Goals from Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke helped Crystal Palace to a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Leicester City at Selhurst Park after Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy had handed the reigning champions a two-goal lead.
The visitors appeared to be on their way to victory after Vardy had made it 2-0 early in the second half, but a resurgent Palace dug deep as Cabaye quickly cut the deficit and Benteke earned a deserved point for Sam Allardyce’s side 20 minutes from time.
Palace were high on confidence heading into Saturday’s encounter after winning five out of their last six games, including victories over Chelsea and the 3-0 home triumph against Arsenal last time out.
Leicester, meanwhile, came off the back of defeats versus Everton and Atletico Madrid after winning their previous six games under new boss Craig Shakespeare.
The contest did not initially go to form, though, and Huth put the visitors ahead after just six minutes, before Vardy’s goal finally stirred Allardyce’s charges into life.
Cabaye pulled one back within just two minutes and it fell to Benteke to head in the leveller, with Palace looking the more likely to seal a win late on, though Leicester held firm.
3 – Christian Benteke has netted three goals in his last four Premier League games, after just one in 13 before that. Belief.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2017
The result leaves Palace seven points clear of the relegation zone with six games remaining, while the Foxes are two points better off.
Leicester made a bright start and were soon rewarded as Huth netted. Palace’s defence failed to adequately deal with a long throw from Christian Fuchs and the towering centre-back headed home from close range to put the visitors ahead.
Palace quickly went in search of an equaliser and Benteke came close to restoring parity in the 16th minute, chesting down Joel Ward’s cross from the right before testing Kasper Schmeichel with a low shot from six yards out, only for the Leicester goalkeeper to deny him with a superb reflex save.
Andros Townsend was next to threaten for Palace after a clever throughball from Ward down the right in the closing stages of the first half, but the winger hesitated a second too long to allow Huth to close the gap and block his shot from a narrow angle.
The visitors then doubled their lead early in the second half when Vardy found the net following a rapid counter-attack, beating goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with a left-footed shot into the far corner after some good work from the impressive Huth and Riyad Mahrez.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 15, 2017
Allardyce’s men refused to throw in the towel, though, and Cabaye promptly hit back, firing a low shot past the helpless Schmeichel after Jeffrey Schlupp’s low cross from the left.
There was still more to come from the home side and Benteke brought them level in the 70th minute, beating his man to the ball after Townsend’s cross from the left before heading home from the edge of the six-yard box.
The Belgium international came close to a winner soon after, but Schmeichel showed his class with a fine save to preserve a point for the Champions League quarter-finalists.
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