Crystal Palace 5:0 Leicester City
A truly dreadful performance by City saw them thrashed 5-0 by Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday…
Claude Puel made two changes to his side, starting Choudhury ahead of Silva, and reinstating Morgan for Dragovic.
City had the first chance soon after kick off when Sakho underhit a back pass to Hennessey, but the Palace keeper got to the ball a split-second before Vardy.
Palace then applied some pressure with a couple of corners, before Iheanacho headed over from a Chilwell cross.
At the other end Hamer miscued a punch sending the ball straight to the head of Tomkins, but Iheanacho cleared off the line.
There was another goal-line clearance five minutes later when City broke upfield and Iheanacho played Vardy in for a shot, but Ward had scrambled back to block his effort.
A minute later, City went behind. A fine move involving Loftus-Cheek and Cabaye found McArthur on the edge of the area, and his back-heel found an unmarked Zaha who crashed the ball past Hamer.
City attempted to get back on level terms, but looked slow and pondrous against a more energised Palace side and Hamer had to pull off a fine save to deny Zaha on the half hour. Three minutes later Morgan got a crucial touch to divert a corner away from the lurking Palace strikers.
But City fell further behind in the 38th minute, when Zaha set up McArthur, whose low shot on the turn arrowed past Hamer into the bottom left hand corner.
The half time whistle ended the worst 45 minutes of Puel’s tenure, at least until the second half.
Two changes were made at half time, Diabate and Silva replacing Iheanacho and Choudhury, but five minutes into the second half a third had to be made when Ndidi limped off with a hamstring injury. Dragovic came on and Maguire was moved into midfield.
City’s afternoon got worse in the 56th minute when Zaha chased a long ball and Albrighton put an arm across his chest, bringing him down. As he was the last man Mike Dean had little option but to show him a red card. You had to feel for Albrighton, who has been forced into a right back berth that he simply isn’t suited to.
Palace were lacking the intensity they had in the first half but City looked clueless, losing possession and apparently with no planned route to goal. Vardy was virtually a spectator.
But Palace then provided a grand finish, that had Selhurst Park rocking. In the 81st minute Loftus-Cheek beat the offside trap to stroll round Hamer and roll the ball into the net.
Three minutes later it was 4-0, as Hamer came off his line to block a Schlupp effort, but van Aanholt followed up with a low shot into the far corner.
In the 90th minute Maguire’s clumsy challenge on Benteke saw Mike Dean award a penalty. Benteke fired his spot-kick down the middle for 5-0 and City’s misery was complete.
It was the worst performance in years and had many City supporters demanding the head of Claude Puel. Two years ago City were heading towards the Premier League title, so many wrong decisions have been made since then.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt, McArthur (Schlupp 83), Milivojevic, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek (Lee Chung-yong 86), Townsend (Benteke 86), Zaha.
Substitutes: Speroni, Sørloth, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly.
Leicester: Hamer, Albrighton, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi (Dragovic 51), Choudhury (Silva 45), Gray, Iheanacho (Diabaté 45), Vardy.
Substitutes: Simpson, Jakupovic, Fuchs, Barnes.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 25,750.
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