Football Features

Palace 0-2 Leicester: ‘Cold-blooded’ Vardy chalks up double figures as Foxes leapfrog Chelsea

By Mohamed Moallim

Palace Leicester - Jamie Vardy goal

Published: 16:11, 3 November 2019

Leicester City maintained their push for Champions League football with a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

The Foxes, who have struggled at Selhurst Park following their remarkable championship success in 2016, had Caglar Söyüncü and Jamie Vardy to thank for the three points.

Palace, meanwhile, continued a miserable run at home with this being a second consecutive Selhurst Park defeat in the Premier League whilst Leicester’s win sees them move ahead of Chelsea into third place.

Naturally, there were individual winners and losers. Here are three of each from this encounter:

Winner: Çağlar Söyüncü

Söyüncü has been nothing short of a revelation for Leicester City since assuming regular first-team duties following Harry Maguire’s move to Manchester United in the summer. The 23-year-old Turkish centre-back has forged an impressive partnership with Jonny Evans.

But on his own Söyüncü is coming up with the goods, for example, today he won five aerial duels and he used his head to put the visitors in front just before the hour mark. That effort was Söyüncü’s first in a Leicester jersey, now he is becoming a danger at both ends of the field, Maguire has been forgotten.

Loser: Cheikhou Kouyaté

It seems churlish, but Söyüncü’s goal could have been prevented by Palace if a semblance of communication had taken place once James Maddison whipped in the preceding corner.

Cheikhou Kouyaté, nearest to Söyüncü, needed to give teammate Patrick van Aanholt – who headed the ball into the Leicester man’s path – a shout. It never came and both could only stand there looking bemused as the Turkey international nodded home.

Winner: James Maddison

There was no shortage of creative players on the field but none stood out more than James Maddison, whose status continues to go from strength to strength.

Everything positive the Foxes produced seemingly came through the 22-year-old midfielder, who created no fewer than eight goalscoring opportunities, which accounted for 67% of his team’s overall total. In fact, Maddison’s tally is the best return by an away player in a Premier League game so far this season.

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Loser: Selhurst Park faithful

It’s fair to say Crystal Palace’s home support aren’t getting bang for their buck at this very moment in the Premier League. Since the season has begun they’ve watched their side play six times and across those fixtures Palace have mustered no fewer than four goals with just one of those coming in the opening 45 minutes of a fixture.

That represents a meek return which only just betters the three goals Newcastle United supporters have seen at St James’ Park. Next up is the visit of league leaders Liverpool, who come to town on November 23, and you wouldn’t fancy the Eagles to breach Jurgen Klopp’s backline.

Vardy goal Palace

Winner: Jamie Vardy

Heading into the 11th matchday of this Premier League campaign, Vardy led the ‘golden boot’ race with nine goals, but was soon pegged back by Sergio Aguero then Tammy Abraham on Saturday.

However, he would have fancied himself to reach double figures this afternoon and he did just when it looked like a blank was coming his way. Vardy touched the ball 20 times, the fewest of anyone that started, but when has being involved all the time been a detriment to a cold-blooded goalscorer? Vardy only needs one moment to get on the scoresheet and that came with two minutes left on the clock.

Loser: Wilfried Zaha

There’s no question Wilfried Zaha is Palace’s main man and when he endures an off-day they rarely come out on top. Zaha, by any stretch, wasn’t anonymous and was heavily involved – creating his side’s most chances and shots on goal (both two). However, the Ivorian forward lacked the je ne sais quoi to put his side ahead.

More worryingly, he’s now gone 12 consecutive home matches without a league goal. You have to go back to a 1-1 draw with West Ham in February for his last Selhurst Park strike.