Premier League Statistics: Leicester City 0-3 Crystal Palace
- Date – 16th December 2017
- Venue – King Power Stadium
- Attendance – 31,081
- Referee – Martin Atkinson
- Bookings – McGuire, Simpson, Ndidi, Benteke, Schlupp
- Sending off – Ndidi
- Goals – Benteke (19), Zaha (40), Sako (90)
- Star Eagle – Wilfried Zaha (9.1)
No away wins, no away goals and no goals for Christian Benteke ahead of this fixture weighed heavily on the Eagles but they need not have worried. Three goals, one from the Belgian striker and all round terrific team performance sealed all three points to extend the unbeaten run to seven games.
While Roy Hodgson keeps his feet and those of his players firmly on the ground, the much criticised former England and Liverpool boss is proving a perfect fit along with assistant Ray Lewington. The nature of this win was impressive and you could be fooled for thinking this was a team higher up the table.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
1 JULIAN SPEROINI (7.2) – Only called upon once to make a save and it was a terrific one at that to keep to hosts at bay to secure his 100th clean sheet in the league on his 401st appearance for the club.
34 MARTIN KELLY (7.4) – In came our third right back which would often ring alarm bells but he slotted in without any trouble and put in a very good showing.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (7.7) – Finally getting a good run of games and showing his worth with it too. Proving why the club paid the money they did to add him to the squad.
6 SCOTT DANN (7.4) – Has been criticised for wearing the captains armband in the past but is really becoming the leader we have been crying out for in the absence of Sakho. Good partnership with Tomkins to keep the opposition striking threat under control.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (8.5) – Excellent performance against his former team. One impressive mazy run of his could and should have resulted in a goal.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7.6) – Starting spot in place of the suspended Luka and well deserved. Followed up his goal scoring substitute appearance on Tuesday with a superb game alongside Cabaye.
7 YOHAN CABAYE (7.5) – The perfect foil alongside McArthur with both linking up well and sitting a little further back to deal with the high press of the opposition. Replaced by 44 Jairo Riedewald (6.1) on 85 minutes who provided much needed fresh legs to see out the final minutes.
8 RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (8.4) – Good game out wide, always caused a problem on the ball and supported the attack effectively. Great run to assist the third goal to seal the points.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (9.1) – It is turning out to be quite a season for the exciting winger, and while he may not get all the decisions he perhaps should, he continued to cause problems all afternoon as well as getting himself on the score sheet again.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (8.9) – Sublime cross for the opening goal after creating himself some space. Set the tone for the rest of the game in one of his best performances for the club.
17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (8.7) – Got his goal in what was a very good game for the Belgian and should have perhaps had a hat-trick. Received his fifth booking of the season so misses the next game. Replaced by 26 Bakary Sako (7.3) on 88 minutes who looked lively and scored his second goal in two games for the perfect appearance from the bench.
Unused substitutes – 1 Wayne Hennessey, 3 Patrick van Aanholt, 14 Chung-yong-Lee 23 Pape Souare, 29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
“Benteke was very strong. The day after his penalty miss he came in and held his hand up, he spoke to the players and myself and made the point that he would make it up to team, and that is what he has done. We did feel a bit marooned at the bottom of the table, there was a time when we were looking up at everyone above us and the gap was massive. But since then we have started playing the way we have over the past few games, and if we can produce performances like this all the way until May, at least we will have given ourselves a chance. I can’t say I’m surprised by the win. We have had good results away from home where a victory would not have been totally out of order. It’s good to get it today because the longer that run goes on the more you keep getting reminded of it.” – Roy Hodgson courtesy of BBC Sport.
“It was not a good day for us. We did not start well, we played without intensity. We played a good team with confidence – Palace deserved this win, they played very well. We needed to be more aggressive. We needed more good play, more intensity and quality. We tried to react in the second half. Ndidi was sent off and after we tried but it was too difficult for us to come back in this condition and we conceded a third goal, which was a little harsh for us. For us, it is a good lesson for the future. Now it is time to look forward.” – Claude Puel courtesy of BBC Sport
The Who Scored man of the match was Wilfried Zaha (9.1) while Christian Benteke (4) had the most shots. The most tackles were made by Yohan Cabaye, James McArthur and Andros Townsend (5) while Demarai Gray and Wilfried Zaha (5) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.28 – 7.83
- Total shots: 11 – 13
- Shots on target: 2 – 6
- Possession: 56% – 44%
- Pass success: 79% – 75%
- Dribbles: 24 – 23
- Aerials won: 18 – 22
- Tackles: 16 – 30
- Corners: 6 – 4
- Dispossessed: 12 – 9
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace moved up to 14th after this terrific win with 17 points from 18 games, just a point behind Brighton and Southampton in 13th and 12th while West Ham United are on the same points in 15th but have a worse goal difference.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 23/12/2017 Swansea City (a)
- 28/12/2017 Arsenal (h)
- 31/01/2017 Manchester City (h)