Leeds Beat Crystal Palace Through Late Penalty

By Daily Sports on December 1, 2021

Views: 209

Leeds United snatched a late win over Crystal Palace thanks to an injury-time penalty from Raphinha. The hosts were awarded a 91st-minute penalty when Eagles defender Marc Guehi was adjudged to have handled the ball, with the decision confirmed after a Video Assistant Referee check and referee Kevin Friend watching the incident on a pitch-side screen.

Palace should have taken the lead when it was goalless but Christian Benteke headed wide from inside the six-yard box. Benteke also had another chance late on when he got his foot to a long ball forward, but Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier managed to gather the ball just before it crossed the goalline.

Leeds’ win was only their fourth in the Premier League this season and moved them up from 17th to 15th.

“Raphinha’s very important and to score that goal he needed a lot of character, personality and courage. He got us the three points,” said Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“We haven’t taken many points so far this season. Every game we see as an opportunity to balance this out.

“The opposing team had developed their play very well and it was very difficult to keep that clean sheet.”

It was a dramatic finish to a match that was frantic throughout, played in wet and windy conditions at a packed and passionate Elland Road. In injury time, Leeds had a corner from the left which was headed goalwards by captain Liam Cooper. Guehi also jumped but had his arm in front of his body and illegally blocked the ball, with the spot-kick eventually being given.

Raphinha, who had been one of the best players on the pitch, with a wide range of brilliant long-range passes, showed great composure as he skipped in the air before sending his penalty into the corner amid jubilant scenes.

Palace would have gone seventh with a win and manager Patrick Vieira was left wondering how they failed to pick up any points. “I really believe we were the better team,” said Vieira.

“It happened on the other side a couple of games ago and we have to deal with it.

“We’re a little bit disappointed, we should create more chances and didn’t make the right decisions.

“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we just have to analyse how we create chances and how we can improve our last pass in the final 30 yards.

“We had the best chances in the final 10-15 minutes and didn’t take it, so you leave the door open. It’s important to stick together and work even harder. We showed some positives.”

Benteke was the main culprit for the Eagles as it looked easier to score when Tyrick Mitchell’s cross found the Belgium striker unmarked, quite central and only a few yards out, but he could only send his header wide.

Palace also thought they should have had a first-half penalty when Jordan Ayew went down under a challenge from Pascal Struijk, but Friend waved away Palace’s appeals.

Raphinha’s penalty spared the blushes of team-mate Rodrigo, who should have done much better than shoot harmlessly wide when eight yards out and unmarked.

Raphinha also had an effort deflected over from the edge of the penalty area, with England midfielder Kalvin Phillips firing just wide as well.

Phillips had been replaced at half-time in Leeds’ 0-0 draw against Brighton on Saturday, but played the full 90 minutes against Palace, with Phillips later playing down reports of a bust-up between him and Bielsa.

With Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate watching on, Phillips produced a superb 30-yard pass that released Raphinha, before it was played to Adam Forshaw, who shot low narrowly off target. But Leeds’ misses did not prove costly as Raphinha held his nerve to earn his side the three points and ease their relegation fears. (BBC)

•PHOTO: Raphinha is Leeds leading scorer this season

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 1, 2021


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