LONDON (Reuters) – Eberechi Eze’s fine late winner earned Crystal Palace a 2-1 comeback victory over Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The visitors raced into an early lead through Pascal Struijk, reacting first after Brenden Aaronson’s stunning run and shot had come out off the post.
Leeds striker Patrick Bamford, starting his first match since August, missed a glorious opportunity to double the visitors’ lead, wastefulness that proved costly when Palace levelled through Odsonne Edouard’s header in the 24th minute.
Palace were much the better side in the second half but struggled to break down a resolute Leeds, until Eze picked the ball on the edge of the penalty area, threw a dummy and rifled an 76th-minute winner into the net.
Eze’s first strike of the season took his tally to four goals against Yorkshire clubs – 67% of his entire Premier League career total.
The away side kept coming but could not make their pressure pay, and Palace moved out of the relegation zone and up to 15th in the table, level on nine points with Leeds one place above them.
“It’s a good win and we needed that win,” Palace manager Patrick Vieira told Sky Sports. “It wasn’t pretty but we needed some different ingredients from the last couple of games.
“We worked hard and rolled up our sleeves and, at the end, we score that goal which is good for us. In the last couple of games we didn’t get what we deserved but today was a good win for us.”
The defeat represented further dropped points in a game when taking the lead for Leeds. Since the start of last season, only Leicester City have dropped more points from winning positions than Leeds away from home in the Premier League.
“The first half was one of the best 45 minutes we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Leeds boss Jesse Marsch said. “It was a shame to go in 1-1 at halftime.
“In total this is a step in the right direction for me. Of course, we have to get results along the way but we are doing OK. We just have to keep pushing.”
(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond)