Football: Brolin off the boil

Crystal Palace 0 Leeds United 2 Wallace 7, Hasselbaink 13 Attendance: 25,248

NORMAL service has resumed at Crystal Palace. They are still to win a league game at home this season, and the warm glow of last week's FA Cup win at Selhurst Park was soon dissipated in the less glamorous grind of the Premiership. It took Leeds just 12 minutes to seal their victory with two strikes, neatly framed by Tomas Brolin's departure and return to the pitch after a cut to his head.

Speculation had been rife all week about how Brolin might, or might not, react to playing against Leeds, the team he performed so poorly for and eventually left amongst acrimonious recriminations earlier in the season. But this could not disguise the fact that Brolin might well have not started this match if it were not for Palace's long injury list, and his contribution was ultimately muted by the injury and the marking of the excellent Lucas Radebe. The South African captain Radebe and the former Palace player, David Hopkin, were the key to Leeds' victory.

Crystal Palace's midfield wilted early under their strong tackling and confident running, and Palace rarely looked as if they had the invention or flair to pose an attacking threat.

All eyes were still on Brolin's bloodied forehead when Rod Wallace pounced on six minutes to score his 11th goal of the season, seizing on Gary Kelly's neat through pass. Then, as Brolin returned to the pitch, complete with stitches and a bandage, Jimmy Hasselbaink wriggled free of two defenders and hit a sweet 20-yard shot past Kevin Miller's left hand.

Crystal Palace manager Steve Coppell blamed poor defending for both goals. "We have got to be a lot tighter than that at the back if we are going to stay in the Premiership," he commented, but this belies the fact that they were outplayed across the field.

Only Dale Gordon on the left-flank and defender Hermann Hreidarsson with some pacy runs showed much attacking enterprise for Palace, as Leeds settled back to defend their lead.

The Leeds manager George Graham said: "We were pushed back too much in the box in the second half and gave away too many corners." But there was a stale sameness about the diet of high balls served up by Palace from set-pieces.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test