Match report as Leeds miss the chance to go seven points clear of the relegation zone after a disappointing attacking display at Palace; They are three points ahead of 17th-placed Burnley with five games remaining and a tough run-in with games against Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea
Leeds battled for a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football which leaves them five points clear of the drop zone.
Seventeenth-placed Burnley’s 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday piled the pressure on Leeds ahead of their trip to Selhurst Park but Jesse Marsch’s side were unable to find a win of their own, with just three points separating the sides ahead of the final five games of the season.
Leeds head coach Marsch described it as a “big point”, adding: “It gets us closer to our ultimate goal.”
It was a game of few chances, but Palace were dominant and will feel disappointed they failed to secure a win that would have taken them to 40 points and put to bed any remaining concerns of relegation.
While Leeds will be pleased to have come away with a point, it leaves them in a precarious position ahead of a tough run-in which includes matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Eighteenth-placed Everton have a game in hand on Leeds and Burnley, which if they win could see Frank Lampard’s side close the gap to two points between themselves and the Whites.
Leeds hold on at Palace
Former Leeds striker Robbie Keane told Sky Sports ahead of the game that Leeds would need a win against Crystal Palace to ease their relegation fears, but they struggled on their first return to league action for 16 days.
Leeds looked like a side that had not played for two weeks and could not keep up with Palace in the opening 20 minutes, with the hosts twice close to going in front.
Jean-Philippe Mateta was involved in both incidents, with a case of poor finishing letting him down initially, before Leeds defender Diego Llorente’s vital touch in the six-yard box prevented a certain goal after an inviting low cross from Jordan Ayew.
For Leeds, it was a half of few chances, with Liam Cooper registering their only shot on target with a header from a corner that was easily held by Vicente Guaita.
Head coach Marsch tried to freshen things up at half-time by bringing on Robin Koch for Mateusz Klich, but Palace continued to look the more threatening side.
And the arrival of Michael Olise off the bench only made matters worse for Leeds, as he and Wilfried Zaha wreaked havoc for the visiting defenders on either wing.
However, Leeds continued to prevent Palace from carving out any clear-cut chances, with Joel Ward and Conor Gallagher coming close with efforts from outside the area.
Leeds goalkeeper Islan Meslier produced a fine double save to deny Palace forward Zaha with less than 10 minutes to go, with Gallagher producing a tame effort when presented with a good opportunity in the penalty area.
Up next for Crystal Palace is a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton on Saturday, April 30; kick-off 3pm.
Next for Leeds is a home game against Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday, April 30, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.