Leicester City 1:2 Crystal Palace
Leicester City fans had an unfamiliar taste of defeat as City were out-thought and out-muscled by a useful-looking Crystal Palace outfit at the KPS on Saturday…
After an early spell of attacking from Palace, in which Zaha showed the threat of his pace, City settled down to create some chances.
Vardy, charging down the left, squared a ball for Nugent but at full stretch he could only send his effort straight at Speroni.
Knockaert also forced a save from the Palace keeper and King sent a header over the bar, but after these early inroads City struggled to make an impression on a Palace side with a rock solid defence and plenty of pace on the break.
Palace took the lead in the 23rd minute when Schmeichel claimed a Garavan corner but then dropped it after colliding with Whitbread – former-Fox Delaney firing the loose ball home through a crowded goalmouth.
Five minutes later Palace further stunned the KPS with a goal that was all too straight-forward; Bolasie’s corner nodded home by Ramage from eight yards out.
An impressive number of visiting supporters celebrated, and City’s 100% home record was already looking under grave threat.
James came on for Dyer, in response to Palace’s three striker breakaways, and City managed a few attacking moves, the best of which saw Garvan heading clear from under the bar after Nugent’s instant turn and shot.
Boos greeted the half-time whistle, but they were directed at the unimpressive officials, rather than the home team.
At least the cheerleaders from the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars performed well during the break, to warm the cockles on a chilly day.
City, looking frustrated and out of sorts, still struggled to make a dent on Palace, under the caretaker-management of Lennie Lawrence after Dougie Freedman’s departure.
The desperation grew and when a couple of penalty shouts late on were turned down we knew it just wasn’t our day. Delaney’s ‘trip’ on Nugent was difficult to call and the ref thought Garvan had chested, rather than handled, Nugent’s header on the line.
City finally punctured the yellow wall in the second minute of injury time when King met Knochesky’s cross with a well directed header. But it was too late.
City need to bounce back from this rare disappointment, something that Nigel Pearson’s sides have been able to do in the past.
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 23,646.