Monthly Archives: March 2016

Vardy off the mark for England

Jamie Vardy scored his first goal for England as Roy Hodgson’s side over-turned Germany’s 2-0 lead to win 3-2 in Berlin on Saturday night…

vardy england goal

Vardy had only been on the pitch for three minutes when he netted the equaliser with an audacious first goal for his country.
Nathaniel Clyne’s cross from the right saw Vardy connect at the near post with a back-heeled flick that gave Manuel Neuer no chance.
Eric Dier sealed a morale-boosting victory in the 91st minute, that will have given Hodgson plenty to think about as Euro 2016 approaches.

vardy england fans

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Mahrez winner at Palace keeps the dream alive

Crystal Palace 0:1 Leicester City

2015-16 cpalace away a

Leicester went 8 points clear at the top of the Premier League with their third consecutive 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday…

Claudio Ranieri was able to name an unchanged line-up against a Palace side who had yet to win in 2016, but the Eagles carved out an early chance.
Bolasie’s turn and low shot didn’t unduly test Schmeichel.
City had a more clear cut chance in the 10th minute when a superb Drinkwater ball sent Mahrez in on goal, but outrushing Hennessey blocked with his legs and Dann tidied up the rebound.
In a good spell for Palace, Bolasie had a shot blocked by Morgan and then he sent a dangerous cross over for Zaha, but he failed to find the target at the far post.
But it was City who delighted their followers with a 34th minute lead.
Another slide rule ball from Drinkwater sent Vardy in on the left, and his low cross square across the penalty area was met with a cool side-foot finish from Mahrez, who had timed his run perfectly.

2015-16 cpalace away c

Another Bolasie shot then deflected off Morgan but Schmeichel reacted well to save with an outstretched leg.
The last chance of the half came when Albrighton cut in from the left and fired in a shot that forced a fine save from Hennessey.

Alan Pardew brought on Kelly and Sako for the second half, while an unchanged City went close though the lively Okazaki early on.
Schmeichel had a busier half, punching away a Cabaye free-kick, and saving a goal-bound Sako effort as Palace pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

2015-16 cpalace away d

But City should surely have had a penalty in the 80th minute when Dann not only pulled, but completely removed Huth’s shirt. But there was to be no comfort zone for City in a nervy closing spell.
Schmeichel saved from Sako, Cabaye went close with another effort and then the City keeper knocked the ball against substitute Ulloa’s head, with both thankful to see it fly wide of the post.
Delaney denied Vardy a goal with a very timely challenge before the most heart-in-mouth moment arrived in stoppage time.
Former-fox Delaney got on to the end of a Dann’s header, but his shot struck the bar.

2015-16 cpalace away b

It was Palace’s last chance, and the final whistle saw City 8 points clear at the top of the table, sparking a remarkable 20 minute rendition of: “We’re going to win the league.” by a delirious away section that ignored tannoy pleas for them to make their way out of the ground.
There is still a long way to go in this title run-in but this wonderful City side continue to hurdle every challenge.
Claudio Ranieri waxed lyrical: “Sometimes I’ve said we are at the last turn and now we are on the final, home straight. Now I want to see my horses, how they run.”

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare (Kelly 46), Jedinak (Gayle 78), Ledley, Cabaye, Zaha, Bolasie, Adebayor (Sako 46). Subs Not Used: Speroni, Campbell, Mutch, Puncheon.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Kanté, Drinkwater, Mahrez (Schlupp 85), Albrighton, Okazaki (Ulloa 76), Vardy (Amartey 90). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Inler, Gray.

Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 25,041.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester restore five point lead with Okazaki acrobatics

Leicester City 1:0 Newcastle United

2015-16 newcastle home c

Shinji Okazaki’s first goal at the KPS earned City a vital three points in a tense and tight encounter with Newcastle on Monday night…

Claudio Ranieri fielded the same side that started at Watford and once again, they carved out a 1-0 victory.
A win for the Magpies in Rafael Benitez’s first game would have lifted them out of the relegation zone  and they started strongly, forcing City back, and Perez and Colback had early attempts on goal.
Sissoko then sent a header wide and with City looking a little below par it was already clear that any victory would be hard earned.
City began to take charge halfway through the first half and Huth headed narrowly over from an Albrighton corner.
The moment of inspiration, on a night of perspiration, arrived in the 25th minute.
Albrighton’s lofted ball from the left found Vardy via a Newcastle head, and he teed up Okazaki who performed a exquisite over-head kick to beat Elliott from seven yards.

2015-16 newcastle home a

City almost doubled their lead moments later when Albrighton charged down the middle and beat a defender before sending a low, swerving shot inches wide of the right hand post.
Vardy then had a shot blocked by Taylor as City ended the half strongly, though the final chance went to Ayoze, who fired his effort straight at Schmeichel.

Fuchs saw his shot deflected wide early in th esecond half, though it was an even contest at this stage with Janmaat being denied by a timely Albrighton challenge and Ayoze having a dangerous effort diverted into the side-netting by Kanté.
Ranieri made his first change in the 65th minute, bringing Schlupp on for Okazaki, which saw Mahrez moved tot he centre. Mahrez soon set up Schlupp, but his effort was blocked by Janmaat.

2015-16 newcastle home b

With 15 minutes left Ulloa came on for Albrighton and did a fine job holding the ball up as Newcastle desperately sought an equaliser. Their best chance came when De Jong wasted a good chance from close in after being teed up by Mitrovic.
At the other end Mahrez had one of his trademark curling efforts blocked by Colback.
As the game entered 3 minutes of time-added-on City went into full kill the game mode and play was restricted to the south east corner-flag for what seemed an eternity.

The final whistle heralded a huge roar of relief around the KPS. It hadn’t been pretty, but City had dug in on an evening when they were a little below-par and found a way to win the game. At this stage of the season, that is all that matters.

Ranieri, as ever, kept his focus on the next task: “There are so many people who are dreaming, but we have to continue to work hard. I want to fight every match. Now our concentration is about Crystal Palace, another difficult match. We will go to battle there.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, Albrighton (Ulloa 75), Mahrez, Okazaki (Schlupp 65), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Amartey, Wasilewski, Gray, Inler.
Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Lascelles, Taylor, Colback, Anita (Townsend 56), Shelvey (Doumbia 87), Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Ayoze (De Jong 70), Mitrovic. Subs Not Used: Darlow, Saivet, Riviere, Sterry.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 31,824.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester go five points clear with win at Watford

Watford 0:1 Leicester City

2015-16 watford away a

A sublime Mahrez moment saw City go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Kanté returning from injury earlier than expected and King making way.
With Spurs and Arsenal drawing in the lunchtime kick-off, City had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack and they started the game with some intent.
From a quickly taken corner from the right, the ball made its way through to Fuchs on the edge of the area. The Austrian’s well-struck shot was saved by Gomes and Ake got to the rebound just before the onrushing Okazaki.
At the other end Ake rose above Morgan to get his head to a free-kick, but it brushed the top of the crossbar.
In a fast and furious midfield battle chances didn’t come too often. Vardy managed to break through down the left, but his early shot flew harmlessly across the face of goal.
Mahrez and Vardy combined well on the break in the 22nd minute, but Vardy sent his stabbed effort just wide of the right hand post.
The Hornets’ best move of the half came five minutes later but as the ball arrived in the area Amrabat had his shot blocked by Morgan and then Deeney’s follow-up deflected off Simpson and straight into Schmeichel’s grasp.
Morgan was involved in the final two chances of the half: heading a Simpson cross straight at Gomes; and then leaving a header back to Schmeichel a little short so the City keeper had to race out to beat Deeney to the ball.
The whistle ended a strange half that had seen a relentless battle for possession on a slippery surface, with neither keeper being over-employed.

Claudio Ranieri made two changes at the break, with Schlupp and King on for Albrighton and Okazaki.
Although Watford had the first chance of the half, when Saurez broke through the middle and fired off a shot that was deflected towards Scmeichel, it was City who broke the deadlock in the 56th minute.

2015-16 watford away b

It was another Mahrez moment to add to the collection.
A big, swinging cross from the left from Fuchs was headed clear only as far Mahrez, who took a touch to improve his angle before finding the top left hand corner with a sweet shot.
The away section went mad, as the players went over to celebrate with them.
With the Leicester fans roaring “We shall not be moved!”, Huth then forced a save from Gomes after getting his head t0 a Kanté cross from the right.
Vardy then broke down the left but his shot was blocked on the line with a cool backheel from Ake.
Amrabat nipped ahead of Fuchs in the area, but his shot on the turn went straight at Schmeichel, though City were looking more in control of the game in this half.
Mahrez ducked round three defenders before curling in a shot that was placed too close to Gomes; and then Huth sent a header from a Fuchs free kick narrowly wide.
Although they couldn’t find a second goal, City were comfortable as they saw the game out, the only anxious moment coming when Mahrez suddenly pulled up mid-run, but this turned out to be cramp, rather than a hamstring.
He was replaced by Amartey with five minutes to go, and the late substitute produced a fine square ball for Schlupp, who blasted his shot wide of the left hand post.
With seconds to go, a Watford free-kick brought back memories of the Emirates, but Watson sent it sailing out of play.

The final whistle ended the latest chapter of City incredible 2015-16 story, as they went five points clear with 9 games remaining.
If the press boys were getting carried away, asking Claidio Ranieri if he was looking forward to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid coming to the KPS next season, our manager was keeping his feet on the ground: “Yes, why not? But I imagine Newcastle now.”
Whatever happens next weekend, City will still be top by the time they face Newcastle on Monday…

Watford: Gomes, Nyom (Anya 81), Britos, Suarez (Abdi 64), Prodl, Deeney, Amrabat, Ake, Watson, Ighalo, Capoue (Oulare 87). Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Behrami, Guedioura, Holebas.
Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez (Amartey 85), Drinkwater, Kanté, Albrighton (King 46); Okazaki (Schlupp 46), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Gray, Ulloa, Wasilewski, Schwarzer.

Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 20,884.

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Rest of the World outside Europe £33 – click HERE to pay via Paypal.

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Night of near-misses as West Brom frustrate Leicester

Leicester City 2:2 West Bromwich Albion

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, FA Premier League, 01 March 2016

City had to be content with a point from a fine performance at the KPS on Tuesday night, as West Brom kept out a second half onslaught for a 2-2 draw…

Claudio Ranieri made two changes to his starting line-up with Simpson back from suspension, and King replacing the injured Kanté.
City went for the visitors right from the kick off and the opening spell saw a Drinkwater shot blocked by McAuley and King going close after he was set up by Huth.
But it was West Brom who were to take the lead in the 11th minute as City conceded their first goal at home in 2016. A slide-rule Fletcher through-ball saw Huth uncharacteristically out-muscled by Rondon, who then fired a shot home through Schmeichel’s legs.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, FA Premier League, 01 March 2016

City, roared on by another sell-out crowd, pressed forward in search of an equaliser. Okazaki got onto the end of a Huth header, but sent his shot from close in over the bar.
The Japanese striker then neatly beat Fletcher to set himself up but his composure then deserted him for the shot.
Vardy got his head to a Mahrez cross but didn’t test Foster in Albion’s goal.
City’s equaliser arrived just after the half hour and, although deserved, it had a touch of fortune to it. King squared to Drinkwater some 25 yards out and his fierce shot struck Olsson and looped over Foster into the net.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, FA Premier League, 01 March 2016

City nearly went ahead 5 minutes later when Drinkwater crossed for Vardy, but the England striker’s header smacked against the crossbar.
For all City dominance Albion still looked dangerous on their occasional breaks and Morgan blocked a goal-bound Rondon shot.
City finally took the lead their play had deserved in the last minute of the half, when a fine Mahrez ball from the right was steered home by King.

If everything had been going to plan at the break, City soon suffered a setback in the second half when the Baggies summoned up a 49th minute equaliser.
Gardner was perhaps offered a little too much of the left hand side of the goal as he lined up to take a 25 yard free-kick, and duly curled it into the top left hand corner.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, FA Premier League, 01 March 2016

From then on it was a case of City throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Albion in the desperate search for a winning goal.
Okazaki repeated Vardy’s first half trick, heading against the bar from close range.
An inspired Albrighton then sent a series of crosses over from the left, but Albion were winning the aerial battle.
In the 63rd minute Albrighton and Okazaki made way for Schlupp and Ulloa and the crosses continued to rain in.
Foster produced a fine save from a Schlupp shot, before hearts were in mouths at the other end as Rondon couldn’t find the target at close range.
Vardy then pickpocketed the ball from McAuley out on the touchline, and raced towards goal, but his low shot was well saved by Foster.
From the corner, Huth sent a header inches wide of the right hand post.
A couple of shots from Gardner went close, but most of the increasingly frantic action centred on Albion’s goal. Vardy and Schlupp both had shots blocked, Foster saved from Morgan and then Mahrez attempted an audacious overhead kick that sadly didn’t come off.
City couldn’t repeat the last minute winner from Saturday, and title hopes were dented by the loss of two points at home. However, it had been a magnificent performance and City had gone three points clear at the top.

Claudio Ranieri wasn’t downcast: “Four points from two difficult matches, it is fantastic. We are alive and our spirit is ready to fight again. I am happy, not that we didn’t get the three points, you can’t always get the three points, but our performance was fantastic.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs (Gray 79), Drinkwater, King, Albrighton (Schlupp 63), Mahrez, Okazaki (Ulloa 63), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Amartey, Wasilewski, Inler.
Albion: Foster, Olsson, Chester, Yacob, McAuley, Dawson, Gardner (McClean 83), Fletcher, Sessegnon (Sandro 90), Berahino, Rondon (Anichebe 90). Subs Not Used: Myhill, Pritchard, Gamboa, Lambert.
Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 32,018.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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To get a copy of FOX 197 posted out to you click HERE.

To make sure you get every copy of this magnificent season (stocks are running low)…

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Rest of the World outside Europe £33 – click HERE to pay via Paypal.

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