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Slowly and on wobbly ft, Leeds took one other just a little step. There was no flourish in how they did it, nor any photographs of consequence, however they’re getting there.

Their tally now stands at 34 factors for 33 video games performed, with few more durable earned than this. It was a kind of slogs, a dirty examination of the soul when their finest participant, by a road, was stood in their very own aim.

With out Illan Meslier, Wilfried Zaha would have scored a pair. Perhaps extra. Conor Gallagher may need had one, too. Then there’s Jean-Philippe Mateta. He didn’t drive any nice saves, however he did have just a few superb possibilities – his was a cow’s bottom and banjo type of evening.

Leeds managed to keep Wilfried Zaha and Co at bay in their goalless draw at Crystal Palace

Leeds managed to maintain Wilfried Zaha and Co at bay of their goalless draw at Crystal Palace


Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Guaita 6.5; Clyne 6.5, Andersen 7, Guehi 6.5, Ward 6.5; McArthur 6, Gallagher 7.5; Eze 6.5 (Schlupp 79), Ayew 6.5 (Olise 67, 6), Zaha 7; Mateta 5.5 (Benteke 84).

Subs not used: Butland, Kelly, Tomkins, Kouyate, Hughes, Edouard.

Booked: Andersen, Ward

Supervisor: Patrick Vieira 6.5

Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier 8; Ayling 7, Llorente 7.5, Cooper 6.5, Dallas 5.5; Klich 5.5 (Koch 46, 6), Phillips 5.5; Raphinha 6, Rodrigo 6 (Gelhardt 74, 6), Harrison 6; James 5 (Greenwood 59, 6).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Struijk, Firpo, Cresswell, Bate, Kenneh.

Booked: James, Llorente

Supervisor: Jesse Marsch 6

Referee: Darren England 5

In order that’s the sort of recreation Leeds endured and so they left with one thing to have fun, which takes us again to their factors. It received’t take 40 to remain up this yr, however the fashionable commonplace of 35 additionally feels mild, which suggests there should nonetheless be some unease about their forthcoming run towards Manchester Metropolis, Arsenal and Chelsea. There received’t be a lot room for straightforward respiratory earlier than they get to their concluding assignments with Brighton and Brentford, however 34 factors has them on the doorstep, near the place they should be.

In the event that they pull it off, good for Jesse Marsch. They have been dropping these video games and most others below Marcelo Bielsa, so the progress solely actually must be defined in a single context – for his or her previous 5 video games they’ve 11 factors. That’s the way you salvage a season, even when the second half of this match was an train in how finest to soak up a slap.

‘The result’s huge,’ Marsch mentioned. ‘The efficiency was not our greatest however 5 unbeaten, two straight clear sheets, we now have to take positives. The mentality of the group actually helped us earn the purpose.

‘It’s a actually huge level. It will get us nearer and nearer to our final aim.’

For Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira, the irritation got here from the extension of their winless run to 4 video games in all competitions. That and the style of the way it got here to move.

‘I may be annoyed and the crew may be annoyed,’ he mentioned. ‘We performed some actually good soccer with a excessive tempo and have been the higher crew however we could not discover the web.

Jean-Philippe Mateta wasted a good opportunity early on as his effort was easily cleared away

Jean-Philippe Mateta wasted alternative early on as his effort was simply cleared away

It was a war of attrition between the two teams, with a number of heavy tackles being made

It was a struggle of attrition between the 2 groups, with a variety of heavy tackles being made

‘I used to be happy and pleased with the dedication we confirmed. We simply lacked that little bit of high quality to attain these objectives.’

With 38 factors, Palace are successfully within the clear, however it might be unlucky for such a robust season to fizzle out so late within the day, not that there have been any clues of dwindling motivation towards Leeds. They pushed their guests round for the massive half, although Leeds’s outlook can enhance in that regard now they’ve Kalvin Phillips again within the aspect.

It was December 5 when he final began a league recreation and it’s fully believable to assume Leeds would have averted an terrible lot of trouble – and probably a supervisor change – had his hamstrings held up. With out him, a midfield, a taking part in system and an period folded, however on the idea of this efficiency he’ll want time to stand up to hurry, even when it was encouraging that he survived the total recreation.

On this event he was fully outclassed by his reverse quantity, Gallagher, who additionally occurs to be competing for a similar place within the England set-up.

Zaha pushed for a goal until the very end, but could not find a way past Illan Meslier

Zaha pushed for a aim till the very finish, however couldn’t discover a well past Illan Meslier

Stopper Meslier made a number of key saves to ensure that his side kept a crucial clean sheet

Stopper Meslier made a variety of key saves to make sure that his aspect saved a vital clear sheet

The Chelsea loanee was central to all that was good about Palace in a primary half they managed with out ever excelling. Their spotlight got here when Gallagher floated a ball over Stuart Dallas that finally led to a possibility in entrance of an open aim for Mateta. The striker fluffed his connection to an awkwardly bouncing ball, simply as he did when he went clear by means of after three minutes.

Leeds provided little in response, demonstrated by their difficulties in releasing Jack Harrison, who had arrived on a scorching streak of objectives in three successive video games. As a unusual apart, Harrison had made his skilled debut below Vieira as a 19-year-old for New York Metropolis in 2016 and so they misplaced 7-0 that day to Marsch’s New York Pink Bulls – humorous how life works out generally.

In fact, this was all just a little drier, past a flurry of meaty challenges in the direction of the tip of a reasonably flimsy half, largely directed at Zaha.

The second began in a equally aggressive temper, with Joel Ward and Daniel James booked for a squabble earlier than Palace started to dominate. Zaha had the most effective of the possibilities, forcing three saves, and Mateta had his third of the evening, which like the opposite two missed the aim fully. A half-volley by Gallagher and one more drive from Zaha additionally diverted off beam, as Leeds by some means limped nearer to the place they should be.

Patrick Vieira's side pushed for a winner, but had to settle for a point in the end at home

Patrick Vieira’s aspect pushed for a winner, however needed to accept a degree in the long run at house

Leeds are now five points clear of the bottom three heading into their final five matches

Leeds are actually 5 factors away from the underside three heading into their remaining 5 matches

Re-live the drama from the conflict with the protection from SAM BROOKES…

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