Palace out of the drop zone with Leicester win

Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace scored their first away goals of the season to earn a 3-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Leicester City 0 Crystal Palace 3
Benteke heads Palace into the lead
Zaha doubles it before the break
Ndidi sent off for simulation
Sako makes it three late on

Match Summary

The first half saw Palace get their first two away goals of the season thanks to a Christian Benteke header and a solid strike from Wilfried Zaha.

The Foxes pressed hard to pull one back, and had a goal ruled out for an earlier foul, until Wilfred Ndidi earned himself a second yellow card for a dive in the Palace box, getting sent off on his 21st birthday.

The Eagles finished their escape from the drop zone in style with a third goal just before the final whistle when Zaha slipped Bakary Sako through, and the Mali international supplied a sweet finish.

Full Report

Both sides made a bright start to the match, but without enough quality to carve out too many chances. That didn’t matter in the 19th minute, when Leicester’s defence was breached with a simple but well executed cross and header, with Andros Townsend getting away down the right and providing the ball in for Christian Benteke to head home.

After going behind, Leicester seemed the most likely team to get the second goal, with an appeal for handball on Martin Kelly, causing trouble from a corner in the 33rd minute, and Vardy looking for the bottom corner with a backheel from a Demarai Gray cross.

But it was the Eagles who doubled their lead soon afterwards after Riyad Mahrez lost possession in midfield to set Benteke loose, and he picked a pass to Wilfried Zaha to take it in his stride and fire into the back of the net.

Having scored the first goal and assisted the second, Benteke should have had number three in the 48th minute when Townsend whipped another wicked cross in from the right, but the Belgian placed his diving header wide having gotten to the ball ahead of Wes Morgan.

Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni was called into action in the 50th minute when Mahrez tested him with a strike from the edge of the box, and again five minutes later to pluck Wilfred Ndidi’s cross out of the air before it could reach the incoming Jamie Vardy.

The Foxes seemed to have pulled one back on the hour mark when Vicente Iborra headed the ball into the net, but it was ruled out for a push on James Tomkins.

Soon afterwards things got even worse for Leicester when Ndidi threw himself to the ground in the Palace box looking for a penalty, but referee Martin Atkinson was too smart for him and spotted that he tripped over an invisible wire rather than a defender’s foot, and gave the Nigerian a second yellow card. On his 21st birthday.

As Leicester pushed for a consolation goal in the closing stages, Palace counterattacked with Zaha putting Bakary Sako through, and he finished it off with a fine shot in off the woodwork.