That’s the lot for Palace v Leeds. Well done to Palace, commiserations to Leeds, and congrats to both on serving up some fine Sunday afternoon entertainment. I’m off for a break and perhaps even a cat-nap, but I’ll be back for Everton v Manchester United (kick-off 7pm), and I bet some of you will be, too. See you later.
“Response from an annoying pendant,” emails Mary Waltz. “Yankee stadium has always been in the Bronx. But the Yanks were always considered Manhattan’s team, and all the elites in the City have always been with the Yanks. Yankee’s were always royalty, Giants, Dodgers working class. And every New Yorker thinks Jersey is the place for people who “can’t make it here”.”
Eberechi Eze had waited a long time for this moment. More than 18 months after his last goal here, the Crystal Palace midfielder’s late winner ensured Patrick Vieira’s side picked up only their second Premier League victory of the season following a spirited comeback against Leeds.
The MBM legend, Rob Smyth, is taking care of Arsenal v Liverpool right here:
Sky Sports have segued straight into build-up for “The Arsenal” v Liverpool, so looks like I won’t be getting any immediate reaction from Selhurst Park from Vieira, Marsch or anyone else.
All is not lost, because you can email me with YOUR reaction while we wait for the match report …
Post-match, Paul Merson just said on Sky Sports that whether they are winning or losing, Leeds only seem to have one gear, which is 100 MPH. I’m paraphrasing slightly but you can see his point. Leeds’s intensity was so impressive in the first 25 minutes, but it was also obvious that they would not be able to maintain that for 90 minutes. So I suppose they fell away to about 90 MPH. When more space started to open up, Palace had the quality on the ball to win it. It was a predictable affair in that sense. Having said that, had Bamford taken that one-on-one with Leeds already a goal up, it may have turned into a very different game.
Full-time! Crystal Palace 2-1 Leeds
They said Palace should have too much for Leeds today … and indeed they did. But only just. A fine game of association football that was settled by an excellent team goal, finished off by the richly talented Eberechi Eze.
Palace move up to 15th, now with nine points from eight games – the same as Leeds, who have a superior goal difference, -1 to Palace’s -2.
90 min + 5: After Koch’s foul, Eze tries to catch Meslier off his line with an outrageous effort which drops on to the top of the goal!
90 min + 3: Rodrigo and Harrison link in the Palace box … Andersen manages to nick the ball off Harrison’s foot, as he was about to pull the trigger! Stunning defending from the man already named man of the match. He even has another bite at the cherry as Leeds try again a couple of seconds later. Koch is booked for pulling back Eze.
90 min + 3: Palace win a corner. Leeds manage to deal with it. But they can’t get out of their own half. Paddy Vieira will be very, very happy to see his team camped in the Leeds half right now. He is tantalisingly close to a massive win.
90 min: Five minutes will be added on. Will we see late drama?
90 min: The Crystal Palace defender, Joachim Andersen, is named the most valuable player of this afternoon’s Premier League scrimmage.
88 min: Nearly 3-1, after Eze whips in a free-kick from near the corner flag, and Andersen wins the header but sends his effort over the bar.
87 min: After Gelhardt concedes a free-kick, Eze cracks the resulting set-piece from distance. It’s swerving and powerful and smacks Rodrigo on the head – or rather, Rodrigo bravely jumps to deflect it away from goal.
84 min: Gelhardt and Ayling come on for Leeds: Kristensen and Roca off. I should have mentioned that Bamford went off a while back, replaced by Summerville.
For Palace, Mateta comes on for Eduoard and Hughes replaces Olise.
Cracking goal. The substitute full-back Mitchell, hugging the left touch line, volleys a crisp first-time pass inside to Eduoard. Eduoard gathers the ball and gives it back to Mitchell. Mitchell strokes a lovely pass inside to Zaha this time, who shows wonderful vision to flick it, first-time, to Eze who is lurking on the edge of the box. Eze has time and space to have a shot, but rather than take it immediately, he shows the kind of composure that is often the difference between success and failure at this level … he jinks inside again, beyond the first defender, opening up a clearer sight of goal, and whips a right-footed shot low into the corner that Meslier has no hope of getting close to. The celebrations are suitably enthusiastic. The Eagles are soaring to a much-needed comeback win if it stays like this. Selhurst Park is bouncing!
Goal! 76 min: Crystal Palace 2-1 Leeds (Eze)
75 min: Marsch is about to bring on Klich. It is Brenden Aaronsen who goes off.
72 min: Zaha gives and goes on the edge of the box, playing a one-two with Eduoard. Edouard gets the ball back to him, and Zaha tries a right-footed shot which skews wide. He gestures to his teammate that the return pass wasn’t in the right place, or somehow unsatisfactory for his requirements. It has not been Zaha’s day, but he’s always capable of something outrageous.
Buddies. (Vieira and Marsch, pictured before kick-off.)
69 min: A cross is fizzed over from the Palace right. Meslier gathers. Leeds stream down the field on the counter, and a sliding interception from Andersen stops them in their tracks.
67 min: Harrison bends a free-kick towards goal for Leeds. It bounces harmlessly out for a goal kick.
65 min: Ayew off, Mitchell on for Palace, with Doucoure also coming off and Milivojevic replacing him. Ayew, looking disgusted, takes his bandages off and trudges down the tunnel. Meanwhile West Ham now lead Fulham 2-1.
62 min: Zaha, again, gets time and space on the ball. Kristensen does well to stand him up and block another shot. Zaha’s end product, thus far, has been very disappointing in view of what we know he is capable of.
60 min: Palace attack – Zaha has a shot blocked from the edge of the box – Leeds counter quickly with Bamford in a three-on-three. It comes to nought, but the intensity and pace of the game has shot up again.
58 min: Doucoure is nearly caught in possession in midfield by the swarming Leeds press, but gets away with it. Olise is immediately released on the Palace right wing, cuts inside, and drills a shot goalwards which Meslier is able to gather cleanly. Palace immediately come again and Olise crosses for Eduoard, who heads over the bar. Gaps are appearing all over the pitch.
56 min: No, they won’t settle for a point! Palace roar forward in attack and Eze plays in Ayew, who takes a touch and has a shot blocked from point-blank range. Leeds deal with the corner, although Meslier goes down in a heap after clashing with Schlupp.
55 min: Leeds win a corner. Palace are pinned back for a moment, then Edouard nearly finds Zaha with an audacious flick as the ball is cleared from the Eagles’ back line and they try to counter quickly.
Will both of these sides settle for a point?
52 min: Olise starts a Palace attack from the centre of the pitch, spreading the ball from midfield out to Schlupp on the left, who puts his head down and sprints for the byline. The crowd stirs. But Schlupp sprints to such good effect that he runs out of room, and in attempting to direct a cross into the danger zone from the left wing, succeeds only in chipping it behind the net and out for a goal kick.
48 min: A flash of good old Wilfried Zaha, driving in from the touchline and trying a shot from an angle. It’s low and vaguely in the direction of the near post but it’s no issue for Meslier, however.
An email arrives from ElCapinyoazz: “Re: “Manhattan v Jersey, a pedantic correction from across the pond: Yankee Stadium is not on Manhattan, it’s in the Bronx, hence the Yankee’s nickname of The Bronx Bombers.
“Jesse may yet bomb at Leeds, but he’s surprising the naysayers, who seemed to expect another Bob Bradley, complete with the horror gaffe of calling a penalty a “pee-kay”. Swansea are still terrible, so maybe it wasn’t the gaffers’ choice of vocabulary that was the issue!”
Marsch will be pleased with that road goal from Struijk, anyway.
47 min: Bamford floats a cross from near the corner flag on the Leeds left, looking for Rodrigo, but Guaita claims it safely.
46 min: Ayew had five stitches above his eye during half-time. A painful business, but he is already getting stuck in in this second half, and having more words with his Leeds adversaries.
Second half kick-off!
Half-time! Crystal Palace 1-1 Leeds
Honours even at half-time and a decent contest all round. Leeds were by far the better team for the first 20, with a goal to show for it, but Palace certainly grew into it as the first half wore on, and a fantastic delivery by Olise from a set-piece provided Eduoard with a chance to score the equaliser. See you in a few minutes for more.
45 min + 3: Adams scythes down Eze on the Palace left. Leeds are definitely leaving a foot in here and there. But then again so are Palace. Much more of this and the friendly words between Vieira and Marsch before kick-off will be a distant memory …
45 min + 2: Ayew concedes a free-kick for a foul on Rodrigo, taking a bit of the ball and a lot of the man. There is some afters between Ayew and another Leeds player. You get the strong sense that Ayew isn’t keen on the approach Leeds are taking to the one-on-ones here.
44 min: Ayew’s head is bandaged up. He walks off shaking his head and has a chat with Vieira. He’s not back on yet. Vieira has a glance at his head-dressing and asks him if he is OK. Ayew returns to the action. There will be five minutes added on at the end of this first half.
Ed Aarons is at Selhurst Park:
40 min: Fingers crossed for Ayew, who is still down and receiving treatment. He must have had a nasty bash to the head. It was he and Robin Koch who were challenging for a header, but Ayew has come off worse.
38 min: Olise’s corner drops beyond the far post. Andersen gets the ball in a central area and beats a couple of men and thinks about a shot but can’t get one off from the edge of the box.
Leeds stream down to the other end and win a corner. Someone – is it Ayew? – has gone down injured after competing for a header and there is a break in play. One of the Leeds players is down too.
37 min: Palace again build a constructive attack down the right. Ayew wins a corner after trying to dig out a cross to the far post.
34 min: Olise and Ayew try to link on the right wing. They are crowded out. Palace come again down the left this time and Zaha and Eze nearly link up to good effect. Palace come yet again, switching the point of attack for a second time. Palace have successfully busted through the Leeds press, which was so intense in the opening 20 minutes or so. And Vieira’s men certainly have the quality to hurt this Leeds defence if give time and space on the ball.
31 min: This has been really good. Really lively. And goals, too! Told you it was going to be good, didn’t I? Needless to say, I had the last laugh. Both teams are continuing to go for it. Olise tries a creative cross for for Eduoard, trying to bend it around the defender from the right wing, but Meslier is able to gather it.
28 min: Another foul in midfield by Doucoure, who is sailing uncomfortably close to the wind. Harrison bends in a superb free-kick for Leeds, Palace manage to scramble it clear.
Goal! 24 min: Crystal Palace 1-1 Leeds (Eduoard)
It’s a header. It’s a goal from a brilliant free-kick swung in by Olise, a downward header by Eduoard, which kicks up off the turf and into the top corner, beyond the dive of Meslier. There is a VAR check for offside … and it’s a pretty long check … and it’s a yes! Onside. We are all square. The Palace fans are in fine voice again – the hosts are perhaps a touch fortunate to be back on terms given how Leeds dominated the opening 20. But they will take it.
22 min: Aaronsen links with Adams in midfield for Leeds and the upshot is a one-one-on for Bamford! … He stabs at the chance with the outside of his left peg, taking it early, but Guaita reads it and gets down well to save!
Aaronsen of Leeds is MVP so far and it’s not even close, he is everywhere.
20 min: In all the goal excitement, I forgot to mention that Guaita got in a terrible muddle soon after, having his pocket picked by Jack Harrison as he lingered on the ball. Palace have been firmly second-best so far, Leeds are swarming all over them and pressing them and allowing the Eagles no time to settle.
18 min: “There’s a goal then, Struijk strikes, an unlikely source but there you go,” emails Jeremy. “How will the match respond to that ? A basketball goal-fest or bus parked for 83mins plus stoppage time ? Think “El Loco”, Jessie ...”
17 min: “A little MLS context,” emails Mary Waltz. “Vieira managed NYCFC, they played in Yankee Stadium, and of course Vieira is football Royalty. NYC Red Bull plays in New Jersey, Jesse is….well he is no Vieira, is he. There was definitely a Manhattan v Jersey tinge to their rivalry, Aristocracy v Commoner dynamic to their MLS tussles.”
15 min: Cheick Doucouré is booked for a horrid challenge on Adams in midfield, dragging his studs down the back of the Leeds man’s ankle. VAR had a look at that, and it would not have been entirely mad had they upgraded it to a red card, such was the level of danger involved.
10 min: Aaronson embarks on a mazy, skilful run cutting in from the Leeds right wing. He clips a shot which bounces back off the far post, out of the reach of Harrison who is running in on the follow-up. But Struijk is there to calmly sidefoot the ball into the net – it flies through the legs of Joel Ward, who has stationed himself on the goal line. That was a harder finish than it looked.
Leeds had enjoyed plenty of early possession and pressure, and this is a worrying start from a Palace point of view.
Goal! 10 min: Crystal Palace 0-1 Leeds (Struijk)
It had been coming!
8 min: Andersen pumps a good long ball out of defence, to the right wing, for Ayew to chase. He tracks it down by the corner flag and passes back to Olise, who fires a deep cross aimed at the far post intended for Zaha. It’s overhit, though, and bounces out for a goal kick.
6 min: Fulham have scored at West Ham, Pereira with the goal.
The action at Selhurst Park is frenetic. Leeds are in the ascendancy. Harrison now pokes a shot wide of goal from an angle.
5 min: Schlupp, who is in fact playing in the unfamiliar position of left-back, fires a very overhit backpass towards Guaita, who at least manages to keep it out of the net, but the ball then squirts into the possession of Leeds on the edge of the area. Palace clear the danger but that was a nervy moment.
3 min: Bamford nearly springs the Palace offside trap, chasing a ball over into the right channel sent from the midfield, but he’s off by a couple of yards.
1 min: The sun is shining. The fans are chanting. Crystal Palace are in red and blue striped shirts with blue shorts and blue socks with a red trim, Leeds all in white. It all looks great! Wilfried Zaha is fouled out wide and goes down grimacing. He’s OK.
First-half kick off!
Here we go!
The teams are out! There are warm and friendly words between Vieira and Marsch before KO.
“Hi Luke. I’m a lifelong but exiled NotSoNastyAsTheyUsedToBeLeeds fan,” emails Jeremy Boyce. “Devastated by the departure of El Loco (would he have turned it round ? As the Monkees put it “I’m a believer”) but trying hard to give Jesse a chance. They need a v Chelsea performance, not another v StevieGFC showing, but not sure we’ll get that.
“I admire your optimism, that this will be worth watching. Let’s hope so, Bamford starting, Palace’s nippy-zippy front 3 v Cooper’s ageing legs, there could be goals. On the other hand.... Both would be ok grinding out a non-win/non-defeat. You will be able to tell us ALL about it starting any time NOW !”
Can’t argue with any of that.
Sky’s stattos inform us that Leeds’s most recent Premier League win at Palace was 24 years ago. Goals from Rod Wallace and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
It was the match that Tomas Brolin sustained a head injury, came back on with his head bandaged up only for (if memory serves) the bandage to promptly be dislodged by a flying ball.
“Where do you see Leeds right now, Paul?” asks David Jones, the Sky anchor, hoping for some biting analysis.
Merson replies: “Er … Crystal Palace?”
Jesse Marsch, who served a one-match touchline ban after being sent off in the defeat by Brentford, speaks to Sky Sports:“It’s good to be back on bench … but it’s about the two teams playing each other. I think our guys are prepared.”
On Patrick Bamford: “We’ve hand him well in the past few weeks … he’s in the strongest physical condition since I’ve been here. He is a big threat, it gives us more scoring power.
“Patrick Vieira does a great job with this team … They like to spread the field, we like to compress the field … we have to be aggressive, we have to play brave, and control them in one v one situations.”
In other news: Jonathan Liew reports from the Euro 2024 draw:
“The draw for the Euro 2024 qualifiers has thrown up a repeat of the 2020 final, with Italy facing England in Group C. There were gasps at the Festhalle in Frankfurt as the former Germany striker Karl-Heinz Riedle pulled England’s name out of the second pot of seeds. On paper, it is England’s toughest qualifying group in more than two decades, with Ukraine and North Macedonia also contesting the two available places at the finals in Germany. Malta complete the five-team group.”
In this week’s “Things to look out for …”, Daniel Harris says Palace need to start turning their positive performances into points:
“There is much talk in football about who deserves what – whether a goal, a result or a placing. The reality, though, is that the game has devised metrics perfect for determining these things, known as “the score” and “the league table”. So we cannot say Crystal Palace do not deserve to be 17th with one win from seven games, because that reflects how they’ve done according to our pre-determined criteria. But it is absolutely the case that Crystal Palace should not be 17th with one win from seven games, because they have some lovely, exciting and excellent players who are far better than that. In their defence, they have already faced Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, but they were in front in three of those four encounters and conceded late in the latter – as they did when tossing two points at home to Brentford. Which is to say their performances have been decent, but a lack of ruthlessness has cost them – an issue they must solve, and fast.”
Team news: Joachim Andersen starts at centre-back for Crystal Palace having been ruled out of the defeat by Chelsea with a calf injury. He is one of two changes: Jeffrey Schlupp also replaces Tyrick Mitchell.
Patrick Bamford starts up front for Leeds, for the first time in a long time, having made an appearance off the bench against Aston Villa.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Schlupp, Olise, Doucoure, Eze, Ayew, Edouard, Zaha. Substitutes: Mitchell, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Mateta, Hughes, Johnstone, Ebiowei, Riedewald, Gordon.
Leeds: Meslier, Kristensen, Koch, Cooper, Struijk, Adams, Roca, Aaronson, Rodrigo, Harrison, Bamford. Substitutes: Ayling, Summerville, Klaesson, Llorente, Gyabi, Gnonto, Gelhardt, Greenwood, Klich.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)
Crystal Palace are currently flirting with the relegation places – they sit 17th in the table with six points from seven matches – and Patrick Vieira could really do with a win today to calm the collective nerves while beginning to reacquaint the Eagles with mid-table respectability.
The only problem is that Leeds and Jesse Marsch would dearly love three points too, given the fact they have now gone four Premier League matches without a win. Their previous league victory, when they overwhelmed Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea 3-0 at Elland Road, feels like a long time ago. Mainly because it was a long time ago.
Vieira and Marsch have plenty of history from the MLS when they managed New York City and New York Red Bulls respectively, so that adds a potentially intriguing twist to this afternoon’s match. Will it be a nervy grind, or a free-flowing feast of football? I fancy it will be worth watching. Team news and more coming up.