The Warmdown: Crystal Palace torn apart by rampant Leicester
 (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Leicester City showed their Champions League quality at the King Power on Saturday afternoon, as they ran out worthy 3-0 winners over a Crystal Palace side, who have had a difficult time adapting to life after Project Restart.   

Another Vincente Guaita error gifted Kelechi Iheanacho the opener before Jamie Vardy scored his 100th Premier League goal to double the Foxes lead.  

In stoppage time of the second half, Vardy rounded off Leicester's perfect afternoon and opened his account for his next one hundred goals, by grabbing his second of the game and condemning Palace to their third straight defeat.  

Palace Errors 

Roy Hodgson's side have been the architects of their own defeats in recent outings. Against Burnley, Vincente Guiata had an evening he hoped to forget, after Ben Mee's goal saw him come under scrutiny for his flimsy attempt to keep the header out.  

Guaita yet again was at fault for the Foxes opener. On the 48th minute a tantalising ball from Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans, across the face of Palace's penalty box, left Guaita in two minds whether to come and collect the cross. His confusion invited Iheanacho, with the goal at his mercy, to open the scoring for Brendan Rogers' side.  

A further Palace mistake proved costly, when on the 77th minute Mamadou Sakho attempted his trademark Cruyff turn in his own penalty area.  

Leicester winger, Harvey Barnes, pounced on Sakho to snatch the ball off the former France international, and then play an easy pass to Vardy, who was in the perfect position to roll the ball into the back of the net and become the 29th member of the Premier League '100' club.  

Goal-scoring problems  

The Eagles are now without a goal in three consecutive fixtures, having failed to find the back of the net in over 315 minutes of Premier League football. 

Hodgson's side are the second-lowest scorers in the Premiership, and it shows, the Eagles have been carefully cautious under the Ex-England manager with the emphasis on defending rather than scoring goals.  

Wilfried Zaha, the man who has been the outlet for Palace for many seasons has seemed off the pace this campaign.  

Zaha, by his standards, has had a somewhat subdued season and has looked unfit since football has returned, due to an injury the eccentric winger picked up in the warm-up at Liverpool. Without Zaha's creative spark alight, Palace looked blind in the headlights when attacking. 

Christian Benteke, for all his effort, has only managed one goal this season, with his goal-scoring ability a distant memory in Palace's thoughts.

Benteke does bring a presence to the Eagles frontline, however, a striker's job is to score goals, and without his contributions, Palace find themselves placing a huge reliance upon Jordan Ayew and Zaha.  

Cahill and Sakho or Cahill and Dann 

One issue that has arisen recently for Roy Hodgson is the center back partnership of Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho.  

When the pair have started together, Palace conceded goals at an alarming rate. In the three Premier League games, they have started alongside each other, Palace have conceded 11 goals.  

Whereas, the pairing of Scott Dann and Cahill, who have a combined age of 67, have looked more assertive and assured for the Eagles. Dann and Cahill lead from example at the back, and recently helped Palace achieve their own piece of league history.  

The 2-0 win over Bournemouth, in the first game back from the enforced break, saw Palace, for the first time in the top flight, achieve four straight wins and four clean sheets in a row.  

Whilst Sakho is a better ball-playing center back, his lapses in concentration have been his downfall, as highlighted against Leicester, where Harvey Barnes made Sakho pay for his careless act on the ball.

When former Liverpool man Sakho, and former Chelsea captain Cahill, have started, Palace have conceded an average of 3.66 goals per 90 minutes. However, when Sakho doesn't start, Palace average 0.96 goals conceded per 90 minutes, a stat that does not read well in Sakho's favour.  

The Remainder of The Season  

One positive that came for the resounding defeat, was the debut of 20-year-old left-back, and academy graduate, Tyrick Mitchell.  

Mitchell had been poised to make his debut in the congested festive fixture list, however, an injury had side-lined Mitchell for a short spell. Mitchell is highly regarded in Palace's academy and is thought of as the natural successor to Patrick Van-Aanholt.  

Jairo Riedewald had played well in a midfield role, which a section of Palace fans had been crying out for all season, due to the Dutchman's wonderful range of passing.  

Albeit, the defeat was a demoralising one, and leaves Palace's European excursion dead and buried. Palace will see out the remainder of the season in an attempt to finish in the top half and add a few more million to the transfer budget. 

The club is in desperate need of a rebuild, with the current squad having run its course.

Palace have big problems with an ageing squad on high wages. The next window will be crucial, should Palace finally look to break into Europa League contention

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