Crystal Palace vs Leeds: A valuable point for Marsch’s men
Crystal Palace vs Leeds: Jesse Marsch and Co., picked up another valuable point in their battle against relegation, as they drew the Eagles 0-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday.
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The point sends Leeds (34 points - 16th place) five points clear of 18th-place Everton and three above 17th-place Burnley. Everton have a game in hand on both Burnley and Leeds.
Crystal Palace (38 points), meanwhile, remain 14th in the Premier League table.
Crystal Palace vs Leeds final score, stats, results
Final score: Crystal Palace 0, Leeds 0
Goal scorers: Crystal Palace (None), Leeds (None)
Shots: Crystal Palace 17, Leeds 9
Shots on target: Crystal Palace 7, Leeds 2
Possession: Crystal Palace 53%, Leeds 47%
2 things we learned - Crystal Palace vs Leeds
1. Leeds not creating chances aside from transition: Leeds attempted 16 tackles in the first half, with just six of them coming in Crystal Palace’s half of the field and none in their defensive third. As a result, they created nothing of danger when forced to play with possession rather than pace. In the second half, Leeds attempted 38 tackles, including 16 in the attacking half and seven in the final third. The outcome: a few opportunities to spring counter-attacks much closer to goal, thus some semblance of attacking threat. Seven games into Jesse Marsch’s tenure, it’s quite clear that plenty of attacking improvement is needed ahead of his first full season, but that’s what preseason is for. It’s important to remember that Marsch walked into an all-hands-on-deck situation when he took the job, and he’s done quite well (3W-2D-2L) to put a bit of distance between Leeds and the relegation zone. That is quite a first-season achievement, while also laying an obvious defensive foundation for what the side becomes in the summer.
2. Palace’s one-man show at its ceiling: For five years now, Crystal Palace have relied heavily upon Wilfried Zaha to play the parts of both creator and scorer, and he’s delivered some solid returns (45 goals in five seasons, without playing as a center forward nearly half the time) as the Eagles hovered somewhere between mid-table and the outer fringe of the relegation battle. But, it’s also become quite clear that that’s as far as one man can take them, without making the necessary investments in the squad this summer. Center forward will be chief among Patrick Vieira’s wishes, and it’s not hard to see why. Zaha has 11 Premier League goals this season and Conor Gallagher, who’s on loan from Chelsea and almost certainly playing half of his games at Stamford Bridge next season, has eight. Vieira has done well to piece together 14 goals from three different center forwards — Odsonne Edouard (6), Christian Benteke and Jean-Philippe Mateta (4 each) — without any of them ever finding the form or consistency necessary to take a team into the top-half.