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Match Reports

Match Report : 24/11/2012

24 November 2012

Palace's 14 match unbeaten run finally came to an end as Neil Warnock came back to haunt his former club with a 2-1 win at Elland Road despite a late rally from the Eagles.

Boosted by their takeover earlier in the week, Leeds began brightly and early blocked attempts from David Norris and Paul Green were easily dealt with by Julian Speroni before Luciano Becchio troubled him a little more with a header after eight minutes.

Despite the visitors being under the cosh early on, Joel Ward had a good chance when he received the ball from Wilfried Zaha inside the box but shot tamely at Paddy Kenny. Leeds went straight up the other end though and a fully-stretched Speroni did well to stop Norris' shot creeping into the bottom corner.

The Eagles grew into the game though and began posing much more of an attacking threat. Zaha, making his 100th league appearance, fizzed a shot across the goalmouth which narrowly missed the far post, and the re-called Owen Garvan forced Kenny into a diving save with low drive from just outside the box.

The Whites' shot-stopper produced heroics to keep the scores level on the half-hour with a wonderful double save, firstly clawing a left-foot rocket from Jonathan Parr away from the top corner before instinctively blocking Glenn Murray's first-time rebound shot when the net looked destined to ripple. 

Moments later Damien Delaney headed a Garvan corner wide as the momentum began to change, but just before half-time tempers flared when Zaha went down in the box but didn't get a penalty as both sides argued as they went down the tunnel at the break.

After the re-start Ward dragged a shot wide of the United goal on 49 minutes but the home fans  erupted two minutes later when Jerome Thomas' cross was nodded down by Green, and when the ball deflected off Delaney Becchio pounced to fire his side into the lead from close range.

Ian Holloway pushed his men forward in an attempt to level the scores but it was the home side who continued to create dangerous opportunities and Norris curled a shot over the bar from the edge of the area before their lead was doubled on 75 minutes.

Alan Tate's long ball was only headed backwards by Mile Jedinak, and Green struck the ball on the volley which flew past Speroni via a deflection.

Substitute Andre Moritz fired a free-kick just over Kenny's crossbar with 10 minutes remaining but the Eagles were back in the game on 85 minutes when Kagisho Dikgacoi's cross was met by Ramage's diving header to give Palace belief.

They were inches away from getting a point when amongst a mass goalmouth scramble the ball was cleared off the Leeds line but ultimately the unbeaten run finally came to an end.

Leeds United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Green, Thomas (Poleon 75 (Brown 90)), Becchio, Tate, Tonge, Norris, Diouf (McCormack 81), Byram. Subs: Ashdown, White, Brown, Gray, Hall. 

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward (Wilbraham 90), Parr, Bolasie (Easter 67), Dikgacoi, Garvan (Moritz 65), Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Delaney, Ramage. Subs: Moxey, O'Keefe, Gabbidon, Price.

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