Premier League Statistics: Crystal Palace 5-0 Leicester City
- Date – 28th April 2018
- Venue – Selhurst Park
- Attendance – 25,750
- Referee – Mike Dean
- Bookings – Cabaye, Silva
- Sending off – Albrighton
- Goals – Zaha(17), McArthur (38), Loftus-Cheek (81), van Aanholt (84), Benteke (90)
- Star Eagle – Wilfried Zaha (9.2)
Wow! Now that was an incredible performance. Goal line clearances, last ditch tackles, five goals, a red card, interceptions galore, skills to pay the bills and an atmosphere to match. It’s up there as not just one of the best games this season, but in our history.
I had been saying it for weeks before this match that Palace were yet to hand out a seasonal thrashing. Beating Newcastle 5-1 in 2015 and Stoke 4-1 in 2016 were brilliant, but this was absolutely phenomenal and could not have come at a better time. The fact that the game began completely differently made the comprehensive victory even sweeter, but this win should see Palace playing Premier League football next season for a sixth consecutive campaign.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
13 WAYNE HENNESSEY (6.8) – Made a brilliant challenge to deny Jamie Vardy an almost certain goal following a risky back pass from Mamadou Sakho early on. Solid for the rest of the match as he was not really tested.
2 JOEL WARD (8.0) – A name the majority of Palace fans (including me) were surprised to see on the team sheet again. Boy, weren’t we proved wrong. A fantastic performance saw the full back earn standing ovations on many occasions with the best coming after his clearance off the line from a goal bound Vardy effort.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (7.5) – A warrior in defence yet again who is surely someone the visiting England manager Gareth Southgate should be looking at for the World Cup.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (8.1) – After a slight shaky start the Frenchman bossed the back line with ease, making sure clearances were made when needed and playing the ball forward when possible too of which, earned him an assist.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (8.4) – Took his chance to get on the score sheet well with an impressive right-footed curling shot considering he is left footed. Did well to keep Riyad Mahrez in his back pocket for the entire game.
28 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7.7) – Just brilliant yet again from the Serbian. He commanded the midfield and won possession on multiple occasions. Proved why he is Palace captain when he gave Benteke the penalty to take.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (8.3) – The ‘Scottish Pirlo’ was excellent in all areas of his game which awarded him a goal and an assist. He deserves a new contract. Replaced by 15 JEFFERY SCHLUPP at 83 minutes who gave the hosts energy going forward late on and helped setup van Aanholt’s goal.
7 YOHAN CABAYE (7.7) – Another masterclass in doing the ‘background’ job from the Frenchman. Winning possession was key and Cabaye did that throughout the game along with key interceptions to break up play.
8 RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (8.3) – This was the Chelsea loanee’s best performance at Palace and what a time to do it when the England manager was in town. His quick feet and ability to get out of tight areas helped setup multiple attacks for the hosts which led directly to goal three times. His goal oozed class. Replaced by 14 LEE CHUNG-YONG on 86 minutes who did a similar job to Schlupp, making runs down the wing to cause more problems for the buried foxes.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (9.2) – Another near perfect performance from Mr Palace to add to a string of fantastic performances. There can be no questions about his end product as well as who the best player outside the top six really is when one of them did not turn up at all in this fixture. If he stays in the summer, we must continue to build the team around him.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7.3) – I am certain this man has three lungs. His work rate is incredible and on par with that of McArthur. To have someone like this in the team is gold dust to a side like Palace and this proved true against Leicester. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE at 86 minutes who put himself about, won a penalty, handed the spot kick and scored much to his, Roy’s, the players and fans delight. I hope that will give him confidence going into the final two games of the season.
Unused substitutes – 1 Julian SPERONI, 29 Aaron WAN-BISSAKA, 34 Martin KELLY, 9 Alexander SORLOTH
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID (courtesy of BBC Sport)
ROY HODGSON: “It certainly could not have come at a better time. It was a really important game for us. It is all very well thinking you need one win from the last three games to secure your status, but you have got to get that win. [When asked if Palace are safe] I think so. No-one wants to tempt fate too much in that respect, but it would take a lot for a team with 38 points and such a good goal difference as we have to go down. If we survive, which I believe we will, it’s going to be a very heart-warming occasion for everybody. In some way we did expect to get that last win and secure our status, so it’s more a relief than celebration.”
CLAUDE PUEL: “Tough game, tough game. It was not good at the beginning after conceding two goals as we lost our balance in the team and gave away a lot of space. There was not enough about our battle or our desire. After the second half we tried to make some tactical changes that did not work. [When asked about his job] I pay no attention to it. No comments about it. At the moment it is difficult for my team.”
The WhoScored man of the match was WILFRIED ZAHA (9.2) while JAMES MCARTHUR had the most shots (4). BEN CHILWELL and MARC ALBRIGHTON made the most tackles (4) while RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK and WILFRIED ZAHA completed the highest number of dribbles (4).
- Team rating: 7.62
- Total shots: 15
- Shots on target: 9
- Possession: 50%
- Pass success: 84%
- Dribbles: 10
- Aerials won: 9
- Tackles: 13
- Corners: 8
- Dispossessed: 12
- Team rating: 6.02
- Total shots: 6
- Shots on target: 1
- Possession: 50%
- Pass success: 80%
- Dribbles: 12
- Aerials won: 11
- Tackles: 18
- Corners: 2
- Dispossessed: 7
POSITION IN THE TABLE
The thrashing of Leicester moves Palace up to 11th in the Premier League with 38 points, leapfrogging Brighton by a point and onto the same points as Watford and Bournemouth but with better goal difference.
THE RUN IN
- 05/05/2018 – Stoke City (a)
- 13/05/2018 – West Brom (h)