Nigel Pearson admitted Leicester had been beaten by the better side as the Foxes' 100 per cent home record was ended by an impressive Crystal Palace in the npower Championship at the King Power Stadium.
Palace central defenders Damien Delaney and Peter Ramage were left to help themselves as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel failed to deal with two corners in the space of five first-half minutes. Andy King's injury-time header from a Paul Konchesky cross was too little and too late to deny the visitors a well-deserved 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.
Pearson admitted the visitors were worthy winners and said: "We were a little off our game today. Palace deserved to win and congratulations to them for the way they played.
"Too many of our lads failed to find the form they have shown so far, but what we never did was to down tools. They're an honest bunch and they kept going.
"When you concede two goals in five or six minutes it makes a big contribution to any match. Today we didn't quite have the quality we needed to get back. We huffed and puffed without quite finding our feet.
Palace's victory came at the end of a turbulent week which saw former manager Dougie Freedman move to Championship rivals Bolton with Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming put in temporary charge at Selhurst Park.
Both men are expected to eventually follow Freedman to the Reebok Stadium and Lawrence confirmed he would not be applying for the Palace manager's job.
Lawrence said: "I have a loyalty to Dougie. There has been interest from Bolton but I'm here and will do this job to the best of my ability. I will not be applying for the full time job.
"Whoever gets it has a golden chance. He is going to be one lucky man. There's something very special here. It's unusual that you get the opportunity to take on a group of players that is so together and riding here in the top four.
"We knew exactly how difficult it would be at Leicester who will be in the top six at the end of the season without a shadow of a doubt. We had a game plan and it worked."