Leicester City

Lookman Strikes & Dewsbury-Hall Stuns In Palace Win

Ademola Lookman's opener and a sumptuous maiden Premier League goal for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall handed Leicester City a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium on Sunday.
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With a second fixture arriving only three days after their goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Europa Conference League, only four players remained from the starting XI. A refreshed back four saw James Justin, Daniel AmarteyÇağlar Söyüncü and Luke Thomas form City's defence, while Papy Mendy, Lookman and Patson Daka all came in. Northern Ireland centre-back Jonny Evans, meanwhile, was rested for the clash.

The Foxes were trying to monopolise the ball in the early moments, and when Thomas slipped in Lookman on five minutes, the first opportunity of the half presented itself to the Nigeria attacker. He couldn't direct his left-footed drive on target, though, as Vicente Guaita watching it fly wide. 

Looking to deal damage to his former club, Jeffrey Schlupp collected the ball in midfield and located Wilfried Zaha, who too directed his strike the wrong side of the post, causing no problem for Kasper Schmeichel on that occasion. Schlupp was there on 13 minutes to put Daka under pressure as the Zambia striker struck towards goal.

The pace and movement of Zaha then created a chance for Jean-Philippe Mateta, who drew a fine fingertip save from Schmeichel with his left hand. Joachim Andersen nodded the resulting corner off target as Crystal Palace's threat began to swell.

With 10 minutes of the first half to go, Youri Tielemans collected a loose ball and took a touch to set himself before slamming a dipping drive just inches wide of Guaita's right-hand post. The Eagles counter-attacked immediately, however Justin threw himself in the way of Zaha's strike.

City had managed to absorb the visiting side's pressure and their reward was an opener at the other end of the pitch. Superb play from Dewsbury-Hall saw him cut past Cheikhou Kouyaté before playing a delightful pass into the feet of Lookman, who worked the ball onto his right boot and drove beyond Guaita.

The creator turned goalscorer not long after. Good hold-up play from Daka saw him tee up the Academy graduate, who moved the ball onto his left foot and bent it into the top corner. His first Premier League goal for the Football Club came in excellent fashion, triggering his signature ballad from the Blue Army.

No.10 Maddison's deflected attempt brought to an end an opening 45 minutes in which Leicester were the more clinical of the two outfits. Two goals to the good, and a foundation to build on after the break.

A pearler from Tielemans set the tone for the second half, with Guaita stretching to palm the powerful hit behind for a corner-kick. Andersen, after misplacing a pass that was cut out by Maddison, then clattered into Daka, who earned a free-kick in Maddison territory on the edge of the area. It was the No.10 who would take, but the wall did its job.

On 63 minutes, Palace were awarded a penalty after Tielemans was adjudged to have found Jordan Ayew in the box. Schmeichel guessed the right way and clawed Zaha's spot-kick out of the bottom corner and the resulting danger was cleared by Söyüncü, however after a VAR check, it had to be retaken due to encroachment. A second penalty save followed from the Dane, but Zaha nodded in the rebound for 2-1.

In the hunt for a leveller, Palace's attacks intensified, with Justin standing up to Zaha's shot and Amartey scrambling away as Mateta tried to turn home from close range. Leicester tried to respond, but after a decent exchange between Maddison and Daka, the latter's return pass was gathered by Guaita.

With just under 15 minutes of normal time remaining, Lookman and Daka were replaced by Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho respectively. In the next attack, Dewsbury-Hall was felled 20 yards from goal, and Maddison had another free-kick halted by the Palace wall.

Mateta and Marc Guéhi were both denied after a goalmouth scramble was caused by Andersen's header into the six-yard box, where Schmeichel was able to collect after Söyüncü and co. got their bodies in the way. The Turkey international took a knock in the melee, but was thankfully able to continue. 

A third change for the Foxes meant Maddison's afternoon came to an end, and Belgium full-back Timothy Castagne was the man to be introduced with a little over 90 seconds of normal time to play. Four minutes added time would follow, but there would be no second goal for the visitors. A slender 2-1 victory for Brendan Rodgers' men.

Major moment

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Ademola Lookman

The Nigeria International winger beat Vicente Guaita from distance to set City on their way to another win.

A usually robust Palace defence was breached by Ademola Lookman with 39 minutes gone. That changed the complexion of the game, and when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall curled home a second before the break, City were in a commanding position. Wilfried Zaha's header halved the deficit, but the damage was done by Leicester in the opening 45 minutes. 

Who impressed?

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

The Academy graduate's first Premier League goal came in some style, and his all-round play was lauded by Matt Elliott at full-time.

Speaking on Matchday Live in the pressbox at King Power Stadium, Matt Elliott said: "It’s pretty straight forward, I think. As was the case on Thursday against PSV, there were lots of consistent performances. There was one stand-out figure, with the biggest impact in the game, he assisted the first and scored the second. He’s regularly in the reckoning for the Man of the Match award and again so today. He was the stand-out figure by some distance, certainly with his impact on the game. That’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall."

Where do we stand?

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Leicester City

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall assisted one and scored another in the success on Filbert Way.

After matchday no.29 of their 2021/22 Premier League campaign, the Foxes occupy ninth spot in the table. They are now unbeaten in four matches across all formats. 

Coming up...

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Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel was unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet after saving two Wilfried Zaha penalties in the second half.

City travel to the Netherlands on Thursday for the second leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League Quarter-Final tie with PSV (5:45pm kick-off), then make their way to St. James' Park in the Premier League on Sunday (2:15pm kick-off).

The details...

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