Goals made by Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford gave the win for Leeds United over Crystal Palace on Monday, sliding them into the top half of the EPL table with 32 points after 22 games.
Crystal Palace, who won their last two games over the Wolves and Newcastle United, failed to keep a winning streak from this fixture, now sitting in 13th place, and three points behind Leeds having played a game more.
Harrison’s opener came after 2 minutes and 35 seconds, with a shot that took a slight deflection off Palace’s Gary Cahill and looped high into the net leaving goalkeeper Vicente Guaita caught out.
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Harrison was set up by Stuart Dallas outside the box and he fired off a powerful strike – his third goal in his last four league games – that immediately put Palace trailing. The winger’s goal is now Leeds’ fastest Premier League since Steve Caldwell netted against Blackburn Rovers back in April 2004.
Bamford was inches away from adding to the score in the 10th-minute with a glancing header that Guaita managed to stop at the base of the post as Leeds kept up the early pressure.
The centre forward had another opportunity when he won possession on the halfway line in the 23rd-minute and chased down on the Palace goal only to hit his effort high and wide.
Leeds’ dominance should have been better reflected in the scoreline with Pascal Struijk next to squander a clear chance, with a wayward diving header just before the break.
But the home side doubled their lead early in the second half after Guaita got a hand to Rafinha’s thunderous shot only to hand Bamford get the easy tuck away.
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The 27-year-old striker has played at nine clubs and his 100 career goals include 12 in the league this season.
Harrison then failed to take advantage of a defensive slip when he hit the crossbar with six minutes left.
“It was important not to concede and we didn’t commit any errors to give our opponents a chance and our attack was good to score twice and could have got a few more,” said Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa.
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