Eberechi Eze scored a fine goal as Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Leeds at Selhurst Park and end their winless run in the Premier League.
The visitors had deservedly taken the lead early on when Pascal Struijk drove in after Brenden Aaronson hit the post following excellent work inside the box.
Crystal Palace were struggling to impose themselves and Patrick Bamford, making his first Leeds start since August, forced a save out of Vicente Guaita.
But the hosts equalised midway through the first half when Odsonne Edouard headed in from Michael Olise’s free-kick.
Jordan Ayew was unable to put Palace ahead in the second half when he appeared in on goal, only for Rasmus Kristensen to make an excellent last-ditch challenge.
But Eze secured the three points with a superb individual strike, running across the edge of the area before firing low into the back of the net.
The win – Palace’s first in five Premier League games – moves them up to 15th and three points clear of the relegation zone, level on nine points with Leeds, who are 14th.
Palace started the day in a relatively precarious position, just one point above the bottom three after winning one of their first seven league games.
The caveat, however, was that they had faced four of the traditional ‘big six’ in that run, so boss Patrick Vieira would have looked to this game as more of an indicator of how they could perform this season.
Initially, the assessment would have been concerning as they struggled to cope with the Leeds press, making sloppy mistakes at the back while passes went astray.
But the Eagles improved after getting the equaliser, and in the end, were good value for their win.
While Eze will take the headlines for his excellent goal, just as important to the victory was centre-back Joachim Andersen, who almost singlehandedly repelled anything the visitors had to offer in the second half.
After avoiding relegation on the final day of the last term, Leeds is hoping for a less stressful time in what is boss Jesse Marsch’s first full season in charge.
The West Yorkshire side made an excellent start to the campaign with wins against Wolves and Chelsea in their first three games, but they are now without a win since late August.
They began this match in dominant form as Palace struggled to deal with them, with Aaronson looking lively and Bamford sharp on his return to the starting XI.
But set pieces have been a point of concern, and once again they were Leeds’ undoing as they failed to pick up Edouard for Olise’s free-kick.
Since the start of last season, they have conceded 20 goals from set pieces, with only Southampton (21), Everton (23) and Leicester (25) letting in more.
After conceding the equaliser, Leeds rarely looked like scoring again as their struggles on the road continued, and they have now taken just one point in four away games so far this season.
source – BBC Sport