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Crystal Palace vs Leeds United 22/23

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

Apologies I didn’t post anything for the Chelsea game, I had it all written but got admitted into hospital so didn’t have a chance to publish it.

Anyway, onto this game, on Sunday 9th of October Palace hosted Leeds United at Selhurst Park. The home shirts were FINALLY in stock so I managed to get mine pregame, the printing queue was too long but it will have EZE 10 on the back in time for the next game! We were coming into the game off the back of a painful 2-1 loss to Chelsea, although there were plenty of positives to take from it! Meanwhile Leeds hadn’t won since the 21st of August (ironically against Chelsea), and their last result was a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa.

Vieira named a very attacking team, he only made 2 changes compared with the Chelsea line up, this saw Mitchell and Clyne be replaced by Schlupp and Andersen who was back fit after his injury. Olise played in a slightly deeper role, I feel like he had a little less impact here but the idea of having more attacking minded players on the pitch is something I definitely support, and if Vieira sticks with this I’m sure Olise will grow into it as he came to the club as a midfielder before being moved to the wing.

It was a 2pm kick off on a surprisingly warm day, even though we was stuck in the shade so didn’t feel the effects of the sun! An early poor pass out from the Guaita put us under pressure, Guehi kept calm and swept the ball out of the path of the advancing striker. We’d missed Andersen’s long balls while he was out with an injury. He played a great ball up field to Ayew, who laid it off to Olise, but his cross was just too high and went straight out of play. Leeds had a lot of the ball looking very bright and on the 10th minute put themselves ahead - Palace struggled to stop the quick feet of Aaronson but his shot was eventually stopped by the far post, sadly the ball was deflected straight out into the path of Struijk who slotted it into the back of the net. Guaita was nearly caught out again, he thought he had more time to find a pass, but he was quickly closed down and gave away possession in a really dangerous place, thankfully they couldn’t find a pass into the middle of the box, or it would’ve been an easy tap in into an open goal. On multiple occasions our attacking players held on the ball for too long and ended up giving the ball away to a very intense pressuring Leeds. It felt like the referee was blowing up for a foul every minute, so it was really hard for either team to find a real rhythm. Patrick Bamford almost had a chance to double their lead, he was one-on-one with Guaita, but the keeper made a great save to keep it out. A perfectly placed free kick was whipped in by Olise, it met the head of Edouard to net his second goal of the year, there was a lengthy nervy VAR check, but it finally went our way with the correct decision! Leeds had a lot of the ball, but we still managed to find spurts of creativity. An opportunity came down the left with Zaha, Eze and Edouard linking up but once again it seemed like they were trying to walk the ball in rather than having a shot, this always seems to be the case which is so frustrating. There was a large amount of injury time as Edouard and Ayew collided needing medical attention, they were thankfully both fine to continue - Ayew wearing a very fashionable headband.

From the first minute of the second half Leeds put us under a lot of pressure making it hard to get out of our defensive half. Zaha nearly had the easiest opportunity of his life, but Ayew just couldn’t find the pass across the box, there was some fantastic positive play in the build up! A lovely cross field ball from Eze found Olise free on the opposite wing, his cross met the head of Edouard who had rose high, but his attempt went straight over the bar. On the hour mark the whole stadium were behind the boys as they played some lovely football and created chances, but once again they still couldn’t find the crucial final ball. The first set of substitutions saw Doucoure and Ayew off for Milivojevic and Mitchell, this pushed Schlupp up into the midfield. Before the substitution Ayew went down and required more medical attention so hopefully it’s nothing serious, my stepdad (who was watching from home) also informed me he had 5 stitches during half time following the earlier challenge, so good on him for carrying on and putting a good shift in. With 13 minutes to go Eze finally converted one of his chances, some lovely link up between himself and Zaha in the box before he made the room for himself to send the ball straight into the back of the net, leaving the keeper completely flatfooted, for his first of the campaign! Olise and Edouard we’re replaced by Hughes and Mateta, I’m not sure I would’ve taken Olise off he was making a difference, but Vieira was obviously happy with what he saw from Schlupp in the midfield. At the start of injury time there was a half-hearted penalty shout, but the appeal came from the fans rather than Zaha himself, the referee was uninterested. Whatever game it is whenever the opposing team are in our defensive half towards the end it’s extremely nerve wracking, and that was definitely the case for this game as we tried to hold on for the 3 points! The final action of the game saw a long shot from Eze, but sadly with a weak effort he wasn’t gifted his second.

We finally managed to hold on and get the 3 points!! After a shaky start I wasn’t feeling confident, but we came out for the second half and played much better actually causing Leeds issues. Very happy that Eze finally got on the scoresheet, he deserved it after all his hard work recently. One player I do feel sorry for is Malcom Eboiwei, he was warming up near enough the whole second half and didn’t get a look in to get on the pitch. I appreciate there’s only 11 spots in the team but hopefully he gets his chance soon because he’s a special player who is being wasted on the bench.

Our next home game is next Tuesday against Wolverhampton as we look to take this momentum and fight to climb up the table, so look out for that post.

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx


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