Football: Palace face threat of unwanted place in history books

Crystal Palace 0

Leeds United 2

There may still be three months of the season to go, but Crystal Palace fans are beginning to wonder whether their team may be heading for an unwanted place in the record books.

No team in the history of the Football League or Premiership has gone a whole season without winning a single home fixture. Palace, however, have now failed to win any of their first 11 home games, which have produced seven defeats and four draws. They have eight matches at Selhurst Park left.

On Saturday's dismal evidence, Palace will be hard pushed even to equal the worst home record in the English game's history, held jointly by five clubs. Loughborough (1899-1900, Second Division), Notts County (1904-05, First Division), Arsenal (1912-13, First Division), Rochdale (1931-32, Third Division North) and Blackpool (1966-67, First Division) all managed just one home victory in a season.

What is most perplexing for Steve Coppell, the Palace manager, is that his previously sound defence has suddenly begun to leak goals. As in their previous home game against Everton, Saturday's match was all over for Palace after 13 minutes as they conceded two sloppy goals.

Rod Wallace was unmarked as he ran on to Gary Kelly's through ball, while tame challenges by Valerien Ismael and Andy Roberts gave Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the chance to score from 25 yards, thanks partly to a deflection off Andy Linighan.

"If we continue to do sloppy things like that, then we'll just get more of the same punishment," Coppell said. "We've got to tighten it up at the back."

Palace are sorely missing Paul Warhurst, who had been a steadying influence in defence before suffering a stress fracture of the leg. Meanwhile Andy Roberts and Marc Edworthy, who shared the sweeper's role earlier in the season, have both been needed in midfield as Palace's injury problems show no signs of improving.

Without Attilio Lombardo, Michele Padovano and Neil Shipperley, Palace looked desperately short of ideas in attack. Bruce Dyer did not receive the service to feet which he needs, while Tomas Brolin rarely got far enough forward to make any impact against his former club.

It was all too easy for Leeds, for whom Lucas Radebe was a tower of strength. Having started in midfield, where he had Brolin under his thumb, the South African was a rock in central defence for the last half hour.

While Wallace and Hasselbaink were always a threat, the other player to take the eye was Bruno Ribeiro. The Portuguese midfielder was a bundle of creative energy and looked a more accomplished player than his vastly more expensive colleague, David Hopkin.

Goals: Wallace (7) 0-1; Hasselbaink (13) 0-2.

Crystal Palace (5-3-2): Miller; Smith, Ismael, Linighan, Hreidarsson, Gordon; Edworthy, Roberts, Brolin; Dyer, Bent. Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Quinn, Emblen, Boxall, Ginty.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Martyn; Kelly, Wetherall, Molenaar (Haland, 61), Robertson; Hopkin, Radebe, Ribeiro, Kewell; Wallace, Hasselbaink (Matthews, 86). Substitutes not used: Bowyer, Beeney (gk), Halle.

Bookings: Crystal Palace: Hreidarsson, Bent, Gordon. Leeds: Haland.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield).

Man of the match: Radebe.

Attendance: 25,248.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'