wasn’t going to be denied for much longer though, as he put his side into the lead. Aaronson’s pinpoint corner found the run of Bamford at the near post and he flicked a header into the top corner to deservedly put Javi Gracia’s side a goal ahead, before running over and celebrating with his head coach on the bench. 

Palace had their first chance a short time later though and but for last-gasp defending, would have been level. From a corner of their own, Weston McKennie placed himself perfectly to clear off the line from Jordan Ayew’s header. 

In what had been an action packed first half in the sunshine at Elland Road, Johnstone would continue to be busy. He produced arguably his best save of the half to keep out a Jack Harrison free-kick, before also saving Robin Koch’s header from the following corner. 

The Eagles had their keeper to thank once again. He produced another stunning one-handed stop by this time denying Pascal Struijk’s header, which looked almost certain to find the far corner. 

The missed chances in the first half came back to haunt the Whites, when Palace equalised in stoppage time. Jeffrey Schlupp bundled the ball on in the box, with Marc Guehi alert to get onto it and flick it in at the near post to level the scores.  

Following the equaliser, the whistle was blown to end the opening 45 minutes a short time later and despite a dominant display for Gracia’s side, the teams went in level at the break.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-1 Crystal Palace 

The visitors had been boosted by their goal just before half-time and had come out for the second half the livelier of the two sides, looking for another. 

Michael Olise and Ayew were the players looking the most likely from positions down the wing, and it was that combination which did find the next goal. 

Surging down the right wing, Olise cut back onto his left and curled a dangerous cross towards the back post. Ayew had found space and leapt highest to head home into the far corner, despite Illan Meslier’s best efforts to keep it out.  

Just a couple of minutes later, Palace had a third. Again it was Olise who created the chance as he played Eberechi Eze in on goal, for him to toe poke underneath Meslier and into the back of the net.  

The Whites attempted to find a way back into the match with a triple substitution on the hour mark. Willy Gnonto, Rasmus Kristensen and top-scorer Rodrigo all entered the game with Firpo, Aaronson and Sinisterra coming off. 

With Leeds pushing forward, Palace hit on the break and got a fourth. Again it was Olise who claimed the assist, playing the ball to Odsonne Edouard on the left of the box where he smashed low and hard int the bottom corner. 

It got worse in the 77th minute as the visitors got a fifth. Will Hughes, on as a substitute, had a shot charged down on the edge of the box but it fell kindly for Ayew who had time and space to finish easily. 

The final few minutes were played out with the game well over as a contest, following a clinical second half display from the visitors.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace