Patson Daka

Late Defeat For Leicester City At Palace

Leicester City suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday.
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After holding on under heavy first-half pressure, substitute Ricardo Pereira arrowed the Foxes ahead on 56 minutes. An unfortunate own goal for the otherwise impressive Daniel Iversen got Palace immediately back level. Jean-Philippe Mateta's added time strike then sealed Palace's first victory in 2023. Leicester are now without a win in seven matches. 

The first assignment of an 11-game bid for top-flight survival took Leicester to Selhurst Park, one of the oldest and most intimidating grounds in the Premier League. The return of Victor Kristiansen, however, was a welcome boost for Brendan Rodgers and the 2,655 visiting Foxes supporters ahead of kick-off in south London. 

The Eagles – with Roy Hodgson back in the dugout after Patrick Vieira's departure – started on the front foot, locking City into their own defensive third. Wilfried Zaha’s close-range effort was blocked by Kristiansen inside two minutes, before Wout Faes cut out former Fox Jeffrey Schlupp’s low cross shortly after. Michael Olise’s corner was then rocketed at goal by Cheick Doucouré from the edge of the area, straight at Iversen. 

A 4-2-3-1 shape for City could turn into 4-3-3 when they ventured forwards. That’s exactly what happened in the 11th minute when Harvey Barnes slipped in an overlapping Kristiansen on the left channel. The Dane’s dinked cross was aimed at Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, but in fact bounced off Vicente Guaita’s upright instead. At the other end, Eberechi Eze burst past Dewsbury-Hall and directed a low drive at goal, forcing Iversen into an uneasy but effective low stop to his right. 

The Leicester ‘keeper was being kept busy on only his second Premier League start. The former Preston North End loanee was soon at full stretch to tip Zaha’s curler, from the left flank, away to safety. There were cries of handball against Dewsbury-Hall moments later after the Shepshed lad got in the way of Zaha’s effort in the area. A brief VAR examination got the home crowd excited, but no spot-kick was awarded. 

The Palace pressure was unrelenting. City breathed another sigh of relief midway through the half when Joachim Andersen glanced Olise’s corner wide. Odsonne Édouard couldn’t get there in time to convert at the far post either. With two minutes until the interval, Selhurst Park fell to a concerned silence as Zaha hit the deck unchallenged. That was the end of his afternoon, Jordan Ayew taking his place. Leicester had faced 20 shots and had none themselves, but it was level at half-time. 

City needed to do more. Ricardo was now on for his 120th LCFC appearance, replacing Tetê, and before long Timothy Castagne struck at goal. Albeit deflected behind, it marked an immediate signal of intent. Dewsbury-Hall also outmuscled Eze and then skipped past Andersen, crossing for Maddison. Fresh from his full England debut, City’s No.10 hit it with the outside of his right boot, forcing Guaita into a decent, point-blank save. Better from Leicester.

They were about to go 1-0 up as well – in some style. Wilfred Ndidi’s forward ball from deep freed Castagne on the right wing. He dragged it back for Ricardo, charging into the box. The Portuguese looked up and planted his right foot through the ball – sending it flying through the south London sky and into Palace’s top corner. There was joy for the travelling Blue Army, but it only lasted three minutes. Eze’s free-kick, around 20 yards out, came back off the bar and bobbled over the line, off Iversen’s back. It was a cruel outcome for arguably the best player on the pitch for the away side in the capital. 

Level again, with half an hour to play. Palace, without a win in 13 outings before this game, were striving to end their streak against a Foxes outfit who themselves hadn’t tasted victory in six matches. Luke Thomas was on for Leicester, as was Kelechi Iheanacho, the latter marking 200 outings as a Foxes player. Kristiansen and Daka were the players to make way. With just over 15 minutes of normal time to play, Iversen made another sterling save to palm Eze's long-ranger wide. The shot-stopper then had to divert Olise's dangerous in-swinging free-kick around the post, later watching Marc Guéhi's header loop over his crossbar.

Inside four added minutes, alarm bells were blaring inside the Leicester area. Ayew crossed for Mateta, he scuffed his shot and Tyrick Mitchell couldn't capitalise on the rebound. With seconds to spare, Palace came again. Ayew cut the ball through the defensive line, giving it to Mateta, who converted past Iversen. A crushing last-minute defeat for the Foxes.

Major moment – Eagles strike late

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Harry Souttar

Harry Souttar and his Foxes team-mates react to Palace's late winner.

Palace's winner came so, so late. Jean-Philippe Mateta's strike was the harshest of endings and sealed all three points for Palace.

Where does it leave us? – 18th

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Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi tries to win and keep possession for the Foxes.

Leicester are now 18th in the table, on 25 points. 

Coming up – Villa (H)

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall rises highest in midfield.

A double-header of home games is now on the horizon for City. On Tuesday, Aston Villa visit King Power Stadium (7:45pm kick-off), before AFC Bournemouth are in town next Saturday (3pm kick-off). All times BST.

The details… 

Leicester City Crest





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