Soccer-Palace cruise to 2-0 victory over blunt Blades

·2-min read
Premier League - Crystal Palace v Sheffield United

(Reuters) -Jeffrey Schlupp and Eberechi Eze scored first-half goals as Crystal Palace piled on the misery on bottom-placed Sheffield United with a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The result means Chris Wilder's United have now gone without a win in 17 games this season -- the longest winless run from the start for a Premier League side.

Palace made a bright start to score inside four minutes when striker Christian Benteke teed up Schlupp who slotted the ball beyond United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, albeit with the help of a slight deflection.

Schlupp was forced off with an injury in the 40th minute but his replacement Eze made an immediate impact with a spectacular solo goal just before halftime.

The 22-year-old forward started his run inside his own half before gliding past two Blades players and side-footing the ball home from the edge of the box.

"I just saw a lot of space and not many men back, so I thought I may as well take a chance," Eze told Sky Sports.

"When I got into shooting range, I thought I'll try my luck and see what happens. I used the defender to block the keeper's vision, and just glad it went in.

"It was a good goal, and I’m grateful I got the chance to come on and get one."

With nine first-team players missing through injuries, illness and suspension, United could only muster one shot on target and finished the game with 16-year-old substitute Antwoine Hackford on the pitch.

United have collected just two points all season and are 11 points from the safety zone.

Midfielder Oliver Norwood lamented United's lack of discipline at the back as they failed to keep a clean sheet for a 20th consecutive league game.

"We did not start great, conceded a poor goal and at this moment in time every deflection or bounce of the ball goes against us," he said. "The second goal kills us, 20 seconds from half time.

"We are killing ourselves because we have to score three to win the game today. We need a clean sheet as well."

Palace, meanwhile, provisionally moved up to 12th in the league after ending a five-game winless run.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar)