Crystal Palace 2 Leeds 1: Eagles move clear of relegation zone thanks to superb late Eberechi Eze strike

 

EBERECHI EZE dazzling winner handed Crystal Palace only a SECOND Prem win of the season.The Greenwich-born midfielder’s sweet strike on 76 minutes was his first goal of the season, with his last one coming SEVEN MONTHS ago in April against Southampton last term.

Eze winner came after Odsonne Edouard cancelled out Pascal Struijk’s opener to put the South Londoners on nine points and hand them some valuable breathing space from the drop zone, for now.  

Jesse Marsch is responsible for Patrick Vieira’s heaviest defeat as manager when his New York Bulls side beat the Frenchman’s NYCFC team 7-0 in the MLS back in 2016. 

And it looked as though history would repeat itself in the opening 15 minutes with Leeds absolutely bossing it. 

Patrick Bamford, on his first start in two months, was involved in the first real chance as he linked up with Rodrigo to dart into the box – but was snaffled up before he could get a shot away. 

It took a Lionel Messi-esque run from Brenden Aaronson to get the visitors on their way ten minutes in. 

The former RB Salzburg winger’s twinkle toes twisted inside and out of FOUR Palace shirts before cracking a shot off the post. 

And Struijk was on standby to lash in the rebound with only his third career goal. 

If there were points for sloppy passes, poor clearances and aimless hoofed shots then Palace would have been well ahead. 

Moments after the goal they really looked rattled as Joachim Andersen, back from injury, passed back to Vicente Guaita who dilly dallied long enough for Jack Harrison to nick the ball off him. 

But the Eagles were left off as the Stoke-born winger was unable to get his shot away or pick out a teammate. 

It was Bamford’s turn next as he latched onto a delicious flick onf from Rodrigo, only to sting the palms of Guaita. 

Somehow Palace survived the onslaught and snuck back a leveller against Marsch’s livewires on 24 minutes. 

It was all down to the inch-perfect free-kick from Michael Olise which curled onto Edouard’s noggin for him to head home. 

You could have heard a pin drop in the normally bouncing Selhurst Park as VAR threatened to ruin the party with a check for offside on Edouard’s armpit – but it stood. 

Marsch was once again living dangerously in the technical area as he grumbled in fourth official Graham Scott’s ear throughout the first-half and all the way into the tunnel at the break. 

After the break Liam Cooper produced a superb block to deny Jordan Ayew from close range, leaving his shot pinging up into the gods. 

In fairness the Ghanain forward should have passed to the open Wilfired Zaha who had his head in his hands. 

But Eze was there to save the day late on, thanks to Zaha’s wizardry in the build up.

A pretty passing sequence fell to Zaha who flicked the ball between his legs to find Eze who wriggled beyond Rasmus Kristensen and unleashed a fierce drive beyond Illan Meslier for 2-1.

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