Palace 2-0 Leicester
Crystal Palace followed up their first Premier League win at Everton with a comfortable second win against Leicester City at Selhurst Park. Two second half goals in the space of three second half minutes from Fraizer Campbell and Mile Jedinak were enough to see the Eagles tame the Foxes who were full of confidence off the back of their 5-3 win last weekend against Manchester United.
A Jason Puncheon corner was powerfully headed goalwards by Scott Dann and Campbell was in the right place to flick the ball past Kasper Schmeichel just six minutes into the second period. Puncheon was then again on hand with the delivery, whipping in a free kick that was met with aplomb by the skipper Jedinak, finding the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Leicester started brightest and came close to taking the lead inside quarter of an hour. Jamie Vardy cut inside twelve yards from goal and struck a left footed shot only to be foiled by Julian Speroni. Palace were not chanceless in the first period, a deflected James McArthur shot and Joe Ledley header both went close to opening the scoring.
Yannick Bolasie was the only player who scored against Everton yet failed to score in this match but he was involved in both goals; winning the corner for the first when he nearly caught Schmeichel out from a cross come shot at the far post and then winning the free kick for the second goal. He was only denied a goal by a great last ditch challenge after he went on a mazy running, beating three Leicester players along the way.
Palace have now taken 8 points from a possible 12 in the 4 Premier League matches that have taken place since Warnock’s appointment. Could there be a lot of Palace fans, myself included, that are going to have to eat a lot of humble pie?
Midfield Three: Jedinak, McArthur & Ledley
Warnock was full of praise for Puncheon and Bolasie in his post-match press conference (and rightly so) but it was the central midfield that was exceptional on the day in my opinion. The organisation, understanding and energy from the three was first class and their Leicester counterparts, which included Champions League winner Esteban Cambiasso, could not live with them.
All three were able to play box to box. Two went, one stayed (often Jedinak) all afternoon and Leicester simply failed to handle the fluidity of this movement. On the ball they used it wisely, bringing danger men Bolasie and Puncheon into the game. Off the ball they pressed Leicester high up the field and stifled almost all attacks early doors. Cambiasso was only allowed to play with the ball in deep positions. As soon as he tried to step out he was smothered and was ineffectual as a result.
It comes as no surprise that Mile Jedinak has been back at his very best in the last two games, since he has had McArthur and Ledley alongside him. I bang on about this a lot, but he is not enabled to play the game he is best at. Breaking up play, dominating the midfield area and now he is even starting to chip in with goals.
This is the best midfield since…..? Tweet me your thoughts. Personally (admittedly early on) I think that it has a shot at being the best since I started going back in 1994.
“Welcome to the Premier League”
Phil Neville summed up my thoughts on Leicester City on Match of the Day. Great, you beat Manchester United but those sort of results are not the ones that keep you up. It’s the games against the ‘smaller’ teams that carry more weight in survival.
As a Leicester fan I would be worried at how easily we brushed them aside. That being said, I think that we are starting to look like a pretty good outfit. By no means are we fully polished yet but we are certainly on our way. Add a left back and a striker to the current squad and we will be well on our way.
I bumped into Sam Hesketh, co editor of Flying High Magazine, pre match and he grimly said to me;
"This has a last minute Ulloa winner written all over it."
What a misery!
Take note everyone in the Premier League. He is overrated and it is embarassing that you have let that piece of Brighton scum score five goals already. Defend him like we did... with ease.
Man of the Match: James McArthur
Much like Everton, a tough choice. Mile Jedinak or Jason Puncheon would probably be the popular choice but I give it to James McArthur on the grounds that he has got me very excited. I had heard great things from Wigan fans and had been impressed when I saw him against us in the pass but the transfer fee felt pretty heavy. Instead it looks like it could be one of the bargains of the season. Of course, it will go under the radar for anyone outside of Crystal Palace but he is a significant upgrade on the likes of KG and Owen Garvan.
For all of the moans that I have about the club at the moment, of which there are many. On the field, I am almost 100% content.
Slow starting but awesome for the entire second half. Again, there was an element of performance related singing going on but once we got the first goal there was no looking back and the noise after the second goal was up there with the loudest that I have ever heard it. Singing Mile Jedinak’s name after his goal, followed by a chorus of “We Love You” that was absolutely phenomenal.
Up Next: Hull City
Since Steve Bruce left Crystal Palace for Birmingham we have faced him four times in the Premier League and have won all four without conceding a goal! More of the same on Saturday please.
Come on you Palace!