Timothy Castagne and Kelechi Iheanacho scored as Leicester City came back from a goal down to defeat Crystal Palace 2-1 at the King Power Stadiums.
Leicester City made the worst possible start to the game as Crystal Palace took the lead just twelve minutes in through a brilliant counter-attacking goal from Wilfried Zaha, who thus brought an end to a six-game goalless run. The Foxes hardly offered any sort of threat for the rest of the first half as Palace went into the break with the lead.
Five minutes into the second period the equaliser came as Timothy Castagne drifted into the box to get on the end of Kelechi Iheanacho’s pass and find the back of the net with a fine finish. As both teams searched for a goal, it was Leicester who would breach the net again in the 80th minute, with in-form man Iheanacho burying a fine finish from a tight angle into the roof of the net.
Ayoze Perez had a chance in the dying minutes but Palace kept him out as Leicester finished the game 2-1 victors, taking another giant stride towards securing qualification for the UEFA Champions League next season. Indeed, the Foxes are now four points clear of Chelsea in fourth and seven above fifth-placed West Ham United. Here are our player ratings for Brendan Rodgers’ men on the night.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
Had just the one save to make all game long, from a Christian Benteke header with the scoreline at 1-1. Otherwise not worked much by the visitors. Needed to be more accurate with his kicking.
Wesley Fofana: 6.5/10
Had his work cut out against Zaha and did well for the most part apart from the moment when the Eagles opened the scoring when he appeared a bit indecisive. Composed with the ball at his feet, strong in the air as well as on the ground.
Jonny Evans: 8/10
A fine performance from the Northern Irishman, who marshaled the backline well throughout and pulled off a brilliant goal-saving tackle on Benteke in the second period. Then went on to set Iheanacho up for the winning goal. Strong as ever in the air, winning a team-high four aerial duels, while also making two interceptions. Showed his quality on the ball as well, completing 88% of his passes, while also playing in three key passes.
Jonny Evans 🆚 Palace
88% Pass Accuracy (78)
12 Accurate Long Balls
4 Chances Created
4 Aerials Won
1 Last Man Tackle
1 Assist 🅰️
🥇 Most Accurate Passes
— 𝙇𝘾𝙁𝘾 𝙈𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙚𝙤𝙪𝙨 🦊 (@LCFCshitposting) April 26, 2021
Caglar Soyuncu: 6.5/10
Had a few issues coping with the physical threat of Benteke at times, but in the end, he made no major errors and made a few key clearances and interceptions to keep Roy Hodgson’s side at bay. Even though there were a few sloppy ones, completed 78 of his 84 attempted passes.
Timothy Castagne: 7/10
With Palace looking to attack down the left when they got on the ball, the Belgian was not always allowed the freedom to get forward as much as he likes to. But, Castagne made a good run before producing a brilliant finish to get Leicester City back into the game. Won a couple of tackles.
Wilfred Ndidi: 7/10
Not a lot of defensive work to do in the first half and kept Leicester ticking along nicely in the middle. Stepped up after the break as he produced a number of crucial interventions to stop threat from developing. Finished the game with four tackles, three clearances, two interceptions along with winning two aerial duels and completing two dribbles. Nothing extraordinary but solid at what he does.
Youri Tielemans: 6.5/10
Youri Tielemans for Leicester vs Palace:
◉ Most touches (99)
◉ Most crosses (9)
◉= Most duels won (6)
◉ Most tackles (6)
◉= Most interceptions (2)
Such an important player for Leicester. pic.twitter.com/jTvGNjCtG0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 26, 2021
Poor start to the game for the Belgian as the ball was stolen off him by Eberechi Eze in the lead-up to the opening goal. Played some uncharacteristically sloppy passes, but improved as the game wore on. Involved in the equaliser with a good pass to find Iheanacho, who, in turn, set Castagne up. Got stuck in and put in the hard yards off the ball, producing a game-high six tackles along with two interceptions.
Luke Thomas: 5.5/10
One of the quieter outings of the youngster’s season so far as he did not always make the best use of the space afforded to him on the left flank. Had a few moments when he linked up well with James Maddison, but the end product was not always there. Made way for Marc Albrighton as Leicester searched for the winner.
James Maddison: 5.5/10
Another player who endured a subdued outing on the night, Maddison never really got into the game in the first half. Like Thomas, there were sporadic moments of quality but they came few and far between. Did make one key pass, but well below his level. Replaced by Ayoze Perez for the final twenty minutes.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 9/10
Kelechi Ịheanachọ‘s game by numbers vs. Crystal Palace:
9 touches in opp. box (most)
4 chances created (most)
3 ball recoveries
2 through balls completed
1 shot on target
On fire in 2021. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/h85S4JAjPf
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 26, 2021
Another game, another match-winning performance. Iheanacho is starting to make a habit of this, as he once again looked the likeliest player to make things happen for Leicester in the final third. Created a game-high four chances for his teammates and got the assist for Castagne’s equaliser. Then won the game for his team in style, finding the back of the net in stunning fashion. What a run of form the Nigerian is enjoying. Sensational stuff.
Jamie Vardy: 6/10
Movement and running were sharp and on point as always but wasn’t able to get on the end of a couple of chances that came his way on either side of half-time, with Guaita stopping one while the other he sent wide. Looked tired as the game wore on and spurned another opportunity late on.
Ayoze Perez: 6/10
Replaced Maddison in the 70th minute. Had a late chance which was stopped by Vicente Guaita.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
On for Thomas for the final twenty minutes. Made just nine touches, misplaced three of his nine passes.