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Match Reports

Report: Palace storm the King Power

Leicester City 1-4 Crystal Palace

23 February 2019

A remarkable second half of football saw Crystal Palace steal three points from a relentlessly offensive Leicester City side thanks to goals from Michy Batshuayi, Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic.

The Eagles were the inferior team for large swathes in the match, however their dogged defending and clinical eye for goal meant they finished the evening as victors.

Early in the match, Leicester began on the front foot after Jeffrey Schlupp was adjudged to have committed a foul from 25-yards out. Recording the game's first shot on target on his home debut, Youri Tielemans showcased an impressive shooting ability by hitting the target with a raker from distance. Vicente Guaita was alert as the clash opened, however, and held the ball with ease.

For the second time in five minutes, travelling Palace fans were made to hold their breath as Jamie Vardy glanced a header inches over Guaita's bar from a well-whipped cross.

James Maddison then looked to capitalise on the Foxes' momentum with a shot from the edge of the box, but Milivojevic bravely deflected the venomous effort with a twisting lunge.

For the home side's third chance in as many minutes, Tielemans then angled a shot at goal, but, as with the Belgian's first attempt, Guaita stood behind it and held the ball.

Harvey Barnes was next to try his luck, but his well-struck shot to Guaita's left was met by the gloved fists of the diving Spaniard.

Palace teased the watching faithful as they encroached into Leicester's area on occasions but their play was an ultimately empty threat, and it was Leicester who landed the next two, three and four punches: all fairly soft but on target nevertheless.

Well against the run of play, however, Palace took the lead through a sharp-looking Batshuayi. As James McArthur looked up before firing an effort goalbound, his strike cannoned off the recent Belgian signing past the wrong-footed Kasper Schmeichel.

The home side then came agonisingly close to levelling just minutes later when Tielemans - who had been troubling the Palace backline all half - took yet another strike at goal, this one whistling just wide of the Palace upright.

The second half opened in much the same vein as the first, with Leicester not making the most out of a sequence of chances.

Maddison looked to open his side's account in dramatic fashion as he launched a shot at goal from remarkable distance, however his effort flew wide.

Enjoying some smart link-up play in Leicester's half, by this point Palace were far more involved with the game than before but their newly discovered foothold was shattered when Jonny Evans turned home the ball from eight yards shortly after the hour mark.

Ignited by the equaliser, the clash had launched into life and, before Leicester could take stock and enjoy their leveller, Palace regained the lead as Zaha turned home an astute cross from McArthur to restore the Eagles' advantage.

Looking to haul his side back into the game, substitute Demari Gray had a crack at goal from the far edge of Palace's box, but his effort was deflected and its resulting corner dealt with.

Determined to seal the game and take three points back to SE25, Batshuayi looked to double his tally when he rifled an effort at goal which Schmeichel emphatically saved. Defending the rebound, however, the Foxes' goalscorer Evans felled Schlupp in the box and gave away a late opportunity for Palace to grab their third.

Stepping up cooly as ever, captain Milivojevic buried the resulting penalty to win the game for the Eagles as he hit the ball into a bulging net.

Adding insult to injury, and a fourth to Palace's total, Zaha netted his second of the afternoon having been thread through by Jordan Ayew. Looking up, he slammed the ball home and wheeled away in euphoric celebration to record Palace's joint-biggest win of the season.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fuchs, Maguire, Evans, Pereira, Ndidi, Barnes (Okazaki 85), Maddison, Tielemans (Iheanacho 74), Ghezzal (Gray 45), Vardy.

Subs not used: Ward, Soyuncu, Morgan, Mendy.

Palace: Guaita, Van Aanholt, Tomkins, Sakho (Dann 77), Ward, Schlupp, McArthur, Milivojevic, Townsend (Kouyate 80), Zaha, Batshuayi (Ayew 86).

Subs not used: Hennessey, Riedewald, Meyer, Benteke.

For all of the post-match reaction, head over to Palace TV shortly. If you're reading on the app, just click 'Palace TV'.


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