Report: Leeds United 1-0 Crystal Palace
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Forshaw, Cooper (c), Raphinha, Roberts (Cresswell 90’), Llorente, Dallas, James, Struijk (Firpo 45’), Phillips, Klich (Rodrigo 45’). Subs not used: Kalesson (GK), Harrison, Gelhardt, Summerville, Shackleton, Jenkins.
Palace: Guaita (GK), Ward (c), Mitchell, Tomkins, Guehi, Kouyate, Ayew (Olise 90’), Zaha, Schlupp (Hughes 80’), Edouard (Benteke 67’), Gallagher. Subs not used: Butland (GK), Milivojevic, Eze, Clyne, Kelly, Riedewald.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side faced Crystal Palace at Elland Road in the Premier League and claimed an important three points, thanks to a stoppage time penalty from Raphinha.
The Whites were on the front foot from kick-off and Dan James caused problems early on to the visiting backline, having a couple of efforts on goal, but Palace stood firm to deal with them.
The shots continued, as Raphinha’s strike was deflected over for a corner, whilst Adam Forshaw’s left-footed hit flew just wide of the post with Vicente Guaita well beaten.
When Patrick Vieira’s side came forward, they were winning corners and looking to fill the box for the set-plays. Quick interplay between Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher and Odsonne Edouard looked to open up the defence but much like at the other end, the defence dealt with it.
Jeffrey Schlupp was the next to attack in the game though, and his effort was close. He cut in from the wing and struck left-footed, which like Forshaw’s earlier effort, was just wide of the post.
Further attempts before the interval came from Kalvin Phillips - who struck over - and Raphinha who also well over-hit a free-kick.
Bielsa went to his bench at the interval. Struijk and Mateusz Klich were replaced by Junior Firpo and Rodrigo for the second half of the game.
The first chance of the second 45 fell the way of the visitors. Freshly introduced, Firpo was booked almost instantly for a foul on the edge of the box and from the close range free-kick Gallagher fired into the wall, before Zaha volleyed over.
The atmosphere was electric inside Elland Road and the players were responding. Plenty of fair but firm challenges were seen in what was becoming a hard-fought encounter at each end of the pitch.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, the best chance of the match so far arrived. Palace broke forward at pace and when Zaha picked up the ball in the box, he clipped it to the back post for the recently introduced Christian Benteke, who put his header wide with an open goal in front of him.
Next it was Bielsa’s side who went close. From two successive corners, Rodrigo connected well both times at the front post, seeing his efforts deflected behind by the visitors.
The next corner was to prove vital though. With five minutes of stoppage time shown, Liam Cooper jumped above everyone to have a header on goal, which struck Marc Guehi’s arm. The referee was sent to his VAR monitor and awarded the Whites a last minute penalty.
Up stepped the top scorer Raphinha from the spot. He was the calmest person in the ground, to run up and slot home the penalty and send Elland Road absolutely wild, to claim the three points for his side in the final few seconds!