Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Benteke heads Palace closer to safety

Benteke heads Palace closer to safety

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has claimed that his side deserved all three points from their Premier League clash with Leicester City this afternoon, despite coming from two goals down to rescue a draw.

His compatriot Daniel Amartey was left on the Leicester City bench for the entire duration of the game.

But the Eagles got off to an very bad start by conceding after just six minutes as slack marking allowed Robert Huth all the time in the world to head home Christian Fuchs' throw-in on the left.

Early goals from Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy in each half had taken Leicester close to a momentum-building victory as the champions prepare for Tuesday's visit of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Cabaye halved the deficit within two minutes after Jeffrey Schlupp's deflected shot fell to the French midfielder who buried his strike from 10 yards to score for the second consecutive home game.

But Leicester have moved eight points clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks and Shakespeare may well decide to risk resting players in south London today.

The Ghana global, who came through the youth ranks as a striker at City, grew frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities at City and was sold to Palace for £12.5million during the January transfer window and has established himself in a resurgent Palace side under Sam Allardyce.

"Then you get results like we did against Chelsea and Arsenal and you realise why you do it".

Should they come up short against Atletico, who lead the tie 1-0, the Foxes players may rue their involvement in what was - at times - a frantic match. Townsend again supplied the cross and Benteke headed past Kasper Schmeichel for his 12th league goal of the season but the Belgian did appear to be climbing over Yohan Benalouane as he did.

Crystal Palace Possible XI: Hennessey, Ward, Kelly, Sakho, Schlupp, Cabaye, Milivojevic, Puncheon, Zaha, Benteke, Townsend.

"We'd practised defending against that here on the pitch yesterday", said Allardyce, "but the players forgot". I had to make sure it wasn't a prank call and thankfully it wasn't. The lads have rushed in and seen all the others below us so it's another point away from the bottom three. Before this run, they'd won five games in 26 attempts in the Premier League.

Islam Slimani has scored 35 league goals since the start of 2015-16, 16 of which have been from headers (46%).

As if betting on the English Premier League was not hard enough, the final weeks of the season always throw a different set of imponderables into the mix, and one that could play a big part this weekend is the European factor in Crystal Palace against Leicester City and Manchester United against Chelsea.

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