Match report and free highlights as Leicester hold on after Ademola Lookman and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall struck inside six first-half minutes
Sunday 10 April 2022 22:00, UK
Goals from Ademola Lookman and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall inside six first-half minutes gave much-changed Leicester a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
Wilfried Zaha pulled one back for the visitors in the second half, but Brendan Rodgers' seven changes paid off to move them above Palace and into ninth.
Both sides are focusing on competitions away from the Premier League with Leicester set to take on PSV in their Europa Conference League second leg on Thursday while the Eagles are going to Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-finals against Chelsea.
Palace boss Patrick Vieira named an unchanged side from their impressive 3-0 victory over Arsenal and they started brightly with Jean-Philippe Mateta's shot tipped behind by Kasper Schmeichel before Joachim Andersen should have done better when he headed wide from a corner.
Leicester had only seen Youri Tielemans long-range shot dip narrowly off-target until they opened the scoring in the 39th minute. Dewsbury-Hall timed his pass into Lookman perfectly and the winger shimmied away from two Palace defenders before shooting past Guaita.
Leicester: Brendan Rodgers freshened things up following Leicester's 0-0 draw with PSV on Thursday.
James Justin, Caglar Soyuncu, Daniel Amartey, Nampalys Mendy, Luke Thomas, Patson Daka and Ademola Lookman all returned to the starting line-up.
Leicester fielded a new back four with Wesley Fofana, Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans and Timothy Castagne dropping out. The front line was also changed with Marc Albrighton, Kelechi Iheanacho and Harvey Barnes all benched.
Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira named an unchanged side from their impressive 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Monday.
Michael Olise (foot) and Nathan Ferguson(hamstring) were the only players missing for Palace.
And just six minutes later they were two-up after some more brilliance from Dewsbury-Hall. Marc Guehi made a rare mistake by miscontrolling a ball forward which allowed Daka to gain possession inside the Palace box. He pulled the ball back via a slight deflection off James Maddison for Dewsbury-Hall, who turned away from goal bending a wonderful effort into the top corner.
Leicester started the second half on top with Tielemans forcing Guaita to tip over his shot and then James Justin had a free header from a corner cleared in the six-yard box.
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Justin (6), Soyuncu (6), Tielemans (6), Maddison (6), Amartey (6), Dewsbury-Hall (8), Mendy (6), Daka (6), Thomas (6), Lookman (7)
Subs: Barnes (6), Iheanacho (6), Castagne (n/a)
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Mitchell (5), Guehi (5), Kouyate (5), Ayew (6), Zaha (7), Mateta (6), Schlupp (6), Andersen (6), Clyne (6), Gallagher (5).
Subs: Ward (6), Eze (6), McArthur (6)
Man of the match: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
But following the substitutes of James McArthur and Eberechi Eze for Conor Gallagher and Cheikhou Kouyate, Palace forced their way back into the game.
Jordan Ayew sold Tielemans a step over in the box, and he was brought down with a penalty awarded. Schmeichel saved Zaha's spot kick low to his left but it had to be retaken due to encroachment. The Leicester goalkeeper saved again, this time from a powerful penalty down the middle, although the rebound came out perfectly for Zaha to head into the net.
Palace pushed for an equaliser in the final stages as Jeffrey Schlupp went close with a flick at goal, but Leicester held on.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers: "I was delighted with the performance and the result. The players with a great urgency and intensity, pressed really well, had lots of really good moments with the ball and it was a really good win for us.
"You want a competitive squad to be able to make the changes. The players know the structure of how we work and how we play, so for the guys coming in it's clear how they have to play. It's having that real competitive edge to our game and the other talents will come through.
"I was so happy for them, it was a really good result playing against a team off the back of a really good win. The players were magnificent."
On Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: "He's everything that I'd want in a player in the team. He's very honest, he works very, very hard and he has quality. He's also very young and doesn't have lots of Premier League experience as do a lot of the other guys but they're learning and getting better all the time.
"He's scored in Europe but once you get that feeling of scoring in the Premier League you want more. His job is to create, score and press the game. He was everything I would want from a number 8, fantastic."
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira: "The damage was done from the first minute of the first half. We didn't enter into the game in the right way, we gave ourselves too much to climb and it was a better response in the second half. We tried to get that goal to get back but it was too much for us.
"We played against a really good team who made it really difficult for us to play between the lines and to do our normal build-up. There was a lack of quick decisions, the tempo of the game wasn't good enough to create chances.
"We've played well in some of the games, there's still some positivity to take from the game today, especially in the second half about how we competed against Leicester and that's what we can take against Chelsea but we have to do it from the first minute of the game."
Leicester travel to take on PSV in the second leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final on Thursday; kick-off 5.45pm. The Foxes return to Premier League action next Sunday at Newcastle, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2.15pm.
Crystal Palace face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday at 4.30pm before facing Newcastle too at St James' Park on Wednesday April 20; kick-off 7.45pm.