Harvey Barnes scored for the second game in a row as Leicester finished second in the Premier League with another late point following a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
Leicester had done the same against Manchester United on Boxing Day but their trip to Selhurst Park had not started very well after Kelechi Iheanacho’s first half penalty was saved by Vicente Guaita.
Palace suffered two confidence-sapping defeats, against Liverpool and Aston Villa, over Christmas and appeared short in attack in the first half. But they rallied after the break, scoring with their only shot on target. Wilfried Zaha (58) started and ended a wonderful counterattack as Palace looked to end their four-game winless streak.
But Leicester, who made a number of changes for the south London trip, found their spark in a lackluster second half as Barnes (83) weaved his way along the top of the zone before send a low shot to the house to once again get behind. point.
The result sends Leicester back to second before the remaining matches of Matchday 16, three points behind Liverpool, while Palace move up a place in 13th.
Leicester snatch another late draw at Selhurst Park
There were half chances for both teams in the first 15 minutes. Zaha was on the end of the goal, but his effort was saved by Kasper Schmeichel before the offside flag was raised. Ayoze Perez could only nod his head away from Luke Thomas’ deflected cross, before Iheanacho saw his shot deflect for a corner.
Leicester received a penalty in the 18th minute after James Tomkins caught Thomas. With regular penalty shooters Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans on the bench, Iheanacho lined him up, but a hesitant run allowed Guaita to guess the right track, making a comfortable stop on a weak kick.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Clyne (7), Tomkins (7), Kouyate (7), Mitchell (7), Milivojevic (7), Riedewald (7), Townsend (7), Schlupp (7), Zaha (7), Benteke (6).
Subs used: McArthur (6), Ayew (6).
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Justin (7), Evans (7), Amartey (7), Thomas (7), Mendy (7), Choudhury (7), Praet (7), Perez (7), Barnes (8), Iheanacho (6).
Subs used: Tielemans (7), Vardy (6), Gray (6).
Man of the match: Harvey Barnes.
Palace had their best half-time chance just before the 30 minutes. Jeffrey Schlupp drove down the left flank before whipping the ball into the area for Townsend’s wait. However, Townsend could only direct his effort a few inches from the target with his first hit. Soon after, Iheanacho moved in closer again, but after breaking away from his defenders, he was only able to send a broad header at close range after it bounced off his shoulder.
Crystal Palace got off to a good start in the second half and after an earlier failure caused an explosion of frustration from Zaha, he redeemed himself with a magnificent opener just before the time of his 200th Premier start. League for the club.
- Crystal Palace has made five changes. Joel Ward, Patrick van Aanholt, James McArthur, Scott Dan and Eberechi Eze have retired with the arrival of James Tomkins, Andros Townsend, Nathaniel Clyne, Tyrick Mitchell and Jairo Riedewald.
- Leicester also made some significant changes. Kasper Schmeichel, James Justin, Jonny Evans and Harvey Barnes were the only players to keep their places. Caglar Soyuncu returned to the bench while Timothy Castange, Wesley Fofana and James Maddison were not included in a busy series of matches.
He was in the thick of a counterattack, leading the field before choosing Townsend who then lifted a cross into the area. Zaha arrived at the back post to fly the ball behind Schmeichel at the bottom of the nearest post.
In search of the equalizer Leicester threw on Tielemans, Vardy and Demarai Gray but it was the impressive Barnes who made the breakthrough in the 83rd minute. The ball shattered at the winger, who danced over the top of the box before hitting a low, hard shot into the corner for his eighth goal of the season.
It was Leicester who pushed for the winner in the last pangs. Scorer Barnes twice sent effort away from the target, Gray also firing a free kick over the bar and Perez closing in at close range.
Man of the Match – Harvey Barnes
It was another positive display from the 23-year-old, growing up in his role in the Leicester attack. He was one of only four players to retain their place in the game against United, in which he also scored.
Barnes had six hits – double Leicester’s next highest contribution. He also provided for his teammates, putting in some superb direct runs and sending four crosses. Barnes racked up the same number of interceptions as he sometimes took advantage of a few loose passes from Palace.
Barnes has now scored eight goals in 21 games in all competitions this season – one more than he scored in 42 appearances for the Foxes last season.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Brendan Rodgers said of Barnes: “His confidence at this level keeps improving. Last year was his first full season in the Premier League, we so let’s try to get him into the areas to score more goals and take that risk in the last third.
“He trains a lot, he works on his shot and his finish all the time. His goal today was awesome… If you look back at the goal he has a lot of body around him but the way he creates the space. for the shot was fantastic. I’m thrilled for him, I’ve always said he needs to improve his numbers and passes and he does. Let it continue for a long time. “
What the managers said
Manager of the Crystal Palace Roy Hodgson said: “I’m really happy with the performance in the second half, which was back at Crystal Palace that I used to see and what I think we’re capable of doing.
“I was not happy with the first half at all and at half Ray Lewington was almost apoplectic in his criticism of what we were doing in that half. Luckily it produced the required effect. and we came out in the second half and did so much better.
“As a result, you might think it’s a shame that we couldn’t hang on to it, but if you watch the game over 90 minutes, we had to record a penalty to stay 0-0 and they were so clearly. than us in the first half, I think I have to say I’m happy with a point.
“Most importantly, I’m glad we broke a very nasty streak that damaged our confidence and caused us a lot of pain.”
Leicester Director Brendan Rodgers said: “We are disappointed with the result in terms of the first half control. We had some opportunities and if we can get the first goal it can give us a good foot in the game. I thought we deserved it. this in the first half but you must try your luck.
“In the second half they started brilliantly in the first 20 minutes and we didn’t really start. We gave a goal where we can do a lot better.
“But for the second time in three days we’ve shown a great reaction. For being late in a game where you need a lot of physics to get back to it, I thought the players deserved huge credit. Help us out. go ahead, but I thought we had enough chances and pressure to win the game.
“But like I’ve always said, if you can’t win don’t lose it and Harvey scores a great goal again. Hopefully that will be a valuable point for us at the end of the season.”
Opta Statistics – Days away from Leicester
- Crystal Palace has only won its last league game in the last nine calendar years (D7 L2), the last against Millwall in the Championship in 2011 (1-0).
- Leicester City have lost just one of their eight Premier League away games in 2020-21 (W6 D1), having lost five and winning three of their last eight road games last season .
- Crystal Palace have kept only one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League games, conceding in each of their last 15 games in the competition since defeating Southampton 1-0 on Matchday 1.
Crystal Palace will be next in action on Saturday when they host Sheffield United, live on Sky Sports; kick off 3 p.m. Leicester will also be live on Sky Sports at the weekend when they travel to Newcastle on Super Sunday; kick off at 2.15 p.m.