YEP Jury: Aside from the VAR shambles Leeds United were just not good enough at Crystal Palace

Our fans’ panel have their say Leeds United’s 4-1 defeat at Crystal Palace and ‘that’ VAR decision.

By Mark Absolon
Sunday, 8th November 2020, 4:36 pm
Palace's Wilfried Zaha is challenged by Robin Koch of Leeds United. Picture: Naomi Baker.
Palace's Wilfried Zaha is challenged by Robin Koch of Leeds United. Picture: Naomi Baker.

DAVID WATKINS

At times Leeds looked just as good as Palace and, as always, we dominated the possession.

But there was always the feeling that Palace actually had the better footballers; more skilful in every position.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

Patrick Bamford celebrates with Mateusz Klich after scoring against Crystal Palace. Picture: Matthew Childs.

Had Bamford’s first “goal” been awarded – and that decision still baffles me – who knows how that might have rattled Palace and buoyed Leeds but, overall it would be only the most blinkered of Leeds fans who could say we deserved anything from the game.

As with the Wolves and Leicester games our superior organisation and fitness failed to carry the day largely because our ability on the ball let us down; the final ball was all too often weak, misplaced, or too easily read.

Crosses were wasted, shots missed the target, daft free-kicks were conceded and we still cannot deal with corners.

The absence of Pablo Hernandez also didn’t help; Rodrigo has been an able replacement but to start without either it was like having no key to start the engine.

Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace scores his sides second goal against Leeds United. Picture: Matthew Childs.

Let’s hope the break gives us time to reset.

And get players fit and we come back looking more like the early season Leeds.

Man of the match: Can’t say anyone really stood out from the crowd.

JACOB STARR

Illan Meslier kicks the ball away after Crystal Palace's second goal yesterday. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images.

Another 4-1 defeat for Leeds United will probably not be the talking point for the next few days, more VAR controversy will likely be at the forefront of debate as we enter yet another international break.

Patrick Bamford scored a perfectly good goal to equalise after Crystal Palace had scored from an early corner, or at least we all thought he did.

His armpit, or upper arm, whatever it was, was adjudged to be offside, despite the lines on the screen failing to differentiate between on or offside. I am still baffled by the decision and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s getting beyond a joke now, it’s not football.

This doesn’t change the fact that United were poor, and even though Bamford did get himself on the scoresheet again, defensive lapses occurred too regularly for the Whites to ever become in control of the game.

Marcelo Bielsa watches from the sidelines at Crystal Palace. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images.

The international break has come at a good time in my view, it will allow Kalvin Phillips and Diego Llorente to progress with their fitness, whilst Rodrigo’s isolation period will be over.

It’s going to be a long season so results like this will happen, especially with the way we play. Conceding four to Palace, though, is a slight cause for concern, nonetheless.

Man of the match: Raphinha.

MATTHEW EVANS

Two 4-1 defeats in six days isn’t what we’ve become used to under Marcelo Bielsa but Leeds United should look to the positives.

We’re still to be completely dominated by a team this season in the Premier League and almost all of the eight goals shipped this week have come out of nowhere.

That’s not to say there’s no room for improvement.

Our defending has been sloppy, our midfield too weak and, if we refuse to get better at defending set pieces, we need to at least get better at giving corners and dangerous free kicks to the opposition.

We’ll do better when the likes of Phillips and Rodrigo are back fit and in the side.

Finally, the less said about Patrick Bamford’s ‘offside’ goal the better.

Empty stadiums, VAR farces, rip off pay per view and back-to -back thrashings are not making for a happy time for United fans at the moment.

The international break has certainly come at the right timefor the Whites.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

KEITH INGHAM

The ‘London hoodoo’ continues and how! Two heavy defeats against Leicester City and Crystal Palace by 4-1 scorelines have rattled the faithful, me included.

It’s the defence that looked so strong, now without the help of Kalvin Phillips is starting to look very, very vulnerable.

The headlines though won’t be made by the result, it will be decisions made by VAR and post match by head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

If VAR is the law, well the law as they say is an ass! A beautiful equaliser was denied by the outstretched arm of Patrick Bamford, surely something must be done to either alter the law, or for goodness sake, a little common sense is used.

Palace scored four goals for the first time ever against a Leeds United team. Dann beat Koch in the air from a corner for the first, Eze curled in a superb free-kick for the second, an incredibly unlucky deflected Costa own goal gave Palace a 3-1 half-time lead.

Ayew finished the game as a contest with 20 minutes left to play.

Going back to the disallowed Bamford goal it would have levelled matters and Leeds could have been 2-1 ahead as Bamford netted a goal that was superbly made and finished impressively by United’s top scorer.

That’s seven for the season and he’s scored in every away game so far.

There are fine lines between success and failure and just at the moment Leeds don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green.

The international break gives the opportunity for the injured players to get back to fitness and also it should be used to settle a ‘disagreement’ that is clearly there between Pablo and his head coach.

His post-match comments revealed that he picked the best 18...and it didn’t include the mercurial Spaniard.

It’s very strange, no offence to Casey, Jenkins and the others on the substitutes’ bench, that there wasn’t a place for one of the players that actually got us to the Premier League in the first place.

Time to sit down gentlemen and sort out your differences!

Men of the match: Klich, Raphinha & Bamford.

MIKE GILL

On the face of it, this was another lesson for the Whites.

Crystal Palace were not worth a 4-1 win in my opinion.

Would the Bamford equaliser have put a different complexion on the game? At the crucial juncture of just before half-time did Helder Costa’s freak own goal kill the game for United? We will never know but what we do know is that Leeds have shipped 17 goals this season.

Okay, before we get carried away, 15 of these goals have been conceded against just four teams. The Whites now have a couple of weeks to go back to the drawing board before a big test against Arsenal.

We will all be holding our breath in the hope that the players on international duty come through unscathed and that the rest of today’s growing list of absentees are available for selection.

Klich and Ayling looked overworked and Koch and Cooper often struggled. Raphinha continues to show his class and should be a decent addition to the ranks.

Let’s hope the Whites can learn from the last two reverses.

Man of the match: Pascal Struijk.

ANDY RHODES

Following the Leicester game it felt like Leeds were either going through a blip or at the end of their honeymoon period.

Following the Palace defeat, you can’t help feel like it’s the latter. This was another game where the opposition committed very few mistakes but were clinical up front.

Leeds haven’t been able to live with that combination and haven’t been sharp enough. The passes have been going astray and the defensive errors have been plain to see.

The game might have been very different if Patrick Bamford’s first goal hadn’t been wrongly chalked off. Eight games into our Premier League journey and we’re still no closer to understanding VAR. The international break will give United the chance to reset while missing players will also return. The break has come at just the right time.

There were obviously going to be defeats this season, but the last three losses have been hard to take.

Leeds need to become more streetwise.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click HERE to subscribe.