Timothy Castagne

Leicester & Palace In Lively Sunday Stalemate

Leicester City were pegged back by Crystal Palace and had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Sunday.
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Hamza Choudhury came into the XI as one of six changes from Thursday's UEFA Europa League reverse at Legia Warsaw in Poland, as Ryan Bertrand, Ademola Lookman, Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy also returned to the starting line-up.

Ahead of kick-off, both sides and supporters took part in a moment's applause in memory of former Liverpool and England forward Roger Hunt, who sadly passed away last month.

Vardy, the Club's all-time top Premier League goalscorer, had an early opportunity to add to his tally after just two minutes when Youri Tielemans fizzed a free-kick into the penalty area. Leicester's No.9 was able to get a glancing header on it, but it lacked the power required to test Vicente Guaita.

At the other end, Jordan Ayew slid a ball into Odsonne Édouard, who found Jannik Vestergaard in his path, before Kasper Schmeichel had to save a deflected effort from Ayew on the rebound. Barnes, on the other hand, saw a low drive blocked by Joel Ward after a busy start in south London.

Next, it was Patrick Vieira's home side who went close as James McArthur charged into the 18-yard box and slipped the ball out to Wilfried Zaha, who saw his powerful strike stopped by Schmeichel. City's No.1 had to be there again to frustrate Conor Gallagher on the rebound too.

Tielemans then scooped up a loose ball on the cusp of Palace's box and unleashed a low drive at goal, tripping at the pivotal moment. The Belgian was still able to generate enough venom on his strike to concern Guaita, but the Eagles' shot-stopper got down at his far post to save well.

On 31 minutes, Leicester went ahead. Joachim Andersen took a fraction too long in possession and invited Iheanacho – on his 25th birthday – to snatch the ball away from him to slot a composed finish into the back of the net. That was the Nigerian's third goal of 2021/22 in all competitions.

An encouraging afternoon got even better six minutes later as Barnes threaded a pass through to Vardy. Although it took a slight touch off Andersen's boot, it still came through for City's No.9, who controlled and stroked the ball past Guaita, before celebrating in front of some 2,800 travelling fans.

Gallagher blazed over from distance, while Ayew also couldn't find a team-mate in the area, but the Foxes headed in at the interval two goals to the good. After a heavy tempest fell from the heavens during the break, Brendan Rodgers' men were unchanged in their 4-4-2 shape in the capital.

Both sides had notable chances in the early exchanges of the second period. Firstly, Vardy fired wide of the target, before Barnes hit the side-netting, after excellent work from Iheanacho on the right channel. Édouard, on the other hand, saw an effort cannon back off the bar for the Eagles. 

Boubakary Soumaré would later be introduced from the bench for Leicester. The arrears were halved just after the hour mark, though, when Tyrick Mitchell's cross was hit at the second attempt, after Bertrand's initial block, into the back of Schmeichel's net by second-half substitute Michael Olise. 

Midfielder James Maddison was on for the Foxes and drilled straight at Guaita, but the Palace faithful sensed a comeback. On 72 minutes, they got the leveller as Olise's cross caused problems in the box and eventually led to former Fox Jeff Schlupp nodding it into the back of the net. 

There was alarm for the visitors when Vardy went down after a heavy collision with McArthur, while trying to mount a counter-attack. After a lengthy spell on the pitch receiving treatment, City's No.9 was able to continue. Schlupp, meanwhile glanced a header just wide from Olise's corner. 

With Marc Albrighton on for the latter moments, extended by five in added time, Leicester were limited to fleeting opportunities as the clock ticked down, but they were at least able to quell Palace's momentum and settle for a point. 

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy's sixth goal of the season put City in a promising position at the interval.

A match which ebbed and flowed ultimately ended in a point apiece as Palace scaled the mountain and came from two goals down in the second half. Jeff Schlupp's equaliser ultimately did the job for Patrick Vieira's home side. 

Who impressed?

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Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho

City's first goal was scored by Kelechi Iheanacho and he was picked out for praise on Matchday Live.

Dean Hammond, the former Foxes midfielder, said on LCFC Radio: "[Kelechi] Iheanacho makes the first goal himself. He's willing to challenge [Joachim] Andersen. The first touch is brilliant and he calmly passes it into the net. There's no doubt in his mind and he cooly finishes it. His hold-up play was good and he played a lovely pass in the second half. He's effective and he scores goals."

Where do we stand?

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers thanks the 2,800 Foxes fans in attendance for their support in the capital.

The Foxes are 13th in the Premier League after seven fixtures, with eight points and a goal difference of -3.

Coming up...

Expand photo
Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

The Foxes had to ultimately settle for a point at Selhurst Park.

Several of Leicester's players will now head out on duty for their countries over the coming fortnight, before Manchester United are the visitors to King Power Stadium on Saturday 16 October (3pm BST kick-off). 

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