Crystal Palace 0 Leeds 0: Visitors earn vital point in bid to beat relegation


PATRICK VIEIRA vs Jesse Marsch has never been one for the faint hearted.

During their MLS days at New York City and New York Red Bulls from 2016 to 2018, there was all sorts of mud-slinging and name-calling between the two young, fiery coaches.


The action was frantic at Selhurst Park, but neither Crystal Palace nor Leeds could find a goalCredit: Reuters
Jean-Philippe Mateta squandered two early chances for the hosts


Jean-Philippe Mateta squandered two early chances for the hostsCredit: PA

From allegations of hand-shake refusals to accusations of “crying” to referees.

And on the pitch, you were always promised goals galore.

In nine meetings between the pair across the pond, the aggregate was 23-9 in Marsch’s favour.

Yet in their dug-out reunion in clash No.10, for all the niggly needle on the pitch between Crystal Palace and Leeds, this was the opposite of a net-bulging thriller.

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If anything, it was a result that will have only encouraged those around them in the thick of a tense Premier League relegation dogfight that hope is not lost.

Before kick-off, Marsch’s Leeds were in 16th with a game in hand and two points above a resurgent Burnley with the chance to end the night on 36 points – a big step towards safety.

And despite losing their last two, Vieira’s Palace were eyeing hitting the magical 40-point mark with a victory – a numerical symbol of survival in Prem history and beyond.

But neither took the initiative, instead inviting potential pressure from those below in what will now be a nervy final five games for both Vieira and Marsch.


For Leeds, that includes facing Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, while Palace still have to play Watford, Everton and Manchester United.

Leeds arrived at Selhurst Park in good form – winning three of their last four – but perhaps a bit ring-rusty having last played on April 9 in a 3-0 win away at Watford.

Marsch welcomed the return of Kalvin Phillips in his first start since suffering a hamstring injury in early December.

Looking to end their losing run, Vieira made five changes as Eberechi Eze earned just his second Prem start of the campaign.

A hug between the two managers on the sidelines suggested their patchy history was a thing of the past – only to watch their players produce a messy opening 15 minutes.

The quality of Conor Gallagher livened things up, producing a lovely pass over the top for Jordan Ayew down the right before picking out Jean-Philippe Mateta.

Patrick Vieira and Jesse Marsch have a rivalry going back to their MLS days


Patrick Vieira and Jesse Marsch have a rivalry going back to their MLS daysCredit: Reuters
The American praised the commitment of his team at Selhurst Park


The American praised the commitment of his team at Selhurst ParkCredit: Reuters

The French striker was denied a simple tap-in thanks to a timely touch from Diego Llorente.

For all the attacking talent on show on both sides, neither could find a killer instinct or moment of quality to spark this game into life.

The only spark present was one of aggravation – Vieira told to calm down by referee Darren England after Raphinha went down holding his face from a collision with Wilfried Zaha.

Leeds’ only shot on target in the first half – and as it turned out, the whole match – was a tame Liam Cooper header into the arms of Vicente Guaita as Marsch replaced Mateusz Klich with Robin Koch at the break.

It was Palace however who were finding spaces and creating openings, but for more abject finishing from the likes of Mateta and Zaha while Meslier stood firm.

The introduction of Michael Olise, Odsonne Edouard and Christian Benteke from the bench ultimately saw Palace finish the game with four up top, yet still could not conjure a winning moment as Gallagher and Zaha went close at the death.

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A missed opportunity then, leaving 17th-placed Burnley and 18th-placed Everton licking their lips at the prospect of mounting a late chase up the table.

Palace are almost at the finishing line. As for Leeds, how are your nerves, Jesse?


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