Kelechi Iheanacho continues to pull a Leicester that caresses the qualification for the Champions League after consolidating the third place in the Premier League with a victory against Crystal Palace (2-1). A goal from the Nigerian, his 18th goal of the season, completed the comeback of the ‘foxes’, who increased their lead over fifth-placed West Ham to 7 points, five games from the end of the English championship.
Crystal Palace, 13th in the Premier League, played with ease from the first minute as they did not feel the pressure of adding the three points at stake and, although Jamie Vardy was able to overtake Leicester after a rebound with a threaded shot that brushed the post On the next play, Wilfried Zaha made it 0-1 on the scoreboard (12 ‘).
Zaha overtakes the Palace
It was in a counterattack that Christian Benteke started stealing a ball in the middle from his Belgian teammate Yuri Tielemans, Eberichi Eze left Zaha alone with a great pass into the hole and the Ivorian defined perfectly against Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester insisted after the goal but, without the lucidity of a James Maddison who is far from his best level after his injury, they did not put an excessive amount on a Palace that resisted with the 4-5-1 of their coach Roy Hodgson.
After the break the game changed as Leicester quickly found their way to the goal through Timothy Castagne. The play was gestated by Tielemans putting a long ball, Kelechi Iheanacho controlled his back to goal and scrambled to delay Castagne, who nailed his shot with his left foot through the square (50 ‘).
Evans avoids the second away goal
Leicester’s attack was clearer than in the first half, but in defense it was exposed in a quick counter. Jairo Riedewald escaped alone against Schmeichel but instead of defining, he touched to his right for Benteke giving Jonny Evans time to providentially cross before the Belgian could complete a safe goal (55 ‘).
The match remained open with a Leicester who stubbornly won but ran into the Valencian goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who rejected the shots of Maddison and Vardy, the latter on two occasions. Meanwhile, the Palace continued playing with joy and approaching the local area with danger.
Iheanacho sentenced with his 18th goal of the season
Finally Iheanacho decided the match with a great goal. Evans sent him a long shot, the Nigerian controlled, cut a defender and his unstoppable left-foot hit the crossbar of an imposing Guaita.
A goal that prolongs the great moment of Iheanacho, author of 18 goals this season, 10 of them in the Premier. Only in the last 7 days has he scored 9. The confidence that Brendan Rodgers has placed in him that the ‘Foxes’ are third and are about to qualify for the Champions League as well as being classified for the FA Cup final against Chelsea .
Leicester: Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Söyüncü; Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas (Albrighton, 70 ‘); Maddison
(Ayoze Pérez, 70 ‘); Iheanacho and Vardy
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, Van Aanholt; Riedewald (Schlupp, 85 ‘), Milivojevic (McCarthy, 83’), Eze; Jordan Ayew (Townsend, 78 ‘), Benteke and Zaha
Goals: 0-1 Zaha (12 ‘), 1-1 Castagne (50’), 2-1 Iheanacho (80 ‘)
Referee: Graham Scott. YELLOW: Riedewald (18 ‘)
Stadium: Behind closed doors at King Power Stadium