Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester: Christian Benteke header earns point for hosts
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 15/04/17 7:14pm
Crystal Palace fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Leicester at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
It could prove to be an important point for both teams in the battle for survival as relegation rivals Hull City and Swansea lost at Stoke and Watford respectively.
Robert Huth's early header and Jamie Vardy's smart finish gave Leicester a two-goal lead but Yohan Cabaye pulled one back and Christian Benteke controversially headed home the equaliser.
The result sees Palace move seven points clear and Leicester nine clear of 18th-place Swansea, with both clubs holding a game in hand on Paul Clement's side.
The visitors will now turn their attention to a Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
They had expected another fast Palace start after the Eagles' impressive win over Arsenal but instead took the lead after just six minutes.
Palace had won their previous three home matches without conceding but sloppy marking saw them fall behind to Huth's towering header.
It was the only effort on goal in a battling first-half display by the Foxes, who made just two changes from their energy-sapping Champions League first-leg defeat in Spain.
Sam Allardyce stuck with the same XI that beat Arsenal impressively on Monday and while his side responded well to the early setback, a lack of creativity often let them down in the final third.
Benteke dominated the aerial battle and enjoyed particular success against Danny Simpson but Kasper Schmeichel reacted well to keep out the Belgian's best effort of the half.
And Leicester extended their advantage through Vardy seven minutes after the break.
The England international latched onto Riyad's Mahrez pass and curled home his sixth goal in his last seven league appearances.
The fine finish looked set to edge Leicester towards their second away league win of the season but Palace halved the deficit less than two minutes later.
There was a touch of fortune about the goal as Jeff Schlupp's cross deflected off Simpson and into the path of Cabaye, who swept past Schmeichel.
It galvanised the home support and they were soon on their feet again when Benteke bundled in their leveller.
Leicester felt the Palace forward climbed over Yohan Benalouane but referee Mike Dean disagreed, leaving 20 minutes for either side to find a winner.
Benteke went closest for Palace but Schmeichel smothered his shot while Leonardo Ulloa and substitute Danny Drinkwater fired wide for the visitors.
And a late penalty appeal for the home side was waved away after Patrick van Aanholt's low cross appeared to hit a sliding Huth on the arm.
Allardyce's side now face a tough run of fixtures, with a trip to Liverpool followed by the visit of Tottenham.
Leicester will look to overturn their 1-0 first-leg deficit against Atletico before resuming Premier League action at Arsenal.
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Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (5), Kelly (6), Sakho (6), Schlupp (6), Milivojevic (6), Cabaye (7), Puncheon (6), Zaha (6), Townsend (7), Benteke (7)
Subs used: McArthur (6), van Aanholt (6)
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Simpson (6), Benalouane (6), Huth (8), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (6), Ndidi (7), King (6), Albrighton (6), Ulloa (6), Vardy (7)
Subs used: Gray (6), Chilwell (6), Drinkwater (6)
Man of the match: Robert Huth