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Five-star Palace thrash Leeds as Hodgson revival gathers steam

By on April 9, 2023 0 25 Views

LEEDS, England, April 9 (Reuters) – Crystal Palace fought back from a goal down to secure a crushing 5-1 win at Leeds United on Sunday and claim a second successive Premier League win under new manager Roy Hodgson.

Despite the absence of injured top scorer Wilfried Zaha, four second-half goals moved Palace up to 12th in the standings while Leeds are 16th — two points above the relegation zone.

Hodgson had been brought back to ensure Palace’s top-flight survival, taking over a team struggling to score, and his side have now netted seven goals in two games — as many as their previous 15 matches combined.

“It is a credit to everyone that has been putting in the work. It has been a long time since we have been playing like this,” Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze told Sky Sports.

Leeds dominated the early stages and tested goalkeeper Sam Johnstone several times before Patrick Bamford broke the deadlock after 21 minutes with a well-directed header from a corner, his 50th goal for the club.

But Johnstone kept Palace in the game with a string of saves and the visitors made them pay, equalising on the stroke of halftime from a set-piece when Marc Guehi scored from close range.

Jordan Ayew gave Palace the lead eight minutes after the restart after fine work from 21-year-old Michael Olise, who floated in a cross that was headed home by the Ghanaian forward.

Leeds were not allowed to recover and less than three minutes later, Palace pinched the ball back near the halfway line and Olise turned provider again when he spotted Eze’s run, slipping the ball through for a neat finish.

Palace then silenced a stunned Elland Road crowd with a devastating counter-attack and Odsonne Edouard fired low into the bottom corner for his first league goal since October as Olise grabbed his third assist in 16 minutes.

Ayew scored his second when a blocked shot fell kindly to the unmarked forward who fired the ball home with no one but the keeper to beat as Palace moved six points clear of the drop zone.

“The second half, we fell apart a bit. It was a freak result and one we will move on from,” Bamford said.

“It was one of those games where every mistake we made literally got punished… (but) one game like that will not decide our season.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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