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Sport Late Raphinha penalty sees Leeds edge Palace

01:26  01 december  2021
01:26  01 december  2021 Source:   skysports.com

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Raphinha's Video Assistant Referee (VAR)-awarded injury-time penalty saw Leeds United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Elland Road.

In a match of few chances, the hosts made the breakthrough in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the game when referee Kevin Friend was asked to go over to the pitch-side TV monitor to judge whether Palace defender Marc Guehi had handled from Raphinha's corner.

Raphinha's late penalty earned all three points for Leeds against Crystal Palace © Getty Raphinha's late penalty earned all three points for Leeds against Crystal Palace

The on-field referee agreed with VAR Simon Hooper back at Stockley Park and pointed to the spot, with Raphinha keeping his cool to give his side a much-needed victory.

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As a result, Marcelo Bielsa's team have moved up to 15th in the Premier League, five points above the relegation zone, while Palace sit 12th in the table after back-to-back league defeats.

How Leeds got back to winning ways

Leeds came into the game hovering precariously above the drop zone after a slow start to the campaign, particularly at home, and in urgent need of a morale-boosting win. After a long wait, that is exactly what they got.

Bielsa made three changes from the side held to a goalless draw at Brighton at the weekend as the Argentine tried to find a formula to get his players back at the levels they demonstrated last season.

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However, the first 45 minutes were largely forgettable, with neither goalkeeper called into action, with Bielsa ringing the changes at the break as Junior Firpo and Rodrigo were brought on to add some attacking thrust.

It was the visitors, though, who looked the most likely to open the scoring in the second half, in particular substitute Christian Benteke, who twice went close to giving his side the lead.

The Belgium international first headed wide of the gaping goal with a quarter of an hour left to play, before Illan Meslier almost gifted the striker a goal moments later as both teams went in search of a breakthrough.

But it was Leeds who got it right at the death as another devilish, inswing corner from Raphinha was inexplicably punched clear by Guehi, and although Mr Friend initially missed the offence, the eagle-eyed VAR did not.

Opta statsLeeds have won each of their last six home league games against Crystal Palace, since a 1-0 defeat in the Championship in March 2006.Crystal Palace have won just one of their last 13 midweek (Tue, Wed, Thu) Premier League games (D4 L8), winning 2-1 at Newcastle in February last season.Since their return to the Premier League last season, Leeds have won six of their seven midweek games in the competition (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), winning all five of their games on a Tuesday.Crystal Palace have conceded three goals in the 90th minute or later in the Premier League this season - no side has shipped more goals as late in games. Those goals have cost the Eagles five points (also 1-1 v Brighton in September, 2-2 v Arsenal in October).Raphinha's goal for Leeds was just their fourth goal in the 90th minute or later in a 1-0 victory in the Premier League, and just the second to come via the penalty spot after Ian Harte's strike against Derby in December 1999.Only Teemu Pukki has scored a higher percentage of his team's goals (62.5% - 5/8 for Norwich) in the Premier League this season than Raphinha (46.2% - 6/13) for Leeds. What's next?

Leeds now host Brentford at 2pm in the Premier League on Sunday, while Crystal Palace are at Man Utd at the same time.

Leeds and Crystal Palace played out a goalless draw at Elland Road on Tuesday © PA Leeds and Crystal Palace played out a goalless draw at Elland Road on Tuesday

Gallagher rues Crystal Palace's missed chances after Leeds defeat .
Raphinha's injury-time penalty following Marc Guehi's handball saw Patrick Vieira's men miss out on the chance to go seventh by slipping to a second straight Premier League defeat. But the Eagles passed up a number of opportunities to score at Elland Road, with Christian Benteke the main guilty party after missing a header from just a few yards out.

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