Alan Pardew was honest in his assessment of Palace's 3-1 away defeat to Premier League champions Leicester City, admitting that a failure to capitalise on early dominance and a lack of support for Christian Benteke ultimately cost the Eagles.
Speaking during his post-match press conference at the King Power stadium, Pardew said:
On the strong start: We did start well. In the first 20 minutes we had a good reaction to [the defeat against] West Ham, that's what I expected us to do. We all knew that after Leicester's performance at Chelsea there was going to be a response from them, so to dominate like we did [was a positive]. We just let ourselves down in the final moment in that period. We only created one really clear chance, where Christian hits the angle. We should have done a little bit better, I thought, but they were good today - Leicester. There wasn't much weakness in the team, we had to really work hard for everything in the midfield and then into their back four. They definitely gave us a test today and unfortunately they were better than us.
On the positives from the game: The positive I'll take from it was our spirit to keep going, particularly after the third goal. We didn't perhaps deserve to be 3-0 down. He smashed it in, it was a fantastic goal. We kept going, we kept plugging away and actually our best moments in the final third were in the last 20 minutes. If we could've done that in the first 20 minutes it might have been a different game. I think most teams are going to find it difficult here. We weren't far away from our best today, but they were good.
On Leicester's return to form: I definitely think they were more like it today. I was at the game against Chelsea and they didn't have the same verve and aggression as they had today. They made it very, very difficult for us today, but we stood up to it for long periods.
On Benteke: I thought we lacked support to him at times today. Maybe Puncheon missing was a bit of a blow to us, but he's been terrific. He had some great moments again, he won a lot of first contact in the box and perhaps we need to improve as a side and capitalise on the second phase at set plays.
On Puncheon: He had a calf strain after the West Ham game.
On Cabaye: I thought Yohan played well today, he was one of our bright spots.