Leeds United 2-0 Crystal Palace: Bamford scores 100th career goal to fire Leeds to top half of the table
(Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images)

Leeds United sit in the top half of the Premier League after they eased past Crystal Palace on Monday night. 

Manchester City loanee, Jack Harrison, got the Whites off to a perfect start inside the opening three minutes. Harrison's deflected strike beat Vicente Guaita, which gave him his third goal in his last four league games. 

Patrick Bamford doubled Leeds' lead and scored his 100th career goal. Bamford's 12th goal of the season could not have been easier for him after Raphael Raphina's strike was parried into his stride for an easy tap-in. 

Story of the game

Just three minutes into the match, Harrison gave the Whites the lead. Leeds' high press was rewarded when Stuart Dallas played in Harrison who took one touch before firing past Guaita. Harrison's strike did take a deflection to tip the ball over the Palace keeper but it was a fine strike worthy of taking the lead. 

Less than five minutes later, Patrick Bamford's glanced header nearly beat Guaita at his near post to double the Whites' lead. 

Palace started to play the ball out of the back - similarly to how their competitors do it - but this only put them in more danger. Leeds impressed with their high press all night and made it easy to win the ball off Hodgson's side in dangerous positions. Marcelo Bielsa's side played with hunger and urgency, whilst Palace struggled to match their efforts in every department. 

It was Pascal Struijk who had a glorious opportunity to take a two-goal lead into the half-time break. Struijk found himself unmarked in the box and had a free header, he completely mistimed it and put it wide from the six-yard-box. 

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Leeds started the second half identical to the first with high press and scoring an early goal. Raphina's powerful strike rebounded off the Palace keeper and fell to the feet of the goalscoring machine, Bamford - who tapped the ball into an empty net. Bamford who scored his 12th goal of the season also reached a personal achievement of 100 career goals. 

Harrison had an excellent chance to bag a brace late in the second half and probably should have done. The English midfielder was running in on goal when he let rip from inside the box. Harrison's strike struck the crossbar with power and went out for a goal kick. 

Leeds continued to push for a third but the two goals were enough for the three points. As for Palace, they missed out on an opportunity to overtake Leeds in the league but they will now face another challenge when they welcome Burnley on Saturday. 

Raphina is a player that many Premier League clubs are missing

The Brazilian may not have found himself on the scoresheet against Palace but his presence going forward was almost impossible to miss. He ran at defenders with confidence and elegance as he gave Tyrick Mitchell a headache all game.

Raphina toyed with the Palace left-back turning him inside and out as he found space to put the ball into the box. The 24-year-old nearly got the goal he deserved early in the second half but his effort was struck directly at Guaita. 

On Monday night he often found himself hugging the touchline as he sought every inch of width on the pitch. His great dribbling attributes were on show all night and expressed his ability to switch the ball with ease. 

Another credit to Raphina is his dedication to tracking back and helping out defensively. In the second half, Eberechi Eze at times had space to run into on the counter but was quickly closed down by Raphina when Luke Ayling was caught out of position. 

The October deadline day signing has proved vital for Bielsa to pull off his rapid transitional style of play. Raphina has taken the challenge of the English top-flight in his stride and could have even better numbers with more quality around him.