Iheanacho helps Foxes hunt for Champions League
By Rayan Choudhury
Kelechi Iheanacho scored a late stunner and provide an assist as Leicester city came from 1-0 down to take all 3 points in a 2-1 win against Palace, with Timothy Castagne scoring the equaliser at the King Power Stadium, strengthening their hunt for the champions league.
The foxes were unchanged from the team which beat West Brom last time out and the only Eagles change from their game previous against Chelsea was enforced as Scott Dann in for the injured Gary Cahill.
Last season Leicester tailed away from reaching Europe’s elite competition with many bad results in the latter end of the season and it looked as though history would repeat itself after Wilfred Zaha put Palace ahead after young Englishman Eberechi Eze found his teammate in the 12th minute - the Ivorians 4th goal in 4 games at the King Power Stadium.
Jamie Vardy made his 350th senior career appearance and looked to mark the occasion after two early chances one stopped by Vicente Guaita and the other wide of the target both coming before the Palace goal.
That goal from Zaha took his goal tally for the season up to 10 and a well-constructed Palace defence got them to half time with a lead.
However before the break the fixture made a first in the Premier League when after 30 minutes the game paused to allow Leicester’s Wesley Fofana and Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate to break their Ramadan fast. It was agreed before the match by both clubs and referee Graham Scott that this would happen, Muslims fast in the daylight hours in Ramadan and with this being a late kick-off Sunset was midgame. Despite this Leicester struggled to create and went into the actual Half time break 1-0 down.
But it would only take five minutes after the restart for Leicester to get back in the game after an error from Kouyate allowed Iheanacho a chance to play in Timothy Castagne who scored into the top corner despite a VAR check for handball - his first goal at home for Leicester and only his second since scoring on his league debut back in September against West Brom.
Five minutes later it was Palace who had the chance to go ahead again but failed thanks to Jonny Evans with some last ditch defending to deny Christian Benteke a tap in from Jairo Riedewald’s pass.
But the night was ultimately Kelechi Iheanacho’s and Leicester’s after the Nigerian provided a chance for Vardy which then went wide before scoring the winner with a stunner himself in the 80th minute. Getting the ball onto his left foot and going for the corner, leaving Guaita no chance to save it.
The result means Leicester remain in 3rd with a seven-point gap between 4th spot and therefore keeping that Champions League dream alive. They travel to St Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton next. Meanwhile Palace remain in 13th on 38 points but not mathematically safe from relegation sitting seven points above the drop zone with their next fixture at home to champions elect Manchester City.