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We deserved our draw - Leeds United manager Neil Warnock
Crystal Palace 2, Leeds United 2
Leeds United manager Neil Warnock was keen to wish his old side well in their npower Championship promotion push afterwards, but was quick to dismiss complaints by Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway.
The former Blackpool boss reckons referee Dean Whitestone was inconsistent and should have sent two United players off.
“Palace are a good team, I hope they go up,” said Warnock. “But I don’t see Holloway complaining with a couple of decisions in the first half.
“They’re used to winning here but they didn’t deserve to win against us.
“Luke Varney didn’t have to dive, but in the first half he got fouled – but no free-kick. I don’t condone that (diving) though.”
He reserved special praise for his goal-scorer Steve Morison, however, adding: “I think Morison has been good since he’s been here, it’s what he puts into the team. He’s a team player.”
Palace equalised late on to deny Leeds a fourth away win of the season.
Two goals by Morison were cancelled out by another double strike by Glenn Murray, denying the home side the opportunity to enter the automatic promotion places.
Afterwards, Holloway said: “I felt some of the decisions had a huge bearing on the game – I thought I saw Luke Varney foul Johnnie Williams from behind, a blatant yellow card.
“Two minutes later, Varney dived and was given a yellow card, and he should have been off.
“Then two minutes later, Wilfried Zaha goes straight through and gets scythed down and (Stephen Warnock) gets a yellow – if that’s not a goal-scoring opportunity I don’t know what the rules are.
“Unfortunately I’m sitting here pretty bemused wondering how we were behind in the game. I’m delighted we came back but I was a little bit aggrieved - we missed too many chances.”
With early chances by Kagisho Dikgacoi and Murray, Palace were clearly intending to build on their 4-2 win against Hull earlier in the week.
Top-scorer Murray added to his impressive tally this season in the 27th minute, when he took advantage of slack marking by the Leeds defence to nod home a cross by Jonathan Williams.
Morison levelled up the scores on 56 minutes, when he controlled a cross by Varney and slotted home for only his second goal since joining from Norwich in January.
It was shocking defending by Palace for the second Leeds goal on 69 minutes when they failed to deal with a long Paddy Kenny punt, letting in Morison to slot home without a challenge.
However, Murray levelled the scores with six minutes left with a first-time volley to bring his total up to 30 goals.