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.
19 de marzo 2019
|Casillas convinced Porto team-mate Militao will succeed at Real Madrid|
|Manziel in contention for AAF debut on Sunday|
|Inter general manager Marotta hopeful on Icardi´s stand-off|
|Casillas thrilled by Zidane´s Real Madrid return|
|Belgium and Manchester United striker Lukaku sent for scan on foot injury|
|Saul replaces Fabian in Spain squad|
|Injured Shaqiri withdraws from Switzerland squad|
18 de marzo 2019
|LaLiga strugglers Rayo Vallecano sack coach Michel|
|Mourinho: Mbappe more valuable than Messi & Ronaldo|
|DeMarcus Cousins ´day-to-day´ after MRI on ankle|
|Bogut to join Warriors early after Cousins injury|
|Van Dijk: Salah goals will come for Liverpool|
|Roma president hits back at Monchi criticism|
|Aston Villa and Birmingham fined for derby fracas|
|Adrian Peterson returns to Redskins|
|Koeman: Timing of Euro 2020 qualifiers is odd|
|Napoli goalkeeper Ospina given all clear after head injury|
|Captain Morgan signs Leicester extension|
|Tennis Canada coach Labelle says ´sky is the limit´ for Andreescu|
|Pochettino happy at Tottenham but hints at Real Madrid interest|
|´Shocked´ Hudson-Odoi called into England squad|
|Barca talk will not affect underrated Griezmann - Deschamps|
|Overmars extends Ajax contract amid Arsenal links|
|Tiger commits to WGC-Dell Match Play ahead of Masters|
|Rashford: Aguero is Premier League´s most complete striker|
|Ineos reports ´ideal´ for Team Sky, says Wiggins|
|An offer we couldn´t refuse - Giants GM Gettleman breaks silence over Beckham trade|
|Godfather II was better - Monchi defends Sevilla sequel|
|Hall: CSA must avoid exodus of Kolpak youngsters|
|RFL to consider New York rugby league club|
|Bierhoff: Germany not in doomsday scenario|
|Jorginho is playing well - Mancini defends much-maligned Chelsea midfielder|
|I´m retiring from the NFL on top! - Ngata bows out on Kilimanjaro|
|Mancini challenges Balotelli to earn Italy recall|
|Arthur given time to earn new Eels deal|
|Chelsea say player was racially abused during Dynamo Kiev game|
|Quins land Argentina playmaker Landajo|
|F1 2019: What we learned from Australian Grand Prix|
|Tour de France 2020 opening stages provide stiff challenge|
|Mata: Defeats will test Man Utd spirit|
|Wigan ´seeking clarification´ over Edwards´ intentions|
|Barca confirm two-week absence for Suarez|
|Walton defends LeBron after Knicks defeat|
|Ronaldo charged by UEFA after Atletico celebration|
|Ward-Prowse called up by England as Delph, Stones and Loftus-Cheek withdraw|
|Del Potro follows Nadal in missing Miami Open|
|Leeds centre-back Jansson out for three weeks|
|Thiem: Indian Wells triumph feels like grand slam glory|
|River Plate star Quintero suffers ruptured ACL|
|Rahmat and Ihsanullah seal historic Test win for Afghanistan|
|Brewers spoof Mean Girls during spring training|
|Truly a Cinderella story - Andreescu visualised unlikely Indian Wells win|
|Busquets takes pride in majestic Messi|
|Dani Alves, Kanoute and Monchi´s best Sevilla signings|
|Matic backing Solskjaer stay despite United wobble|
|Federer: Thiem has the ´secret´ to achieve greatness on clay|
|76ers top Bucks despite Antetokounmpo´s 52 points|
|MLS Review: Waston creates history on day to remember for FC Cincinnati|
|Tuchel applauds PSG´s mental strength as fans protest during Le Classique|
|Busch secures 200th NASCAR victory after overcoming penalty in California|
|Thiem shocks Federer to clinch first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells|
|Spalletti: Inter have ´found a striker´ in Lautaro|
|Luckily I didn´t see it or I would´ve thrown myself in too – Gattuso fumes at Kessie-Biglia row|
|Pique not planning another Griezmann documentary amid Barcelona speculation|
|Kessie, Biglia apologise for derby bench row|
|Napoli keeper Ospina kept in hospital after head injury against Udinese|
|Valverde: Betis win an important step for Barcelona|
|Crowd disturbances force abandonment of Panathinaikos-Olympiakos|
|McIlroy eyes Augusta after Players Championship success|
|Suarez sprains ankle as Barcelona beat Betis|