BY SAM SMITH
Goals by Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy earned Leicester City victory against a Crystal Palace side who lacked enough quality in the final third.
The Turkish defender headed in from a corner after Vicente Guaita had made an excellent save to deny Jonny Evans.
Vardy capped the result in added-time having rounded off a clever move. The Eagles got into enough areas to create scoring chances but their lack of a final ball and absence of a finishing touch were a common theme.
Both sides started brightly, with Leicester playing their first game since their 9-0 demolition of Southampton nine days prior. The Foxes’ Harvey Barnes forced a save from Guaita before the Eagles broke and Jordan Ayew blazed an effort over the crossbar.
A wonderful pass by James Maddison put Vardy through on goal but the striker was thwarted from a tight angle by Guaita. Jonny Evans headed over from a corner soon after as the visitors began to assert some dominance.
Patrick van Aanholt’s fantastic recovery run and tackle denied Ayoze Perez, who had initially been through on goal after Leicester broke following a spell of Palace pressure.
An entertaining half ended with the hosts on top. Kasper Schmeichel was forced to tip a deflected Jeffrey Schlupp effort over the bar. A succession of corners involving Luka Milivojevic and Schlupp almost working an opening to goal.
And Palace began the second half how the ended their first. Neat build-up play almost saw Cheikhou Kouyate set up Ayew, before Wilfried Zaha – on his 300th league appearance for the club – won possession, advanced forward but curled well wide.
Although Roy Hodgson’s side would soon find themselves behind. Guaita had made a stunning save to keep his side level, denying Evans after the Manchester United man ran free at a corner and headed towards goal. But the Spaniard could do nothing at the resultant set piece, which was flicked on for Soyuncu to head in the opening goal from close range.
Schlupp – facing his former side – had an effort blocked by what appeared to be the arm of Soyuncu, but neither referee Paul Tierney nor VAR awarded a penalty. Cahill wrestled free at the following corner but slipped as he went to shoot. Joel Ward then fired straight at Schmeichel as Palace sought an equaliser.
But it failed to come. Instead, Vardy rounded off a well-worked team move to net a second for the Foxes, who had enough time for Ben Chilwell to strike the post as Palace lost successive home games for the first time since March.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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