Crystal Palace cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over Leeds United at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Roy Hodgson’s side took the lead when Scott Dann headed a corner from Eberechi Eze into the back of the net, with Eze scoring his first goal for the club in sensational style with a sublime free-kick shortly after Leeds striker Patrick Bamford was denied an equaliser after his effort was ruled out by VAR due to the fact that his outstretched arm was offside.
Bamford pulled one back by finding the bottom corner, but his efforts were ultimately in vain as an own goal from his teammate Helder Costa and a goal from Palace striker Jordan Ayew secured the victory.
Patrick van Aanholt put in an impressive performance, Ayew was magnificent, but Scott Dann sent Hodgson a timely reminder with his defensive masterclass.
Reports in recent times revealed that several Premier League clubs are keen to make a cut-price move for the defender in the winter transfer market.
SofaScore gave Dann a high grade of 7.7 for his efforts (only Eze scored higher) – the centre-back completed 19 out of 21 passes at a pass completion rate of 90%, blocked one shot, made one interception and a staggering eight clearances, whilst he also won four out of five duels overall (80%), took 33 touches of the ball and wasn’t dribbled past once, which suggests that he managed to keep Bamford at bay for most of the game.
Similarly, the 33-year-old received a higher rating of 8/10 from Sky Sports, whilst football.london went one below, claiming he scored “a great header to open the scoring” and “maintained control for much of the game”, although he “lost Bamford for Leeds’ opening goal, however”, which is perhaps a little unfair. 90Min awarded him with the same score, saying he “led the line excellent and scored an outrageous header to give his side the lead as well.”
Palace have often been accused of lacking leadership in the past but Dann showed that he is both comfortable on the ball and confident without possession as he marshalled the defence in the absence of Gary Cahill and James Tomkins.
It’s worth pointing out that Leeds enjoyed a whopping 65% possession of the ball but they couldn’t make their overwhelming majority of possession count where it mattered the most. Once again, the wily veteran has shown that he is more than capable of delivering the goods, having started three wins out of four so far this season. So, Hodgson must keep the £2.5m-rated beast at all costs, that’s for sure.