Patrick Vieira reveals how Leeds United inspired Crystal Palace’s match-winning tactical change

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira revealed during his post-match press conference that he instructed his side to be more direct in the second half
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Leeds’ defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon came after a tactical change by Eagles coach Patrick Vieira, the Frenchman says.

Vieira admitted tweaking his game-plan at half-time in order to bypass Leeds’ ‘intensity’ which had caused Palace problems as they tried to build out from the back during the first half.

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Leeds began the Premier League encounter brightly and had opened the scoring through Pascal Struijk inside ten minutes.

Palace manager Patrick Vieira bested Leeds' Jesse Marsch in Sunday afternoon's contest at Selhurst Park (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)Palace manager Patrick Vieira bested Leeds' Jesse Marsch in Sunday afternoon's contest at Selhurst Park (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Palace manager Patrick Vieira bested Leeds' Jesse Marsch in Sunday afternoon's contest at Selhurst Park (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Odsonne Edouard’s levelling header meant the teams went in all square at the break.

Late on, Palace punished the Whites with a second, decisive goal courtesy of talisman Eberechi Eze whose combination play with Wilfried Zaha on the edge of Leeds’ penalty area created a clear-cut chance for the midfielder.

Eze’s match-winning goal came directly from a long, diagonal ball played up from the back by Palace’s defence.

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Taken down by Frenchman Edouard, the Palace striker fed the Eagles’ attack, as Zaha’s flicked return pass found the run of Eze.

Vieira revealed during his post-match press conference this was a deliberate ploy after making the assessment that Leeds had been the better side in the first half.

“I think in the first half they were the better team,” the former Arsenal midfielder said. “They play with a lot of intensity and it was really difficult for us to build up from the back.

"We didn't make some good decisions. We make it very difficult for ourselves by the decisions that we make and in the second half, we went a little bit more direct.

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“I think we managed to win more second balls and we managed to build this kind of momentum.

"Physically I think they dropped as well a little bit more, so that allowed us to have more time on the ball to make better decisions,” Vieira added.

Palace saw out the 2-1 scoreline comfortably in the end, drawing fouls, sapping Leeds’ beleaguered attempts to generate momentum in the middle and final thirds.