Riyad Marhez’s solitary strike was enough to hand Leicester City a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurt Park on Saturday in an exciting English Premier League encounter. Claudio Ranieri’s men were looking to extend their lead on top of the table against an unpredictable Palace side. The travelling side looked more lively in the opening stages and were almost rewarded in the 18th minute when Mahrez was played in to a one-on-one with Wayne Hennessy but the shotstopper did well to curb his effort from kissing the net.
Wilfried Zaha was the catalyst for the Eagles whipping in beautiful crosses, however Emmanuel Adebayor failed to connect with any of them against a cloud of City defenders. In the 34th minute, Jamie Vardy showed some great foot work before sending the ball into the six-yard box and Marhez was alert to boot it on goal and hand his side the lead. In the 36th minute, Yannick Bolasie came close to finding an equaliser but his attempt was deflected as the hosts cleared and initiated a move of their own but Hennessy refused to be beaten.
Despite having the lions’ share of the ball, Alan Pardew’s players trailed 1-0 at the break. Two minutes into the second half, Shinji Okazaki saw his effort going inches wide of goal. Bolasie was running his socks off the entire match but could not get the better of Wes Morgan who marshalled the Foxes defence well.
The London side continued nocking at Kasper Schmeichel’s door but the keeper refused to cave in. Nothing seemed to go the way of Pardew’s players even at the latter stages of the encounter where they threw everything at their opponents. Bakary Sako came close to stealing a point with eight minutes to go but his venomous effort was parried by Schmeichel.
The Foxes had a handful chances of their own to put the encounter to bed but it was not to be, and they can only thank the crossbar for coming to their rescue in the 92nd minute when Damien Delaney’s attempted bicycle kick hit the woodwork. The final score, City 1-0 Palace, means the Leicester dream edges closer to an historic realisation.