Date published: Saturday 7th November 2020 4:55
VAR struck again in perhaps the most controversial manner this season as Leeds lost 3-1 to an Eberechi Eze-inspired Crystal Palace.
Eze set up Scott Dann to hand the hosts the lead and the summer signing then notched his first goal in Palace colours to make it 2-0.
And while Helder Costa’s own goal might have been enough to frustrate Leeds fans, it was VAR’s involvement in Patrick Bamford’s disallowed goal that will ultimately dominate the headlines.
Eze looked dangerous from the off, laying the ball into Andros Townsend for a saved shot after seven minutes. Indeed, the pressure soon told when Dann headed Palace in front.
Eze fired in a fantastic corner and the defender reacted the strongest to power his side into the lead, despite Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s best efforts to keep it out.
However, Leeds responded and Bamford thought he had an equaliser, until VAR controversially stepped in.
The striker, on the shoulder of the Palace defenders, pointed to where he wanted the pass from Mateusz Klich. In doing so, his outstretched arm was beyond the back line when Klich fed it into him.
As such, despite Bamford’s subsequent cool finish past Vicente Guaita, VAR ruled that Bamford’s armpit was offside.
Just five minutes later, Eze put Palace back in front with his first Eagles goal, curling a fantastic free-kick over the wall and past Meslier.
Leeds and Bamford did get their goal, though, the Englishman slotting into the bottom corner after another Klich assist.
Own goal a blow for Leeds
Things got worse for Marcelo Bielsa‘s side on 42 minutes, however, when Costa’s interception on Townsend’s cross somehow beat Meslier in the Leeds goal.
Leeds’ task in the second half was to get the next crucial goal to make it 3-2 and, despite a flurry of chances from both sides, it was Palace who made it 4-1.
Forward Jordan Ayew latched onto Wilfried Zaha‘s pinpoint pass and finished to seal the points for Roy Hodgson’s side.
It could have been five for Palace, but Patrick van Aanholt eventually had his effort saved by Meslier.
The result means Leeds have now conceded 17 Premier League goals this season, more than any other team.