PATRICK Vieira felt Oxford United were the better team in the first half of the Carabao Cup clash against his Crystal Palace side.

The U’s spurned chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Gatlin O’Donkor heading wide and Cameron Brannagan having an effort saved by Sam Johnstone.

Ultimately, Palace used their top-flight know-how to take the lead in a second half where they dominated proceedings.

Odsonne Edouard’s smart finish on 71 minutes was followed by Luka Milivojevic’s penalty in the closing stages, as Palace won 2-0 to reach the next round of the competition.

READ ALSO: Oxford United exit Carabao Cup with heads held high after Crystal Palace loss

Impressed by United’s first half showing, Vieira said: “We did our homework and knew what to expect.

“A couple of years ago, they played against City and they made it really difficult.

“We know with the fans behind, and the desire and confidence of the team, it’s a massive game for them.

“We didn’t match that competitiveness in the first half, and that’s why I believe they were the better team.

“We came back with better things in our head, and we showed our quality with two goals, but all the credit to them because they wanted it more in the first half.”

On his own side, the former Arsenal midfielder added: “Today was about competing and I don’t think we did it well enough in the first half, they had the best chance in the first half and Sam (Johnstone) made a really good save.

“We came back in the second half with a different attitude.

“When you play against a lower division team, you think the quality will be enough to make a difference, but we didn’t match the competitiveness or desire.”