Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace (Bamford 21′ | Guehi 45’+1, Ayew 53′, 77′, Eze 55′, Edouard 69′)
Roy Hodgson, in contrast, watched on calmly from the touchline as his Eagles soared to an astonishing victory which lifted them up to 12th – six points clear of the relegation zone.
It is now two wins in two games since the 75-year-old returned to Selhurst Park following the axing of Patrick Vieira and any doubts over the wisdom of his return can surely be put to bed.
Palace trailed 1-0 to a Patrick Bamford header – his 50th goal for Leeds – until first-half added time when Marc Guéhi drew them level.
What followed in the second half was quite remarkable as Hodgson’s team proceeded to reduce Leeds to rubble, scoring three times in quick succession shortly after the break before Ayew’s second rubbed salt in the home side’s gaping wounds.
Hodgson reflected: “It’s nice to sit here rejoicing in the fact we have won the game by a good margin and also have back-to-back wins.
“It gives us a nice Easter Sunday, but there are plenty more performances that we need to give us the 40 points I’m looking for.”
It was a shocking capitulation from the hosts and whatever revival they were enjoying under Javi Gracia is over. Officially. Emphatically. Undeniably.
The Spaniard had guided Leeds to three wins in six Premier League games since succeeding Jesse Marsch in February.
Premier League table
But the manner of their second-half surrender here will raise serious questions over their ability to beat the drop as the run-in approaches.
Gracia insisted: “I believe in my players and I trust them. We lose together and we will prepare as best as possible for the next game together.”
Take nothing away from Palace, though, who were inspired by a stunning performance from Michael Olise, who dripped with creativity.
Aged 21 years and 118 days, the midfielder became the youngest player in Premier League history to assist three goals from open play in a single game.
Only an outstanding display from Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, recalled with Vincente Guaita missing with a calf injury, prevented the visitors falling several goals behind during the first half.
In the second minute a neat passing sequence ended with Luis Sinisterra dragging a left-foot shot wide of the far post.
Gracia’s side continued to probe and Brenden Aaronson’s neat flick at the near post drew a smart stop from Johnstone, who grew in confidence as the half wore on.
Chances continued to proliferate for Leeds and they made the breakthrough when Aaronson’s outswinging right-wing corner was greeted by Bamford’s glancing header in the 21st minute.
Jeffrey Schlupp hit a post for Palace at the other end from a corner but Johnstone excelled himself to repel Jack Harrison’s free-kick and then a header from Pascal Struijk.
Leeds, though, struggled to handle Palace’s aerial threat and a free-kick led to Guéhi firing home from close range in first-half added time.
Palace scored two goals in two minutes soon after the break.
First, Ayew – in for the injured Wilfried Zaha – made it 2-1 with an excellent header before Eberechi Eze added a quick third, finishing low and true from Olise’s pass.
Odsonne Edouard drove a fourth into the bottom corner following a quick counter – with the ubiquitous Olise providing the assist again.
Ayew completed the rout late on when he lifted a shot over Illan Meslier, prompting the mass walkout in the home stands.
Little wonder Hodgson was all smiles at the final whistle.