Leicester outfox plucky Palace

Leicester City were back to their best as they recorded a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

  • Leicester City 3 Crystal Palace 1
  • Benteke hits the crossbar
  • Musa puts Leicester ahead
  • Okazaki grabs a second
  • Fuchs hits first goal for the club
  • Cabaye pulls one back

Match Summary

Palace were the stronger side early on, and came closest when Christian Benteke thumped a header against the crossbar. But when Riyad Mahrez started seeing more of the ball Leicester had the upper hand, and Ahmed Musa blasted them into the lead just before halftime.

The Foxes had their second in the 63rd minute when a cross from Danny Drinkwater was cleared only as far as Shinji Okazaki , who struck it cleanly into the bottom corner.

It was a fine strike from the Japan international, but it would be bettered in the 80th minute by a fizzing volley from Christian Fuchs, who scored his first goal for the club in spectacular fashion.

Yohan Cabaye then pulled one back for the Eagles in the 84th minute, tucking a half-volley into the bottom corner after Wilfried Zaha had smoked Fuchs for pace down the right flank and delivered an inviting ball into the box for the Frenchman.

Full Report

Leicester had the first chance as early as the third minute through a mindless error from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who gave the ball straight to Shinji Okazaki. The Japanese attacker clearly wasn't expecting such generosity, and sent his chipped effort wide as he tried to catch the French goalkeeper off his line.

By the seventh minute it was the Eagles who were carving out opportunities, with Wilfried Zaha showing pace on the wings to set up Yohan Cabaye for a shot that swung wide, before the winger took a shot himself that was blocked by Wes Morgan before it could do any damage.

In the 13th minute Christian Benteke came close to the opener when he beat Robert Huth to Martin Kelly's delicious inswinging cross and sent a header smashing back off the crossbar.

As the match ticked past the 20-minute mark Riyad Mahrez became more and more influential on the ball, and was dribbling and knocking it about like he did last season, with his best chance arriving in the 34th minute when Danny Drinkwater released him down the right flank and he cut inside to have a shot, which Okazaki got a head to, but the touch sent it over the bar.

With halftime approaching the Foxes broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute. Islam Slimani did well on the edge of the box as they tried to work an opening, and when he finally squared it to Ahmed Musa for the shot the Nigerian hit it cleanly into the top corner.

Leicester had the first real chance of the second half when Slimani arrived at the near post to meet a ball in with a diving header, but could only find the side-netting.

Palace then had a chance themselves when Andros Townsend lofted in a corner to the far post, but Benteke and James Tomkins got in each other's way when trying to meet it.

Musa was at it again in the 59th minute when he tenacity down the left wing caused some trouble when he cut it back into the box. Palace could only clear as far as Danny Drinkwater, who let fly from the edge of the box but was narrowly wide of the bottom corner with the help of a deflection off Damien Delaney.

The Foxes doubled their lead in the 62 minute, and once again it started with Musa on the left flank, with his play seeing Drinkwater burst forward and whip one into the box towards Slimani. Delaney was able to clear the first ball, but it fell to Okazaki to rifle it into the bottom corner with aplomb.

The Eagles responded well to going two behind, with Zaha in particular doing his best to pull one back, forcing Schmeichel into a save in the 67th minute before setting up Cabaye to challenge the big Dane again after 73 minute.

The resulting corner, in the 74th minute, saw Palace come close again when Benteke sent a downward header towards the bottom corner, but luckily for Leicester Danny Simpson was positioned on the post to keep it out with his chest.

The Foxes then made Palace pay for not taking their chances, because that's exactly what Christian Fuchs did in the 79th minute when a corner was half-cleared into his path, and the Austrian struck it sweetly on the volley and watched it whizz into the back of the net. His first goal for the club is a cracker.

Palace might have given up at that point, but Zaha clearly wasn't ready to call it a day, and helped the Eagles pull one back with a strong burst of pace down the right flank, beating Fuchs, and a nice ball into the box, which Cabaye met with a cushioned half-volley to tuck it into the bottom corner.

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