Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic scored a fine first-half winner to earn a 1-0 Premier League victory over Leicester City at Selhurst Park.
Milivojevic lit up a scrappy affair on Saturday with an impressive long-range strike shortly before half-time, and that proved enough to earn his side only their second win in 12 top-flight games and their first in 14 attempts without Wilfried Zaha.
The closest Leicester came to an equaliser was when Jamie Vardy had a shot tipped onto the post with 11 minutes remaining, with Claude Puel's men having now lost three straight Premier League games against Palace.
With goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey injured, Vicente Guaita was handed a Premier League debut by Roy Hodgson and he survived a scare when Vardy – who went on to tap into an empty net – dispossessed him, only for referee Michael Oliver to blow for a foul.
The former Valencia shot stopper then kept out a Vardy header, allowing Palace to go on and take the lead six minutes before the interval.
After being fed by Andros Townsend, Milivojevic took a touch before sending a superb curling strike beyond Kasper Schmeichel from over 25 yards out.
Rachid Ghezzal replaced James Maddison at half-time, but it was Demarai Gray who was off target with three attempts early in the second half, the last of them a poorly scuffed effort wide to end what had been a promising solo run.
Ghezzal fired narrowly wide from a Gray cross, and Vardy then thought he had equalised when set up by substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, only for Guaita to impressively push his left-footed effort against the woodwork as Palace survived.
What does it mean? Breathing space for Palace
Palace came into the match with a two-point gap on the bottom three, and that advantage now sits at five after a vital result in front of their own fans. With back-to-back home wins and a resilient display, Roy Hodgson now has something to build on going into the busy festive period.
Leicester, meanwhile, drop out of the top half of the table and have just one win in six, their momentum stalling with some tricky games awaiting them in the weeks ahead.
Milivojevic leads by example
It was a wonderful winning goal by Milivojevic, who had last week lamented the character of his side after they failed to hold their lead in the derby defeat to West Ham. This time they held on to the advantage.
He led by example with a superb strike to take his tally to 16 Premier League goals since his debut in February 2017 – not a bad return for a midfielder, and more than any of his team-mates, including the talismanic Zaha, across that time.
16 - Since his Premier League debut in February 2017, Luka Milivojevic has scored more goals in the competition for Crystal Palace than any other player. Rocket.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 15, 2018
Gray failing to make most of opportunities
Over the course of his reign, Puel has often faced calls to use Gray more. He did so here, with the winger starting and playing 73 minutes, but his impact was not a positive one – three attempts off target, and just one chance created, a display which may have the manager pondering other options in what is one of the stronger squads among the mid-table sides.
Key Opta Facts
- Crystal Palace have won and kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League games against Leicester City, doing so against a single team for the first time since April 2014 (Aston Villa).
- Leicester have lost three consecutive games without scoring against an opponent in the Premier League for the first time since April 2002 (six in a row against Manchester United).
- Palace enjoyed their first victory without Wilfried Zaha since beating Sunderland 3-2 on September 24th 2016.
- The Foxes are without a win in their last 10 Premier League visits to London (D4 L6), since a 3-2 triumph against West Ham in March 2017.
- Luka Milivojevic's goal was only his third out of 16 scored in the Premier League not to come from a penalty (12) or a direct free-kick (1).
- Andros Townsend has been directly involved in three goals in last two Premier League games for Palace at Selhurst Park (1 goal, 2 assists), one more than he managed in his previous 14 (2).
Palace are away to Manchester City next Saturday, the same day as Leicester take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Before that, though, Pep Guardiola's side will have travelled to face the Foxes in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Tuesday – two tough games for Puel's side just when consistency is eluding them.
20 de enero 2019
|Feisty Collins ready to make more noise after thrashing Kerber|
|I´ve got to work on my soccer skills! - Mavs´ Doncic didn´t know ejection rule|
|Lakers won´t rush LeBron & Rondo back despite Ball injury|
|Henry explains foul-mouthed confrontation with Strasbourg´s Lala|
|Nadal wary of ´dangerous´ Tiafoe|
|Emery ´not positive´ over Bellerin injury|
|Harden scores 48 points as Rockets rally past Lakers in OT|
|Pacquiao wants Mayweather rematch after beating Broner|
|Sharapova unimpressed with questions after Melbourne exit|
|Nadal outclasses Berdych en route to quarters|
|Collins trounces 2016 Aus Open champion Kerber|
|Sanchez: Man United thriving thanks to Solskjaer|
|Sharapova crashes out of Australian Open|
|Devils´ Palmieri replaces Hall on NHL All-Star roster|
|Tuchel stunned by PSG´s nine-goal thrashing of Guingamp|
|Modric wants to extend Real Madrid stay|
|Marotta: Icardi will re-sign, Godin wants Inter|
|´F*** no!´ - Westbrook on if he´s cool with Embiid|
|Mickelson shoots 66 to stay ahead at Desert Classic|
|Real Madrid? You never know what the future holds - PSG´s Mbappe|
|Inter lacked quality in disappointing Sassuolo draw - Spalletti|
|Walton has one goal for Lakers-Rockets matchup: Keep Harden under 50 points|
|CAF Champions League Review: Simba learn Vita lesson as Sundowns find form|
19 de enero 2019
|Bayliss relishing pressure of World Cup and Ashes to finish England reign|
|Guardiola keen to keep City rhythm and challenge on four fronts|
|Fifita backs Johnson to inspire the Sharks|
|For Real Madrid, nothing is impossible - Solari refuses to give up in title race|
|Inter 0 Sassuolo 0: Spalletti´s side labour at sparse San Siro|
|Marshawn Lynch will continue playing ´if it works out´|
|Simeone excited by improving Atleti|
|Jones ´cautiously optimistic´ over Farrell ahead of Ireland clash|
|Sarri questions Chelsea motivation after Arsenal surrender|
|Emery urges Arsenal to find balance after downing Chelsea|
|Koscielny hails Arsenal fighting spirit in Chelsea win|
|Pellegrini: It was not a good idea for Arnautovic to play|
|Iran v Oman: We´re not satisfied yet, says Al Mahaijri|
|Carbery sends Munster through and ends Exeter´s lingering Champions Cup hopes|
|Dyche defiant despite offside call|
|Hasenhuttl rates Everton win as Southampton´s best|
|Benitez looking up the table after Schar inspires win over Cardiff|
|RB Leipzig 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Witsel restores six-point cushion|
|Swansea City 1 Sheffield United 0: McBurnie punishes wasteful Blades|
|Cardiff sign Sala from Nantes for club-record fee|
|Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0: Lacazette and Koscielny fire Gunners to rousing derby win|
|Huesca 0 Atletico Madrid 3: Dominant Atleti keep pressure on Barca|
|Rashford arguably league´s best striker with Kane out - Solskjaer|
|Hafeez plays steady hand as Pakistan punish Proteas´ patient approach|
|Klopp: Exceptional Salah would have scored even more up front!|
|Suspected ´serious´ Verratti injury leaves Tuchel with mixed emotions|
|We needed to rediscover our best form - Ramos pleased for Real Madrid fans|
|City bought Guardiola four full-backs! - Mourinho aims dig at Man Utd transfer policy|
|Valverde ´not frustrated´ amid De Jong & Vela links|
|Championship Review: Leaders Leeds beaten at Stoke as Villa end Hull run|
|Bournemouth rode their luck, admits Howe|
|Barca boss Valverde calls for clarity on RFEF rules|
|Bears rack up 107 points in routing Enisei en route to quarter-finals|
|Paris Saint-Germain 9 Guingamp 0: Verratti injured for rampant champions|
|Solskjaer: I´ll remember managing United for the rest of my life|
|Palace win a ´massive relief´ for Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Salah fourth fastest to 50 goals in Premier League history|
|Real Madrid 2 Sevilla 0: Solari´s side take over third spot|
|Watford 0 Burnley 0: Wood denied winner by contentious call|
|Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 3: Salah reaches 50 thanks to Speroni shocker|
|Newcastle United 3 Cardiff City 0: Schar double moves hosts out of bottom three|
|Southampton 2 Everton 1: In-form Saints steer clear of trouble|
|Bournemouth 2 West Ham 0: Wilson and King sink Pellegrini´s men|
|Manchester United 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Record-breaking win for Solskjaer|
|Pelicans star Anthony Davis out for one to two weeks with sprained finger|
|Verratti hobbles off for PSG against Guingamp|
|Brook ponders next move after missing out on Khan|