It’s safe to say that the past few weeks haven’t been the best period of Roy Hodgson’s managerial career. A few weeks ago we were tipping Crystal Palace for a top ten push but they’ve now failed to win their past five games in the Premier League.
Defeat to Leicester City would’ve surely been out of the question before kick-off but a draw will have gone some way towards restoring order at Selhurst Park.
Palace kept the Foxes at bay for the most part but they failed to create many chances at the other end of the pitch despite Wilfried Zaha opening the scoring as Christian Benteke cut a frustrated figure.
The Eagles arguably struggled upfront and with Benteke leading the line, it’s perhaps hardly surprising as he was largely starved of possession of the ball. His fifth start of the season could be his last for quite some time after that showing.
Benteke has oft been criticised for his poor situational awareness, or indeed a lack of any movement at all, and this was yet another performance where he went completely missing.
Indeed, he looked totally isolated at the top of the pitch, so it’s a bit baffling he played the full 90′ minutes while Michy Batshuayi sat on the bench.
The 30-year-old seemed to have shown flashes of his former self after he scored twice against West Bromwich Albion but he failed to record a single shot on target or register a single assist throughout the entire game.
Only very rarely did he venture into the box or inject a burst of energy with his heatmap showing a lack of activity in the opposition half. This is further backed up by the fact he only won three of his eight ground duels and completed just seven out of his 24 passes at a pass accuracy rating of 29%, via SofaScore.
He was caught napping by Leicester multiple times, losing possession of the ball a staggering 24 times in total and was dribbled past once. If Batshuayi had started, at the very least they would’ve had some pace upfront.
Benteke has had to bide his time for his chances but he’s largely failed to make the most of his opportunities, which is why Hodgson must consider other options before Palace face Premier League strugglers Sheffield United on Saturday.