Pre-Match, Post-Match

2 players who let Javi Gracia down in Leeds United 1-5 loss to Crystal Palace

Image for 2 players who let Javi Gracia down in Leeds United 1-5 loss to Crystal Palace

Javi Gracia and Leeds United were dealt a hammer blow in their bid to ensure Premier League survival after a 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Elland Road.

The Whites initially took the lead through Patrick Bamford’s header from a corner and were in total control before Marc Guehi struck just before half-time to swing the momentum Palace’s way.

Leeds capitulated in the second half, conceding four on the way to their biggest home defeat of the season.

The game sees Leeds end the day in 16th, just two points above the drop zone. Whereas Roy Hodgson’s side climb to 12th on 33 points. However, pertinently, the goal difference of both sides has taken a huge swing.

Who are the players who badly let Javi Gracia down in the defeat? We take a look at TWO, here.

Luke Ayling

It’s beyond belief that he is being kept in the line-up at this point.

Ayling has been poor for a while, and despite starting the game brightly in an attacking sense, he quickly capitulated from a defensive point of view.

Leeds were beaten continuously down his side, and he didn’t pick up his man on multiple goals. He needs to be dropped and the Whites must have a good think about the position longer-term heading into the summer window.

Ayling has been a great servant at the club, but it is time to move on from playing a 31-year-old in decline on a regular basis. He should be a squad player at best.

The big updated Luke Ayling quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?

1 of 20

Did Ayling make any senior appearances for Arsenal?

Junior Firpo

Almost the entire back line for Leeds could have featured here, but the full-backs were run-ragged all game for Leeds.

Firpo picked up a silly yellow and from then on walked a tightrope. He looked scared to make a challenge and it was costly in key moments.

Prior to Firpo being substituted, Michael Olise ran rings around him in the second half. It was a huge sign of the issues in the wide defensive areas for Leeds. There is a dearth of strong options behind Firpo and Ayling to fix the problem, too.

His resurgence of late has been good, but today proved that he is far from perfect, and perhaps highlighted that Leeds fans were getting too carried away with the idea of “improvement” and his good form.

Will Gracia keep Leeds up?





Share this article