Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was the matchwinner for Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, registering a goal and an assist as the Foxes defeated in-form Crystal Palace 2-1 at the King Power Stadium.
The result saw Brendan Rodgers’ side leapfrog Palace to ninth in the Premier League table, with the visitors failing to register a victory ahead of their massive FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Sunday.
Leicester started strongly and carved out the game’s first opportunity inside five minutes. A well-weighted clip down the line from Luke Thomas set Ademola Lookman free, but the RB Leipzig loanee could not convert from a tight angle.
Palace responded well as the first half progressed with the in-form Jean-Philippe Mateta forcing a good save out of Kasper Schmeichel after bamboozling the Foxes’ defence with some of the slowest step-overs of all time.
Just after the half-hour mark Youri Tielemans went close, bending an effort just wide of the post from outside the area.
A few minutes later Leicester took the lead. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was the architect, timing his pass to Lookman perfectly, who took one touch to set himself and squeezed the ball past Guaita.
Dewsbury-Hall turned from creator to scorer soon after. A Marc Guehi stumble allowed Patson Daka to slip in behind and the Zambian pulled the ball back to the Leicester youth academy graduate, who produced a stunning finish.
After a quiet start to the second half, Youri Tielemans brought Jordan Ayew down in the box just after the hour mark. A couple of minutes of madness followed. Wilfried Zaha missed the first spot kick before referee Robert Jones order it to be retaken due to encroachment.
Zaha stepped up again…and missed again. Fortunately for the Ivorian a kind rebound allowed him to save his blushes and head home to make it 2-1.
This strike threatened to spark a Palace comeback with one set piece sparking a wild goalmouth scramble six minutes from time. Fortunately for the Foxes, Schmeichel somehow emerged with the ball in his grasp once the dust had settled.
This would prove to be the last time Palace would trouble the home side’s goalmouth with Leicester holding on for an impressive win.
Here are your player ratings…
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 7/10 – Saved two penalties and still could not stop Zaha scoring. No doubt he’ll be having a few words with Caglar Soyuncu this evening…
James Justin (RB) – 7/10 – His execution in the final third could have been better but he fared well against Zaha.
Daniel Amartey (CB) – 7/10 – Did not allow Mateta to bully him as Gabriel did last Monday.
Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – 5/10 – Was about five yards inside the box when Zaha took his first penalty. Another brainless moment from a ridiculous season. Other than that he was fine.
Luke Thomas (LB) – 7/10 – Much like Justin on the opposite side, he could have done more in the final third but was spot on defensively.
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 5/10 – Started poorly but improved. Effective off the ball and tidy with it. Naive foul led to the penalty, which put his side under pressure.
Nampalys Mendy (CM) – 6/10 – Much more progressive in possession than we are used to seeing but still only gave it away once.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (CM) – 9/10 – His incredible improvement this season continued. He was a bundle of positive energy all afternoon and set up Lookman’s goal before scoring a spectacular one himself.
James Maddison (RW) – 6/10 – Never gave Palace a moment’s peace out of possession in the first half. Might have had a penalty when Ward shoved him.
Patson Daka (ST) – 6/10 – Showed good composure to set up Dewsbury-Hall and led the press effectively.
Ademola Lookman (LW) – 7/10 – Should have forced the keeper into action early on, but made up for that with a well-taken goal.
Harvey Barnes (LW) – 6/10
Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) – 6/10
Timothy Castagne (RB) – N/A
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 5/10 – Got close to both goals but did not save either effort.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) – 5/10 – Wrong-footed by the pass that created Lookman’s opener.
Marc Guehi (CB) – 4/10 – Punished for a slip on the stroke of half-time when Dewsbury-Hall netted. Usually so assured too.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 4/10 – His passing was pretty terrible, which is not like him at all. Seemed like he crumbled under Leicester’s high press.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – N/A – Taken off on the half-hour mark after picking up a knock, likely as a precaution ahead of his side’s trip to Wembley.
Conor Gallagher (CM) – 4/10 – Not his day. He ran about a lot but never seemed to be in the right areas.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CM) – 5/10 – Could not prevent Dewsbury-Hall getting his shot off. Has been excellent recently, but Leicester were too well organised for him.
Jeffrey Schlupp (CM) – 7/10 – Relished a return to the club where he won the Premier League, carving out several good opportunities. Palace’s best player by a margin.
Jordan Ayew (RW) – 6/10 – Pretty quiet in the first half but won the penalty after the interval.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) – 5/10 – Fired an effort just past the post early on, but soon faded into the background.
Wilfried Zaha (LW) – 5/10 – Was not happy with Joel Ward’s lack of support from left-back, but he himself could have done more. So lucky to score on the rebound of his second penalty.
Joel Ward (LB) – 5/10 – Replaced the injured Mitchell. Probably should have been penalised for a push on Maddison in the box.
James McArthur (CM) – 5/10 – Passed the ball straight out of play seconds after coming on.
Eberechi Eze (CM) – 6/10 – Drove Palace forward a few times.
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