Leicester strengthened their grip on third place within the Premier League as Kelechi Iheanacho’s excellent strike capped a spirited fightback in Monday’s 2-1 win in opposition to Crystal Palace. Brendan Rogers’ facet trailed to Wilfried Zaha’s first half aim on the King Energy Stadium. However Timothy Castagne equalised quickly after the interval together with his first aim since September. And Nigeria striker Iheanacho sealed Leicester’s second successive victory when he scored with a thunderous end 10 minutes from full-time.
Leicester are 4 factors away from fourth positioned Chelsea and 7 forward of fifth positioned West Ham as they bid to qualify for subsequent season’s Champions League.
“It was a vital win for us. It was the third sport in 9 days so a tricky schedule,” Rodgers stated.
“Going one behind in opposition to Palace, they’re tremendous organised and hard to interrupt down. I believed the gamers had been excellent. They stored the calmness and management and scored two excellent objectives.”
With 5 video games left, the FA Cup finalists have already matched their whole of 62 factors from final season.
A late collapse price the Foxes a spot within the Champions League in 2020, however Rodgers’ males are firmly heading in the right direction to make amends because of the glowing type of Iheanacho.
“We spoke about it in the beginning of the season and put it to mattress them. Our efficiency ranges this season have proven that’s prior to now,” Rodgers stated.
Going into February, Iheanacho had not scored a single league aim this season, however no-one has netted greater than his 10 within the competitors since then.
The 24-year-old has 12 objectives in his final 9 video games in all competitions.
He’s the primary Nigerian to achieve double figures in Premier League objectives in a season since Odion Ighalo’s 15 for Watford in 2015-16.
“Over the previous couple of months he is been completely unbelievable. He has no ego in any way, he works so laborious,” Rodgers stated of Iheanacho.
“However the aim he scored was simply sheer high quality. You watch it again once more, simply his contact to come back inside after which take it so early. It was an excellent end.”
– Stirring revival –
Regardless of Leicester’s early stress, Palace snatched the lead with a ruthless counter-attack within the twelfth minute.
Christian Benteke robbed Youri Tielemans with a powerful problem on the midway line and Eberechi Eze strode ahead earlier than slipping a defence-splitting move by means of to Zaha.
The Ivory Coast ahead eluded Leicester’s offside entice and guided a cool end previous Kasper Schmeichel for his tenth aim of the season.
It was a well-known, dispiriting sight for Leicester as Zaha celebrated his sixth aim in his final seven league appearances in opposition to the Foxes.
However there was no finish to Leicester’s territorial dominance and Jonny Evans nodded right down to his fellow centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, who shot vast from a great place.
Leicester deservedly equalised within the fiftieth minute when Iheanacho fantastically managed Tielemans’ lofted move contained in the Palace space and slipped the ball into Castagne’s path.
The Belgium wing-back wasted no time dispatching a curling strike excessive into the roof of Vicente Guaita’s internet from 10 yards.
Tielemans blasted narrowly vast from the sting of the world and Jamie Vardy was inches astray earlier than Leicester accomplished their stirring revival within the eightieth minute.
Evans’ lengthy move picked out Iheanacho’s run and the Nigerian held off two Palace defenders inside the world earlier than slicing again inside for a blistering strike that flashed previous Guaita.