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June 13 2024 2.05am

Roy's Eagles grap a last gasp win

April 1 2023

Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates his last gasp winning goal

Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates his last gasp winning goal

Crystal Palace win their first match of 2023 in Roy Hodgson's first game since returning, with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Selhurst Park.

The match marked the return of Roy Hodgson as Palace manager, after he was appointed to replace Patrick Vieira during the international break.

The Eagles had gone into the game on the back of four straight defeats and with the fewest goals scored of any side in the Premier League. But Hodgson's return seemed to have given the team renewed energy and purpose, and they started the game on the front foot, dominating possession and creating a number of chances.

In the first half, Palace recorded 20 shots on goal - the most in a Premier League half by any side since 2015 - but struggled to find the back of the net.

Cheick Doucoure came closest to opening the scoring for the hosts, forcing Leicester goalkeeper Daniel Iversen into a goalline stop to deny the Eagles an early breakthrough.

Leicester, meanwhile, offered little in attack in the first half, with Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita largely untested. But the visitors came out stronger after the break and took the lead shortly after the hour mark through substitute Ricardo Pereira.

The Portuguese full-back unleashed a well-struck effort from outside the box after being teed up by Timothy Castagne, giving Leicester a 1-0 lead.

Palace's response was immediate, however, with Eberechi Eze's free-kick hitting the crossbar and deflecting in off Iversen's back to bring the hosts level only three minutes later.

The Eagles were then forced to make an early substitution when captain Wilfried Zaha was forced off with a groin injury.

As the game entered stoppage time, it seemed as though both sides would have to settle for a point. But Palace had other ideas. In the dying seconds of the game, Jean-Philippe Mateta turned his marker before slotting a low Jordan Ayew ball past Iversen to score the winner and send Selhurst Park into raptures.

It was a Roy of the Rovers moment for the French striker, and a memorable return for Hodgson as Palace manager.

The win moved Palace five points clear of the relegation zone in 12th place, while Leicester remained one point adrift of safety in 18th. The Foxes had tested the hosts on occasion, but Palace were dominant with 31 attempts on goal compared to Leicester's three. The visitors had missed a chance to move out of the relegation zone and were now winless in their past six Premier League games, with ten matches remaining to secure their Premier League status.

For Palace, the win was a vital boost in their battle against relegation, and Hodgson's return seemed to have given the team a newfound energy and purpose. With games against five of the Premier League's bottom six to come in their final ten fixtures, the Eagles will be hoping to build on this victory and secure their top-flight status for another season.

Palace: Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Eze, Doucouré, Schlupp (Hughes, 81), Olise, Édouard (Mateta, 86), Zaha (Ayew, 45)

Leicester City: Iversen, Castagne, Souttar, Faes, Kristiansen (Thomas, 60), Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall, Tetê (Ricardo Pereira, 45), Maddison, Barnes, Daka (Iheanacho, 72)

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