Premier League
Leicester0Crystal Palace3

Leicester City 0-3 Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha celebrate
Crystal Palace's last away goals came in a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield under Sam Allardyce in April

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson said Christian Benteke delivered on a pledge to make amends for his penalty miss last weekend as the Eagles climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a rare away win over Claude Puel's resurgent Leicester.

Benteke cost Palace victory over Bournemouth when the injury-time spot-kick he was not supposed to take was saved, but the striker redeemed himself by opening the scoring against the Foxes with a first-half header from Andros Townsend's cross - his first goal of the campaign.

Hodgson said Benteke "held his hands up" in training after last week's match and had promised to "make things up" to his team-mates.

"That's exactly what he has done," Hodgson added. "He's a quality striker and it wasn't just his goal that pleased me about his performance."

Palace had failed to score in their past 10 league away games but added a second goal of an organised and adventurous performance before the break when Benteke's strong run and pass set up Wilfried Zaha for a brilliant individual finish.

Leicester only tested goalkeeper Julian Speroni when they rallied in the second half - the Argentine reacting superbly to reach Riyad Mahrez's angled low drive with a strong palm.

And any potential comeback was hamstrung when Wilfred Ndidi was sent off on his birthday less than a minute after Vicente Iborra's header was correctly disallowed for a foul.

Ndidi - who turns 21 today - was shown a second yellow card for simulation in the penalty box with just under half an hour to play.

Palace had a much more legitimate penalty shout when Benteke was crumpled in the area by Marc Albrighton's sliding tackle from behind, but the referee waved away appeals for a chance to add extra gloss on an impressive away display.

Bakary Sako eventually provided it - tucking away Ruben Loftus-Cheek's pass across goal to round off a 94th-minute counter-attack.

The Foxes, who so impressively dismantled Puel's former club Southampton in midweek, remain eighth in the table, while Palace rise four places to 14th.

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Benteke promised to make amends for penalty miss - Hodgson

Palace finally find the net

Palace had taken 90 shots over 10 games without finding the net away from home in the league - their last away goals came in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield under Sam Allardyce in April.

It was the longest such run since 1949-50 - when Manchester City went 12 top-flight matches without scoring away - and was broken by Benteke, who himself had failed to score from 28 attempts in his past 13 matches.

In truth, as 10-man Leicester poured forward in the game's closing stages, Palace - and Benteke in particular - could easily have scored more than three.

Another Benteke header was kept out by an acrobatic Kasper Schmeichel star-jump save at the far post, and the Belgium striker also saw a shot diverted just wide by Wes Morgan's last-ditch block.

But in the end, it didn't even matter that Townsend shot horribly over the bar after another late counter.

Hodgson took over with Palace without a goal or a point from their opening five league matches, but his side are now eight games unbeaten having not lost since a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on 5 November.

It is their best run in the English top flight since a series of 12 games without defeat was ended in October 1990.

Foxes fail to fire

Only Manchester City and Burnley had won more points than Leicester's tally of 17 from Puel's first eight matches in charge - and the Foxes went into his ninth game having won each of their past four.

But while Palace looked dangerous every time they went forward - Zaha, Townsend, Loftus-Cheek and Yohan Cabaye all conspiring around target man Benteke - Leicester were easily snuffed out by the away side's aggressive defence.

The isolated Jamie Vardy was far from his waspish best, while Mahrez - a spectator in the first half - lost the ball in midfield five minutes before half-time to spark the move with which Palace doubled their lead.

Zaha, who had already threatened with several promising runs, expertly took Benteke's pass in his stride, regained his balance, slid past the covering Ben Chilwell with a stepover and fired the ball past Schmeichel.

It was a brilliant goal, but few would have anticipated the gulf between Leicester's sluggish showing on Saturday and Wednesday's 4-1 victory at Southampton.

Man of the match - Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Wilfried Zaha
Since the start of last season, Wilfried Zaha has been directly involved in 20 Premier League goals, more than any other Crystal Palace player (11 goals, nine assists)

Unwelcome birthday cards - the stats

  • Roy Hodgson has never lost a competitive match against Leicester as a manager (P5 W4 D1 L0).
  • Ndidi became the fourth player to be sent off on his birthday in a Premier League game, after Dwight Gayle (17 October 2015 against West Ham), Gerry Taggart (18 October 1997 v West Ham) and Les Ferdinand (8 December 1993 against Liverpool).
  • Palace have kept three straight away clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time.
  • Since making his Premier League debut in September 2012, Benteke has scored 24 headed goals - only Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud (27) has netted more in the competition in this period.

Benteke's vow - what the managers said

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson, speaking to BBC Sport: "[Benteke] was very strong. The day after [Benteke's penalty miss] he came in and held his hand up, he spoke to the players and myself and made the point that he would make it up to team, and that is what he has done.

"We did feel a bit marooned [at the bottom of the table], there was a time when we were looking up at everyone above us and the gap was massive.

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Benteke promised to make amends for penalty miss - Hodgson

"But since then we have started playing the way we have over the past few games, and if we can produce performances like this all the way until May, at least we will have given ourselves a chance.

"I can't say I'm surprised [by the win] - we've had good results away from home where a victory would not have been totally out of order. It's good to get it today because the longer that run goes on the more you keep getting reminded of it."

Leicester manager Claude Puel, speaking to BBC Sport: "It was not a good day for us. We did not start well, we played without intensity. We played a good team with confidence - Palace deserved this win, they played very well.

"We needed to be more aggressive. We needed more good play, more intensity and quality.

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Defeat a lesson for the future - Claude Puel

"We tried to react in the second half. Ndidi was sent off and after we tried but it was too difficult for us to come back in this condition and we conceded a third goal, which was a little harsh for us.

"For us, it is a good lesson for the future. Now it is time to look forward."

What's next?

Leicester host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday (19:45 GMT kick-off), before a home Premier League game against Manchester United on 23 December (19:45).

Crystal Palace's next match is away at Swansea in a 15:00 kick-off in the Premier League on Saturday.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2SimpsonBooked at 86mins
  • 5Morgan
  • 15MaguireBooked at 56mins
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25NdidiBooked at 61mins
  • 21IborraSubstituted forOkazakiat 77'minutes
  • 26Mahrez
  • 7Gray
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forKingat 77'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forUlloaat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Iheanacho
  • 10King
  • 12Hamer
  • 16Dragovic
  • 20Okazaki
  • 23Ulloa
  • 28Fuchs

Crystal Palace

  • 1Speroni
  • 34Kelly
  • 5Tomkins
  • 6Dann
  • 15SchluppBooked at 67mins
  • 10Townsend
  • 7CabayeSubstituted forRiedewaldat 85'minutes
  • 18McArthur
  • 8Loftus-Cheek
  • 17BentekeBooked at 51minsSubstituted forSakoat 88'minutes
  • 11Zaha

Substitutes

  • 3van Aanholt
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee Chung-yong
  • 23Souaré
  • 26Sako
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 44Riedewald
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
31,081

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Crystal Palace 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Crystal Palace 3.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Crystal Palace 3. Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek following a fast break.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace).

Attempt blocked. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Bakary Sako replaces Christian Benteke.

Danny Simpson (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace).

Booking

Danny Simpson (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Leonardo Ulloa.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Jamie Vardy.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jairo Riedewald replaces Yohan Cabaye.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Wes Morgan.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Scott Dann.

Attempt blocked. Andy King (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Demarai Gray with a cross.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.

Attempt missed. Wes Morgan (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Demarai Gray with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Yohan Cabaye.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Marc Albrighton.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Vicente Iborra.

Attempt missed. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Jeffrey Schlupp.

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Harry Maguire (Leicester City).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City18171056124452
2Man Utd17122337112638
3Chelsea18122432141838
4Arsenal18103531201133
5Burnley189541612432
6Liverpool1787234201431
7Tottenham1894531181331
8Leicester187562726126
9Watford186482733-622
10Everton176472129-822
11Huddersfield186391630-1421
12Southampton184681724-718
13Brighton184681423-918
14Crystal Palace184591528-1317
15West Ham184591732-1517
16Bournemouth174491520-516
17Stoke1844101939-2016
18Newcastle1843111627-1115
19West Brom172871222-1014
20Swansea173311922-1312
View full Premier League table

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