Dec 16 (Reuters) - Christian Benteke put a difficult week behind him to score his first goal of the season as Crystal Palace won 3-0 at Leicester City to climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three on Saturday.
Wilfried Zaha also struck before halftime and Bakary Sako was on target in stoppage time as Palace ended an eight-month wait for an away league victory.
“It’s three clean sheets in a row away from home which is good, and even more importantly we’ve cured the hoodoo of not scoring away from home,” Palace manager Roy Hodgson, whose side are now seven matches unbeaten, said.
A week after being castigated for ignoring team orders to take, and miss, a stoppage-time penalty in a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, Benteke made amends to put Palace in front with a glancing header from Andros Townsend’s whipped in cross.
It was Palace’s first away goal of the season.
Leicester failed to muster much of a response and were punished for their lacklustre approach five minutes before halftime when Benteke played in Zaha who out-foxed Ben Chilwell before drilling a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel.
The hosts did improve after the break and Riyad Mahrez was denied a goal when Palace keeper Julian Speroni made a superb save to keep out the Algerian’s powerful low shot.
Vicente Iborra had a headed goal correctly ruled out for a push on the hour and Leicester suffered a further blow a minute later when birthday boy Wilfred Ndidi received a second yellow card for a dive and was sent off.
Benteke was denied from close range by Schmeichel but with confidence soaring, Palace made it an afternoon to remember for their travelling fans when Bakary Sako fired home clinically in stoppage time after Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s assist.
Palace moved to 14th position with 17 points from 18 games while Leicester, who had won their previous four games to move into eighth spot, have 26 points.
“It was not our day, not a good day for us,” Leicester manager Claude Puel said. “Palace deserved the result, they played with desire and quality and I think we didn’t deserve anything today.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar