Palace recovers to hold Leicester 2-2 and boost survival bid

Shakespeare defended his decision to field a strong side against Palace despite Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid.

The Eagles were 2-0 down to the Premier League champions shortly after the interval, but goals from Yohan Cabaye and Benteke secured a precious point.

The nature of their opening goal, after only seven minutes, therefore surprised for more than one reason.

The Belgium global came close to a victor soon after, but Schmeichel showed his class with a fine save to preserve a point for the Champions League quarter-finalists.

Wilfried Zaha has assisted nine goals for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season, equalling the record by an Eagles' player in a single PL campaign (Wayne Routledge, nine in 2004-05). Sam Allardyce's reputation has largely been built on his ability to organise a defence and succeed with set-pieces, so when Christian Fuchs' long throw-in from the left wing was so casually headed in by Huth the Palace manager would have been concerned.

Nigerian midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, was impressive for Leicester City in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

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Again Palace did not lose belief, and within two minutes scored their first goal.

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare, meanwhile, struggled to hide his disappointment after his side failed to hold on to their lead.

"It's a great point for us", said Allardyce. On reflection, when you finish a game with a point having been 2-0 down, you have to be incredibly satisfied with that point however precious it might be moving forward. Another game gone and it is precious because it keeps our run going. "We don't know because we don't know how many points the other teams are going to get", Shakespeare, whose side have earned 16 points in seven games since he took over in February, told British media.

"We're a bit gutted with the result in the end - if we'd held on to the two-goal lead for a bit longer, we'd have been fine", he said.

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Mandanda, Speroni, Ward, Kelly, Delaney, Sakho, Fryers, McArthur, Milivojevic, Ledley, Cabaye, Puncheon, Townsend, Kaikai, Zaha, Sako, Schlupp, Van Aanholt, Lee, C Benteke. "We could have seen it out, but they asked a lot of questions of us with their aerial threat". I'm thinking that we sill need points.

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