Iheanacho Ressurects Leicester UCL Hopes, Vardy Hits EPL Century, Martial, Rashford Hit 20-Goal Mark

Kelechi Iheanacho scored for the second game running and Jamie Vardy added a brace as Leicester City arrested their slide and strengthened their grip on third place with victory over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday.

The Foxes were without a win since the restart and had seen their quest for Champions League qualification under serious threat with Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers breathing down their neck.

With a victory against the Eagles of dire consequence, Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers partnered Iheanacho with Vardy upfront with Wilfred Ndidi anchoring the base of midfield.

A goalless first half exploded in the second-half with Iheanacho’s timely goal opening the floodgates five minutes after the restart.

Vardy ended his goal drought in the 77th-minute with his 100th Premier League goal for the Foxes before adding his 101st on the stroke of full time.

The confidence-boosting win against a Crystal Palace side with little to fight for leaves the Foxes three points off fourth place and four points off fifth.

Elsewhere, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial took their tallies to 20 goals apiece in all competitions as Manchester United leapfrogged Chelsea with victory over Bournemouth in a seven-goal at Old Trafford.

United are now a point ahead of Chelsea but the Blues who can reclaim fourth place with victory over Watford in the late kick-off.

Bournemouth, meanwhile are in freefall having not won since the restart and look increasingly doomed although the dire form of teams around them means they’re only a point from safety with just five games left.

The Cherries beat United in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season and buoyed by memories from that game began on the front foot.

Junior Stanislas nutmegged United captain Harry Maguire then beat David de Gea at his near post to put the visitors ahead after 16 minutes.

But the lead lasted only for 13 minutes as youngster Mason Greenwood responded for the hosts with a fierce rasping left-foot drive before Marcus Rashford put them in front from the spot following a handball in the box.

It was Rashford’s 20th strike of the season for the Red Devils in all competitions and he was joined on twenty goals by Anthony Martial who bent a sublime effort past Aaron Ramsdale on the stroke of halftime to send United into the interval 3-1 up.

It marked the first time two players have breached 20 goals for the Red Devils since the 2010-11 season when Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez both hit the mark.

What was shaping up to be a stroll in the park for United took on a complex shape when second-half substitute Eric Bailly inexplicably handled in the box to concede a penalty which was calmly dispatched by former Red Devil Joshua King in the 49th minute.

The home side restored their two-goal lead five minutes later with Greenwood beating Ramsdale with a right-foot scorcher, Bruno Fernandes made it 5-2 with an exquisite freekick in the 59th-minute to put the game beyond the Cherries.

Rashford had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside decision and Odion Ighalo narrowly missed opening his account for the Red Devils who have now won three games on the bounce in the league for the first time this season.