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Crystal Palace boss explains reason for playing an extra defender in Leeds defeat

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Ian Walton

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace boss explains reason for playing an extra defender in Leeds defeat

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that Leeds United wingers Raphinha and Jack Harrison were in his thoughts when selecting his team on Monday.

Palace were beaten 2-0 at Elland Road away to Leeds last night in the Premier League fixture.

Hodgson has admitted that he decided to start Patrick van Aanholt in midfield against Leeds to try combat their wide stars.

Van Aanholt, who is usually a left-back, played in a wide midfield position in front of starting full-back Tyrick Mitchell.

Palace ended up abandoning the tactic at half-time by replacing Van Anholt with a more conventional winger in Andros Townsend, but they were 1-0 down already.

 

Hodgson explained (Football.London) post-match that he was looking to counter either Raphinha or Harrison:

“Well the reason was because we know how good they are in the wide areas and we thought because Patrick can play further forward that might be a good left side, that might give us a little bit more help defensively against Raphinha or Harrison, whoever played on that side,” he said.

FBL-ENG-PR-LEEDS-CYSTAL PALACE

(Photo by TIM KEETON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

TBR’s View:

Palace showed real negativity with their team selection in the defeat to Leeds, as they looked to block one side of the pitch from the start.

It’s a surprise as they beat Leeds earlier in the season 4-1 by playing two conventional wingers, but the reputation of Raphinha and Harrison is continuing to grow and frighten opponents.

Harrison scored the opening goal with his deflected shot and was full of running through on the left, while Brazilian teammate was full of tricks and looked the best player on the pitch.

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