Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall inspired Leicester to a narrow 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace.
The midfielder’s first Premier League goal came after a sublime assist for Ademola Lookman’s opener to give the Foxes the perfect preparation for Thursday’s trip to PSV.
They go to Eindhoven for their Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg with the tie poised at 0-0 but have momentum after just two defeats in their last 10 outings.
Kasper Schmeichel saved two Wilfried Zaha penalties – after VAR ordered a retake – only for the striker to nod in the rebound from the second which gave Palace second-half hope.
But a leveller never came and the Foxes move above Palace to ninth in the Premier League. The Eagles saw a seven-game unbeaten run come to an end, which had propelled them to Wembley for next week’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers completely reshaped his team from Thursday’s European draw and seven changes underlined the Foxes’ priorities.
But they made light of the reshuffle, even if they had to survive two scares before taking full control.
The first came when Zaha failed to find the target following Jeff Schlupp’s fine pass while the second arrived after 18 minutes when Zaha slipped in Jean-Philippe Mateta.
The striker tricked his way past Caglar Soyuncu and Schmeichel’s excellent low save turned his drive behind before Joachim Andersen headed the resulting corner wide.
Yet, despite the chances, there was no tempo to the game with both sides taking time to find their stride.
Youri Tielemans’ ambitious effort had Vicente Guaita scrambling but the game needed a flashpoint – which finally came six minutes before the break when Leicester grabbed the lead.
James Justin nipped in to pinch Marc Guehi’s pass off Zaha and Tielemans found Dewsbury-Hall whose excellent pass picked out Lookman to cut inside Andersen and drill past Guaita.
It then got better for the Foxes just before the break when they doubled their advantage. Guehi allowed Justin’s hopeful ball under his foot from him and Patson Daka seized on the chance.
He crossed for Dewsbury-Hall on the edge of the area and the midfielder engineered space by holding off Cheikhou Koyate before brilliantly firing in his third goal of the season.
After the break the hosts continued where they left off as Guaita turned Tielemans’ effort over 35 seconds after the restart.
Palace wilted quickly after conceding and Andersen’s awful clearance and subsequent reckless challenge on Daka underlined their sloppy nature.
But they were handed a lifeline in the 64th minute when Tielemans brought down Jordan Ayew in the area.
Zaha’s awful penalty was saved low to his left by Schmeichel only for VAR to order a retake because the goalkeeper encroached.
Again Zaha stepped up and produced a wretched spot kick which Schmeichel stopped but the ball bounced kindly for the striker to nod in the rebound.
Palace, though, were unable to conjure a leveler despite a couple of scrambles and Leicester saw them game out.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism