Jamie Vardy & Kasper Schmeichel

Vardy Hits 100 Premier League Goals As Stylish City Defeat Palace

Jamie Vardy's incredible Leicester City career reached new heights on Saturday as he became a Premier League centurion with a brace of goals in a commanding 3-0 triumph over Crystal Palace.
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Following Kelechi Iheanacho's second-half opener at King Power Stadium, the 33-year-old joined the top-flight's illustrious 100 club before netting another in City's first win since football's restart.

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to City’s line-up in their fifth consecutive behind-closed-doors fixture, with forwards Ayoze Pérez and Iheanacho coming into the starting XI.

There was a fluidity to Leicester’s early play and, when Marc Albrighton’s cross flew into the area, Iheanacho was unlucky to send a header wide of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita’s far post. On 13 minutes, meanwhile, another encouraging passage of play concluded with James Justin rattling the crossbar from a fearsome drive dispatched on the edge of Palace’s 18-yard box.

A careless clearance from Mamadou Sakho, on the other hand, enabled Pérez to slide it into Vardy, but the Frenchman got back to make amends and stop City’s No.9 from finding Iheanacho.

The resulting corner first saw Wilfred Ndidi’s header saved well at point-blank range by Guaita before Pérez’s powerful effort on the rebound was also deflected behind.

On the half-hour mark, a foul from Iheanacho on Patrick van Aanholt presented Luka Milivojević with a free-kick chance just outside the area, but the Serbia international sent it over the bar. A wayward clearance from van Aanholt was then taken down with ease by Pérez, who slid in a tidy pass for Vardy, but the Premier League’s top goalscorer couldn’t get his shot away.

Ben Chilwell, on the other hand, sustained a knock in the first period and the England international was replaced by on-loan defender Ryan Bennett, making his Foxes debut, at the interval.

Within four minutes of the restart, Leicester were ahead as Youri Tielemans sent an inviting ball across the area for Iheanacho to slot home for his 10th goal in all competitions this term. City’s pursuit of goals continued and, when Pérez threaded the eye of a needle to locate Vardy in behind Palace’s backline, the 33-year-old striker was bitterly unlucky to only find the side netting.

A reminder of Palace’s threat came on 60 minutes, though, as James McArthur’s cross was nodded towards the bottom corner by Gary Cahill, but Kasper Schmeichel saved assuredly.

On 77 minutes, Sakho stumbled in his own penalty area, inviting substitute Harvey Barnes to capitalise, dragging the ball back across goal - and laying it up for Vardy to finish easily from close range. That historic strike - making the former Fleetwood Town striker the first player to ever register a century of Premier League goals for the Club - allowed the Foxes to also breath an enormous sigh of relief. 

With seconds to go, it got better for City's iconic No.9 as Barnes slipped him in again before Vardy ran at Guaita and chipped the 'keeper to make it 21 top-flight goals this term and 101 in total.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy

Vardy toasts his 100th goal in the Premier League with Barnes, who made the assist.

Six years after his maiden top-flight strike in a stunning 5-3 victory over Manchester United in 2014, Jamie Vardy's 100th goal in the Premier League came at a pivotal time for Brendan Rodgers' men. While Vardy has netted more eye-catching goals across his sensational career at King Power Stadium, his most recent efforts felt especially significant, as they helped City to their first win since the restart, with so much still to play for.

Who impressed?

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Leicester City

The 33-year-old is congratulated by his Leicester team-mates.

Matt Elliott, speaking on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live, said at full-time: "How could we not give it to Jamie on his special day? We've had to wait for it and so has he, but he's going to enjoy it and rightly so. It's an incredible achievement for Jamie and it just shows what a quality player he's been for the Football Club for many, many years. Congratulations, Jamie."

Where does it leave us?

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Kelechi Iheanacho

Iheanacho got the scoring underway with his second goal in as many games for the Foxes on Filbert Way.

Leicester remain third in the Premier League on 58 points, three points ahead of Manchester United, who climbed above Chelsea on Saturday with a 5-2 triumph over AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford. Chelsea, meanwhile, entertain Nigel Pearson's Watford at Stamford Bridge later on Saturday evening, while sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers host Arsenal at Molineux Stadium.

Coming up…

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Brendan Rodgers

Manager Rodgers passes on advice to Barnes on the King Power Stadium sidelines.

The Foxes will hope to turn the tide of history by sealing a first away win at Arsenal since 1973 when they travel to Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening (8:15pm kick-off), before tackling Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium the following Sunday (7pm kick-off).

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All times BST.




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