Vicente Guaita's second half howler gifted Sheffield United victory, leaving the Eagles winless in seven league games.

Bright start for the Eagles

Palace returned to Premier League action after 10 days’ break, and looking to bounce back from their disappointing home defeat against Southampton last time out.

The hosts were boosted by the return of Luka Milivojevic, Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Benteke and Joel Ward to the starting 11.

Meanwhile, Chris Wilder handed Sander Berge his debut after his club-record 22m move from Genk on deadline day.

It was a positive start for Palace, who had the better of the play and chances in the first half. 

Palace’s first clear cut chance of the game came from a counter attack. Jordan Ayew played through Christian Benteke after a mazy run, but the Belgian striker only managed to find the side netting.

The visitors were perhaps lucky not to have been reduced to 10 men after Baldock’s challenge on Wilfried Zaha in the 30th minute. Baldock had already been booked for a tackle on Zaha in the 18th minute but the referee gave the full-back the benefit of the doubt.

Guaita howler

The game was settled by a goalkeeping howler in the 58th minute. Oliver Norwood’s corner was claimed by Guaita, however in bizarre fashion the Spaniard dropped the ball over the line to gift the Blades the lead.

The Eagles responded well to going a goal behind and in the 64th minute they had a good opportunity to equalise when Benteke created a shooting opportunity for James McArthur. However, the Scottish internationals attempt at goal was easily parried by Dean Henderson.

Just eight minutes later, Palace again had another chance to score. McArthur’s cross found James Tomkins who should have levelled the game, but the defender headed wide.

And then came yet another VAR talking point after Joel Ward had originally been dismissed for a challenge on Enda Stevens in the 74th minute.

After minutes of deliberation, referee Andy Madley finally consulted the VAR pitch side monitor before rescinding the red card and instead handed Ward a yellow.

The visitors had chances to kill the game off late on, and although they failed double their lead, they held on for the win, which sees them move up to 5th in the table.

Man of the match – Wilfried Zaha


Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, van Aanholt, McCarthy (Meyer 79), Milivojevic, McArthur (Kouyaté 85), Zaha, Ayew, Benteke (Townsend 76) ; SUBS : Hennessey, Dann, Kelly, Riedewald, Kouyaté, Townsend, Meyer. (4-3-3).

Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Berge (Lundstram 68), Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, Sharp (Mousset 64), McBurnie (Osborn). ; SUBS : Verrips, Robinson, Jagielka, Lundstram, Freeman, Osborn, Mousset. (3-5-2).

Attendance: 25,170