Home Sports English Premier League Vardy scores brace as Leicester City beat Crystal Palace 3 – 0

Vardy scores brace as Leicester City beat Crystal Palace 3 – 0

Leicester City

Vardy scores brace as Leicester City beat Crystal Palace 3 – 0. Vardy scores a brace as he reaches 100 PL goals. The striker tapped home a Harvey Barnes cross from close range to bring up his top-flight century as the Foxes won for the first time since the restart. Jamie Vardy scored his 100th and 101st Premier League goals as Leicester boosted their hopes of achieving a top-four Premier League finish with victory over a lacklustre Crystal Palace.

Having failed to find the net in three games since the Premier League’s resumption, Vardy then added a second, running clear of the Palace defence before chipping a neat finish past Vicente Guaita.

Kelechi Iheanacho had given the home side the lead, side-footing home a superb, low left-wing cross from Youri Tielemens to claim his second goal in as many games. This came after a fairly drab first half in which Justin James had struck the bar with a fierce drive for the home side, but little else of note happened.

It is a much-needed win for City, who had seen their grip on a top-four spot weaken following two draws and a loss since the restart. It puts them six points clear of fifth-placed Wolves, who face Arsenal later on Saturday.

It was another disappointing display from Palace, who set out primarily to contain their opponents and then could not impose themselves in order to alter the outcome once they fell behind. Gary Cahill came closest to salvaging something from the game for them with a downward header, saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

After winning their first game back, Roy Hodgson‘s side have now lost three on the bounce – a run that surely ends any hope they had of snatching a Europa League qualification spot. Vardy brought up his 100th Premier League goal in his 206th appearance – not quick enough to place him in the division’s top 10 fastest to the milestone.

That table is led by the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer, who hit the century mark in just 124 matches. What separates Vardy from his peers in the centurion club is the route he took to reach the top flight, which saw him rise rapidly from non-league football with Stocksbridge Park Steels and Halifax, via Fleetwood, to the Foxes.

He probably will not have had an easier finish in his entire career than the one presented to him for his 100th goal, with Barnes forcing a mistake from Palace and winning the ball before laying on an open goal for the striker to find.

His second goal was classic Vardy, though, with the striker drawing on his pace to beat the defence, and his deft touch to finish – indicative of him at his best. It is a timely return to goalscoring form, for both the former England international and his club.

Having scored 17 goals in 19 games before the turn of the year, his form fell off a cliff in 2020, bringing him just two more goals in 10 matches. Leicester won just two of those to leave their grip on a top-four place looking very precarious.

But with Vardy back scoring, and Iheanacho a capable and willing foil, suddenly things look a lot rosier for the Foxes.

Palace limping over the line

Having comfortably beaten a dire Bournemouth team before suffering at the hands of a rampant Liverpool side on the cusp of the title, Palace’s most telling result so far has been their 1-0 home loss to Burnley.

Expected to take the initiative against a side in a similar league position and with similar qualities to themselves, they were neutered by the Clarets and picked off by one moment of precision – a ploy they know only too well.

Here, they were never in the game, barring a half-chance or two – Cahill’s header and Luca Milivojevic free-kick that he curled just wide of the top corner.

Their big issue is an ongoing inability to get anything remotely approaching his best out of their most potent attacking weapon, Wilfried Zaha, who has only shown in flashes this campaign the kind of form that courted admiring glances from elsewhere.

You would barely notice he was playing, such was his position on the periphery of the action, although Christian Benteke and top-scorer Jordan Ayew also did little to impact the game.

Only Norwich (16) and Watford (14) have failed to score in more different Premier League games than Palace this season (13).

However, having earned enough points now to remain in the division for another year, largely thanks to what is usually an extremely robust defence, such attacking issues are ones Hodgson has at least one – albeit shortened – off-season to rectify.

Man of the match – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Leicester double post-restart goals tally

  • Leicester scored more goals in this match (3) than they had in their three previous games combined since the Premier League restart (2).
  • Leicester have remained unbeaten in all of their home games against London sides in a single Premier League season for the first time since 2000-01.
  • After a run of four consecutive Premier League victories, Crystal Palace have lost their last three by an aggregate score of 8-0.
  • Crystal Palace mustered just one shot on target in this match, by defender Gary Cahill.
  • The Eagles failed to score in the first half for the 25th time this season – more than any other side.
  • Kelechi Iheanacho has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for Leicester, having netted in just one of his previous 12 in the competition.
  • Harvey Barnes provided his seventh and eighth Premier League assists of the season, more than any other Leicester player.

Source – BBC News

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