Crystal Palace 2 Leeds United 2 match report: Ian Holloway blasts Luke Varney and ref as Leeds pinch point


selhurst park

The sight of Ian Holloway being ushered off the pitch by stewards at the final whistle, while counterpart Neil Warnock dragged Leeds' captain Lee Peltier away from the Crystal Palace manager, stressed the growing tension of the Championship race.

Only two of the top 10 won yesterday, underlining the division's competitiveness, but both these teams felt they should have taken the three points. Palace, having led through Glenn Murray on 27 minutes, should have sewn it up. Steve Morison then struck twice in 13 second-half minutes to transform the game, but Leeds have a habit of conceding late goals and Murray levelled with six minutes left.

Salvaging a point did nothing to calm Holloway, who confronted referee Dean Whitestone at the final whistle, then Luke Varney. Peltier entered the fray to defend his team-mate, further infuriating the Palace manager, and the pair argued before being separated.

"We should have been one-nil up playing nine men," said Holloway afterwards. "It is a blatant yellow card when Luke Varney fouls Jon Williams from behind but the referee hasn't the gumption to give it. Two minutes later Varney dives and gets a yellow but he should have been off.

"Then Wilf [Zaha] is through on goal and he is scythed down. If that's not a goalscoring opportunity what is? But he gives a yellow. I don't know how the ref did not see that. We missed too many chances and should have killed the game off, but I'm relying on the ref being brave enough to give out yellow cards. He was so lenient it was frightening.

"I had a set-to with Luke because he [dived] to try and win a penalty and he was laughing about it. He used to play for me so I have every right to talk to him."

Warnock had a different opinion. "I didn't see Olly complaining in the first half when they got some iffy decisions. I don't condone what Luke did in the second half but we should have had a penalty when he was fouled in the first. You know how well you have played when Olly goes off like that. He is just frustrated. They are used to winning here."

Favourable results elsewhere meant Palace would have gone into the automatic promotion places had they won, but they are still well-placed in third, a point behind Watford. Leeds, despite a fine run of form, remain 10th, six points off the play-offs, but they are playing with belief and with a gentle run-in could yet have a say in the end-of-season showdown.

While Leeds were unchanged, Holloway made a trio of alterations to his line-up, among them resting 39-year-old Kevin Phillips, who scored a treble against Hull. The early exchanges were even but Palace got on top. Zaha gave Leeds' left-back Stephen Warnock a torrid time delivering dangerous crosses and Paddy Kenny twice had to deny Murray at close range.

The pressure told on the half-hour as Williams curled in a cross and Murray headed in unchallenged at the back post with Peltier and Stephen Warnock AWOL. Jonathan Parr might have doubled the lead but was denied by Kenny's sharp save, after which Leeds regrouped. Julian Speroni, the only member of Palace's starting XI to play here under Warnock, needed to save from Paul Green with Mile Jedinak blocking Varney's follow-up.

After the break Zaha missed a fine chance before Leeds rocked Palace just before the hour. Varney's first touch after his caution for diving was a cross that Morison drilled past Speroni. Eleven minutes later Kenny's long ball eluded the Palace defence and the January signing struck again. McCormack could then have won the game, but shot wide, allowing Palace to level when Murray sneaked behind Stephen Warnock to score his 30th goal of an incredibly prolific campaign.

Crystal Palace (4-3-2-1): Speroni; Dikgacoi, Ramage, Delaney, Parr; Jedinak, Zaha, Williams (Wilbraham, 87); Dobbie (Moritz, 82), Bolasie (Phillips, 74); Murray.

Leeds United (4-3-2-1): Kenny; Byram, Lees, Peltier, Warnock; Green, Norris (Hall, 88), Tonge; McCormack (Austin, 88), Morison (Habibou, 90); Varney.

Referee Dean Whitestone.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style