Leicester 2-1 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Kelechi Iheanacho inspires vital Foxes comeback

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Leicester-City-v-Crystal-Palace---Premier-League
Leicester 2-1 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Kelechi Iheanacho inspires vital Foxes comeback

With a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Monday evening, Kelechi Iheanacho was once again the star of the show as Leicester took a big step towards Champions League qualification.

The pre-match build-up centred around Leicester and the chance to strengthen their grip on third place, but Palace were out to prove a win was no foregone conclusion. They were on the back foot for most of the first half, but took the chance when it came, as Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha combined to cut Leicester open on the break.

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Brendan Rodgers clearly had some choice words with his troops at half-time, however. They started the second half with a rocket up their backsides, and found themselves level when Timothy Castagne drifted into the area to hammer home.

It was Iheanacho’s great work that set the Belgian up, and the re-emerging striker became the hero when he fired in a stunner to put his side within touching distance of the Champions League.

Let’s get down to business with some player rating/evaluations!

LEICESTER PLAYER RATINGS

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Leicester's Wesley Fofana battles with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha

Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 6/10 –¬†Didn’t have much to do beyond picking the ball out of his net.

Wesley Fofana (CB) – 6/10 –¬†Stood up bravely to the battle with Zaha but was caught in two minds for the opener.

Jonny Evans (CB) – 7/10 –¬†Brilliant game-saving challenge to deny Christian Benteke on the break in the second half. Marshalled the back line admirably despite one or two shaky moments.

Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – 6/10 –¬†Held the line well and seemed comfortable in Leicester’s high press. Struggled against Benteke once or twice but gave good account for himself.

2. Midfielders & wing-backs

Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt challenges Leicester's Youri Tielemans

Timothy Castagne (RWB) – 7/10 –¬†Busy performance down the right flank capped off with a thumping finish to level it up.

Wilfred Ndidi (CM) – 6/10 –¬†Flew under the radar a little but was a vital presence in the engine room as Leicester battled back into it.

Youri Tielemans (CM) – 6/10 –¬†Dispossessed far too easily for the Palace opener but made up for it with a searching long ball that created the equaliser.

Luke Thomas (LWB) – 6/10 –¬†More involved as the game wore on but needs to work on his movement and end product if he is to become a regular starter.

James Maddison (AM) – 5/10 –¬†Looked tentative as he eases back from injury but his intelligent movement did cause an occasional problem for Palace.

3. Forwards

Kelechi Iheanacho takes on Eberechi Eze

Jamie Vardy (FW) – 6/10 –¬†Looked absolutely spent which is no surprise considering all the football he’s played recently. Amazing that he wasn’t subbed off.

Kelechi Iheanacho (FW) – 8/10 –¬†Underlined his growing importance to the Leicester side with a bustling assist for the equaliser and a glorious finish to win the game.

4. Substitutes

Marc Albrighton (Maddison, 70) – 6/10

Ayoze Perez (Thomas, 70) – 6/10

CRYSTAL PALACE PLAYER RATINGS

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Jamie Vardy, Vicente Guaita
Vicente Guaita denies Vardy | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Vicente Guaita (GK) – 6/10 –¬†Wasn’t quite as busy as the result suggests. No chance on either goal.

Joel Ward (RB) – 7/10 –¬†Handled the overlapping threat of Thomas without too much fuss. Steady, constant performance.

Cheikhou Kouyate (CB) – 6/10 –¬†Stepped out to win the ball back a couple of times which relieved the substantial pressure on his team.

Scott Dann (CB) – 5/10 –¬†Held things together reasonably well but his lack of pace was exposed a few times.

Patrick van Aanholt (LB) – 5/10 –¬†Out of position for the Leicester equaliser. Otherwise fairly uninvolved.

6. Midfielders

Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze takes on Leicester's Timothy Castagne
Jordan Ayew (RM) – 5/10 –¬†Had to check the team-sheet to be absolutely sure he was playing. Fills a hole down the right but struggled to make anything happen here.

Jairo Riedewald (CM) – 6/10 –¬†Couple of sloppy challenges but was effective at breaking up the play and slowing Leicester down. Spurned a great chance to give his team the lead – almost couldn’t believe the space he had behind the Leicester back line.

Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 7/10 –¬†You know what you’re getting from the Serbian. Effective, battling performance and was unlucky to come out on the losing side.

Eberechi Eze (LM) – 7/10 –¬†Lovely ball to set up Zaha for the opener. Threatened throughout with his driving runs from deep.

7. Forwards

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates his opener

Wilfried Zaha (FW) – 6/10 –¬†Timed his run perfectly and slotted a composed finish past Guaita for his first goal since January.

Christian Benteke (FW) – 7/10 –¬†Very involved performance which would have been encouraging for Hodgson. Won the ball back to instigate the move for the opening goal and was denied a winner by a great last ditch challenge.

8. Substitutes

Andros Townsend (Ayew, 78) – 5/10

James McCarthy (Milivojevic, 83) – 5/10

Jeffrey Schlupp (Riedewald, 85) – 5/10

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