Monthly Archives: January 2018

Diabaté double as Leicester sweep Posh aside

Peterborough United 1:5 Leicester City

1718 posh away a

Debutant Fousseni Diabate and Kelechi Iheanacho scored two goals apiece as City eased their way past Peterborough for an FA Cup fifth round place at London Road on Saturday…

Claude Puel made ten changes to his side, but this included the return of Simpson and Fuchs to the full back positions, and Silva and Iborra in midfield, so it was still a strong-looking line-up. And it quickly proved to be too much for Posh to handle as the game kicked off in swirling rain.
City were in control from early on, and took a 9th minute lead. Silva fed a ball into the area and Diabate motored past two defenders before poking the ball across Bond and in at the far post.
Three minutes later the large travelling support was celebrating again as City went further ahead. Iheanacho seized on a misplaced pass from Forrester, strode forward and curled a precise 18-yard curler just inside the left hand post.
City’s dominance continued and they extended the lead to 3-0 in the 29th minute with a superb goal. Fuchs swung in a perfect cross from the left and Iheanacho met it on the volley from 8 yards.
With the game surely beyond their reach, Posh had an attacking spell just before the break. Their best chance came when Da Silva Lopes crossed from the right, Marriott got his head to it, and Lloyd attempted to reach the ball at the far post, but succeeded only in crashing neck-first into the woodwork.

Whatever Peterborough boss Grant McCann said to his team at half time, it worked, and they started the second half with much more attacking intent. The home crowd, largely silent in the first half, also came to life, and City had some defending to do.
In the 58th minute City’s defence was breached for the first time in 2018 as Posh pulled a goal back. A corner from the right saw Taylor winning a challenge with Benalouane, and the ball dropped for Hughes who hit a shot on the turn that deflected past Hamer.
With Posh now fired up and in search of a second goal Claude Puel made a couple of changes, bringing Albrighton and Ndidi on for Iborra and Barnes.
This restored City’s control of the game almost immediately, Diabate forced a good save from Bond and Gray had a shot deflected wide. Then Gray sent a shot straight at Bond before Albrighton blasted one narrowly over the bar.
A few more pot shots followed, before City added a fourth in the 87th minute.
Gray ran 30 yards down the middle before firing a low shot that Bond parried away, but only into the path of Diabate, who finished well from a tight angle.
Peterborough had the ball in the net in the 90th minute with a good strike from Marias, but the linesman’s flag denied them that consolation.
City made it 5-1 in the final action of the game. Diabate rounded off a hugely impressive debut, zipping past two markers on the right and cutting a ball back for Ndidi to net from 12 yards.

Claude Puel commented on his much-changed line-up: “It was important to give them game time so they could show their quality for the future, I think all these young players will become the future of Leicester. I am responsible. I think it is important to keep ambition in the club because this is an objective for us, but we need to improve the squad and give them strength by using all the players, all the talented young players. Sometimes there is a risk. It is important to give all the squad strength. If we cannot give game time to young players they cannot take confidence, they cannot improve and they cannot progress.”

Peterborough: Bond, Shephard, Taylor, Tafazolli, Hughes, Forrester, Grant, Maddison (Borg 89), Da Silva Lopes (Morias 61), Lloyd-McGoldrick (Kanu 80), Marriott.
Substitutes: Baldwin, Penny, Doughty, O’Malley.
Leicester: Hamer, Simpson, Benalouane, Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra (Albrighton 65), Diabaté, Barnes (Ndidi 64), Gray, Iheanacho (Chilwell 80).
Substitutes: Huth, Vardy, Jakupovic, Mahrez.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 13,193.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

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Win over Watford moves Leicester up to 7th place

Leicester City 2:0 Watford

1718 watford home c

Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez earned a 2-0 win for City against Watford at the KPS on Saturday…

Claude Puel reverted to the line-up that started at Chelsea, with new signing Diabaté getting a place on the bench.
Before the kick-off there was a minute’s applause in honour of the recently departed Cyrille Regis, as well as City players Rodney Fern and Gordon Wills.

1718 watford home d

Watford pressed forward early on and gained a couple of corners, but the spell of pressure ended with a Carrillo shot that was way off target.
City should have gone ahead in the 6th minute, when a long ball forward from Okazaki saw Vardy bearing down on goal, but after he cut inside the defender his shot was too close to Hornet’s keeper Karnezis.
City had another chance a minute later, when Mahrez delivered a free-kick to the far post, and Maguire nodded it back for Ndidi in the six yard box, but his shot was blocked at point-blank range.
Doucoure sent a shot straight at Schmeichel, and then the City keeper ordered no wall for a 35 yard free-kick, but it was struck too tamely to trouble him.
Real chances were rare at this stage of the game, but Deeney had the ball in the net in the 36th minute. The offside flag halted the celebration, but it was a very tight decision.
Instead, it was City who took a 38th minute lead.
Vardy was racing across the penalty area when Wague brought him crashing down for an obvious penalty. His blast down the middle having been sussed out earlier in the season, Vardy placed this one nicely into the bottom right hand corner, sending Karnezis the wrong way.

1718 watford home a

Half-time saw no changes and City had a decent chance five minutes into the second half. Vardy raced down the left and picked out Okazaki in the middle, but his first time shot went straight at Karnezis.
Two minutes later Mahrez swung a corner over to the far post, but Ndidi headed it well wide, and then Vardy got a shove in the back when chasing a ball into the area, but didn’t go over.
City were well on top now and the Watford defence scrambled a Chilwell cross away with Vardy lurking at the far post.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 65th minute, bringing Gray on for Okazaki.
In the 70th minute there were loud appeals for a penalty when Doucouré appeared to trip Mahrez from behind in the area, but Lee Probert waved play-on.
Moments later Mahrez played Vardy through, but the flag was raised for offside as he struck the post. Another very tight decision.
City had a scare in the 75th minute when Gray bore down on goal and shot from close-in, but Maguire had raced back to block his shot. The big defender had been excellent all afternoon.

1718 watford home b

In the final ten minutes of the game City continued to press for a second goal, rather than protect the lead, but they struggled to find a way through.
Vardy came off for Silva in the 89th minute and he would claim an injury time assist as City put the seal on their victory.  Silva played Mahrez in down the left and he accelerated around his marker before producing a slide-rule finish that went across Karnezis and just inside the far post.

The three points, and Burnley’s defeat against Manchester United, saw City up to 7th place in the Premier League.

Claude Puel commented: “First half there was not enough quality for us with passes, the rhythm of game was not important. In the second half, with good play, good space, we played well. With scoring another goal, we needed to be more clinical, we had a lot of chances. Until the last goal it was difficult to play against this team, congratulations to them because it’s a tough game and a difficult team to play.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 65), Vardy (Silva 89).
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Fuchs, Benalouane, Diabaté.
Watford: Karnezis, Janmaat (Okaka 81), Wagué (Prödl 61), Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Watson, Doucouré, Carrillo, Pereyra (Gray 60), Richarlison, Deeney. Substitutes: Mariappa, Sinclair, Capoue, Bachmann.

Referee: 
L Probert. Attendance: 31,891.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

 

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Iheanacho seals FA Cup win with historic VAR goal

Leicester City 2:0 Fleetwood Town

1718 fleetwood home c

Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice to ease Leicester past Fleetwood in the FA Cup Third Round replay on Tuesday night, his second strike making history as the first ‘VAR goal’ in English football…

Having been matched by Fleetwood ten days previously, Claude Puel fielded a slightly stronger side, with Iborra and Silva partnered in midfield, Mahrez made captain, and Vardy on the bench.
On a cold night, the KPS was just over half full, with the East Stand closed.
After an attacking spell for the League One side right from the kick-off, City then got a grip on the game and had a huge share of the possession. But they struggled to create chances against a deep-lying and dogged Fleetwood defence.
It was Fleetwood who looked more threatening on their occasional breaks upfield,  Hiwula went down in the area under a challenge from Amartey but appeals weren’t considered for VAR, and then McAleny sent a shot straight at Jakupovic.
Two minutes later McAleny forced a good save from Jakupovic as Fleetwood again caught City on the break.
City went close in the 33rd minute when Mahrez curled a 25 yard free-kick inches wide of the left hand post.
Benalouane then put in a heavy challenge on Hiwula near the technical area and was lucky only to see a yellow.
Another Fleetwood charge upfield then saw Dempsey firing off a shot that looked to be dipping under the bar before Jakupovic tipped it over.
But, two minutes before the break this tie finally offered up a goal.
A clever ball from Slimani sent Iheanacho through and his composed finish beat Neal to put City ahead with their first shot on target.

1718 fleetwood home d

There were no changes for either side for the second half and City should have doubled their lead after four minutes. Iheanacho teed up Slimani, but his first time effort skewed wide from close in.
Soon after this Slimani was substituted for Albrighton, and didn’t look too happy about it.
City had the ball in the net in the 63rd minute when Mahrez played Gray down the right and he cut back for Iheanacho to finish, but the ball had gone over the goal-line before Gray reached it. Although Jon Moss had his finger to his ear, VAR intervention was not necessary.
Another ‘earpiece moment’ followed when Iborra protested that he had been held back in the area while trying to reach an Albrighton free-kick, but again play continued without outside interference.
However, we finally saw VAR kick-in in the 77th minute.
Mahrez slipped a ball through to Iheanacho, who dinked the ball over Neal for a fine finish, but celebrations were halted by the linesman’s flag for offside.
It looked very close and we had a long delay while Jon Moss had a chat with the VAR.

1718 fleetwood home a

With the tension building, Moss eventually picked the ball up and headed for the halfway line – goal. The delayed celebrations felt a bit bizarre and we had witnessed a piece of football history. And perhaps another step towards robots taking over the world.

1718 fleetwood home b

Fleetwood were beaten now, and the remainder of the game saw City enjoying possession. Puel brought on Vardy and Okazaki for Iheanacho and Mahrez, but City couldn’t add to the scoreline.
Peterborough await in the 4th round, and hopefully a strong City line-up will be able to do the job at the time of asking.

Claude Puel was happy with Iheanacho’s performance: “Kelechi showed a good attitude, worked hard for his teammates and got between the lines. His first goal showed a lot of quality and the second was a fantastic move between him and Mahrez.”

Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs, Mahrez (Vardy 81), Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho (Okazaki 81), Slimani (Albrighton 56).
Substitutes: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Barnes.
Fleetwood: Neal, Jones, Pond, Bolger, Bell, Hunter, Glendon, Schwabl (Grant 72), Dempsey, McAleny (Burns 65), Hiwula-Mayifuila (Cole 65).
Substitutes: Coyle, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill.
Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 17,237.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester have to settle for a point at Chelsea

Chelsea 0:0 Leicester City 

1718 chelsea away

City earned a point at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but were the much the better side until Ben Chilwell’s dismissal…

Claude Puel made seven changes to the side that drew at Fleetwood, with Vardy returning from injury, but Silva left out of the squad.
Chelsea had a couple of early attacking moves, with shots from Kanté and Moses being blocked, but then City got a grip on the game and didn’t let go.
In the 7th minute a great run by Chilwell saw him get in behind the Chelsea defence on the left and tee up Okazaki at the near post, but he sent his shot on the stretch wide.
A minute later Chilwell delivered another ball from the left, but Vardy’s attempted flick found the side-netting.
City were all over the Champions at this point and Vardy, sent through by James, then fired a low drive across Courtois that went narrowly wide.
Moments later Vardy fired in a cross for Okazaki at the near post but his touch was blocked. From the resulting corner the ball bounced up for Ndidi, but his header was tipped away by Courtois, James’ follow-up shot being charged down by Rüdiger.
Chelsea then broke forward and Schmeichel had his palms stung by a Fàbregas shot, but City were soon pushing forward again. An Albrighton cross from the left found Mahrez in space on the edge of the area, but he got his shot all wrong and sent the ball into the top tier.
A fine ball from Mahrez then sent Vardy through, but his miscued shot went well wide of the right hand post.
The home side were forced into a change after 32 minutes when Cahill limped off to be replaced by Christensen.
Morata then wriggled past a challenge on the goal-line, but his shot was blocked by Schmeichel at the near post.
Mahrez was having a superb game and ghosted round Rüdiger down the right before firing a low shot across the goalmouth, but no black shirts were in the six yard box.
Okazaki had a shot on the turn blocked, before Albrighton latched onto the loose ball and fired it wide of the left hand post.
As half-time approached Fàbregas saw his shot tipped over by Schmeichel.
0-0 at the break, and after a superb display you wondered if a stat of 12 shots (only one on target) would come back to haunt City later in the game.

However, the second half continued in much the same vein, with City pressing forward and Chelsea looking disjointed.
City earned a couple of early free-kicks, but James had a shot blocked from Mahrez’s delivery, and Albrighton sent the second one drifting wide.
There were big shouts for a penalty in the 54th minute when Mahrez dribbled through the Chelsea defence before tumbling over a Christensen challenge, but the ref was right to wave play on.
Mahrez was loudly booed as he cut in from the right and loosed a shot on goal that struck Christensen and span narrowly wide of the right hand post.
There was more booing from a frustrated home corwd when Hazard was replaced by Pedro in the 58th minute.
The game had a more physical edge now and Kanté got an overdue yellow, before Okazaki and Chilwell followed him into the book.
Sadly for Chilwell, and for an intriguing game, he received another yellow just five minutes later. It was unfortunate, with Chilwell only having eyes for the ball, but Moses arrived on the scene and was caught in the shin by a raised foot.
This changed the pattern of the game, with Fuchs brought on for Okazaki and City now defending a point. But this they did very well.
Schmeichel fielded a low shot from Willian, and then Bakayoko sent a shot well wide.
In the final ten minutes Puel brought Gray on for Vardy and then Iborra for the injured James.
City defended doggedly, frustrating the Champions, and the only nervy moment came in time added on when Chelsea were award a free-kick 25 yards out. Alonso’s well struck effort was heading for the bottom right hand corner, but Schmeichel got down to it well and tipped it behind.
Moses then attempted a shot that was nearer the corner flag than the goal, and City had earned a rare point at Stamford Bridge.
It had been a fine performance that could have seen a win, but a point away at Chelsea was most welcome.

Claude Puel commented: “Of course it’s a good reward after playing 10 against 11 at the end. But we deserved the point and perhaps more with all the chances we had. In the first half it was crazy not to find the possibility to score. They have had some opportunities but with all the good moves we make on the pitch, with quality and good chances…It’s a little disappointment because we had a lot of chances without finding the clinical edge, but it’s good for the confidence.”

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill (Christensen 33), Rüdiger, Moses, Fàbregas (Willian 58), Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard (Pedro 58), Morata.
Substitutes: Caballero, ZappacostaBatshuayiDavid Luiz.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, James (Iborra 90), Albrighton, Okazaki (Fuchs 73), Vardy (Gray 82).
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Slimani, Benalouane.
Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 41,552.

___________________________

We have a very limited number of these A4 sized ‘Premier League Champions’ prints left.
You can buy one online via Paypal HERE.
for £5.50 including postage.
When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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Leicester outplayed by Fleetwood but scrape a replay

Fleetwood Town 0:0 Leicester City

1718 fleetwood away fac

City clung on to a place in the 4th round draw by the width of a post after a very poor performance at Fleetwood on Saturday afternoon…

Claude Puel made eight changes to his side for this FA Cup tie against League One opposition, with Jakupovic, Silva and Barnes making their full debuts. But the pre-match media focus on Jamie Vardy returning to his former club was snuffed out by injury.
This was a Leicester side that had never played together before, and it showed.
In a game illuminated by a low, blinding winter sun they never got into their stride.
The first chance to emerge from a frantic midfield scrap saw Gray delivering a free-kick to Slimani at the far post, but his unconvincing touch drifted wide.
There was a close call for City in the 9th minute when Dragovic played a ball back to Jakupovic without looking, sending the keeper scrambling to tip it round the post.
The ref awarded a corner, rather than a free-kick, but Bolger missed the target with his header.
Hunter then tried his luck from 25 yards, but his shot went straight at Jakupovic.
Fleetwood were forced into a change after a quarter of an hour, Pond replacing the injured Eastham, but this didn’t disrupt their rhythm and Hunter fired in another shot, which didn’t trouble the City keeper.
In the 22nd minute Gray raced down the left, but had his cross blocked. King met Gray’s flag-kick with a near post header, but sent it well over from 6 yards.
City were enjoying more possession now, but were being given no space or time by the home side and were restricted to a couple of chances: Gray having an angled shot deflected and Barnes slicing a volley high and wide.
There was a moment of dread when Silva stayed down after a challenge with Schwabl, but he recovered after treatment. The first half limped to a conclusion as the ref blew time on a poor spectacle.

The second half continued in much the same vein with more hectic midfield action, until Fleetwood went close in the 55th minute. Hunter raced down the left, leaving Amartey in his wake and getting round Dragovic before firing in a low cross which Benalouane chested narrowly past the left hand post.
Two minutes later Claude Puel made a double change with Barnes and Silva replaced by Albrighton and Okazaki, but even those two couldn’t improve matters.
Fleetwood were in charge now and forced a series of corners, Bolger heading wide when unmarked and Schwabl making good contact with an 18 yarder that went straight at  Jakupovic.
City’s next chance came in the 67th minute when Gray beat Coyle down the left and swung over a cross to the far post, but it had already gone out of play when Slimani put it into the side-netting.
King then sent a shot woefully wide when well-placed, before Puel brought Iheanacho on for Slimani.
Fleetwood pressed forward in the last ten minutes, winning a series of corners and free-kicks, as the home crowd increased the volume, but Bolger sent two more headers well off-target.
As the game entered time-added-on, Fleetwood went within inches of winning the tie.
Hunter’s low shot took a deflection off Benalouane and hit the foot of the right-hand post, before bouncing off Jakupovic and back onto the post where the keeper gathered it gratefully.

No one could have begrudged Fleetwood a late winner, but City lived to fight another day. The travelling fans were not impressed with what they had seen and there were boos at the final whistle.
Claude Puel commented: “I picked a team that can win the game, knowing the fitness levels of my players after four games in 10 days. I think there is no excuse about this. We have had a good team on the pitch but it was not enough from the play.” 

Fleetwood: Neal, Coyle, Bolger, Eastham (Pond 15), Bell, Glendon, Schwabl, Dempsey, Burns (McAleny 69), Cole, Hunter.
Substitutes: Hiwula-Mayifuila, Jones, Cairns, Biggins, Sowerby.
Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Chilwell, Adrien Silva (Okazaki 57), King, James, Gray, Slimani (Iheanacho 80), Barnes (Albrighton 57).
Substitutes: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Choudhury.
Referee: S Hooper. Attendance: 5,001.

___________________________

We have a very limited number of these A4 sized ‘Premier League Champions’ prints left.
You can buy one online via Paypal HERE.
for £5.50 including postage.
When they’re gone, they’re gone.

champs print small

 

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Leicester see off Terriers in a game of two halves

Leicester City 3:0 Huddersfield Town

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

After a poor first half at the KPS on New Year’s Day, City produced a fine display after the break to brush Huddersfield aside, with goals from Mahrez, Slimani and Albrighton…

There were a few surprises when Claude Puel’s squad was announced, with James in for Iborra, Slimani replacing the injured Vardy, and a place for the long-awaited Adrien Silva on the bench, with the FA giving him special clearance after his four month exile.
Although City pressed forward in the early stages of the game, it was Huddersfield who had the first shot on goal when Lolley struck a 25 yarder straight at Schmeichel.
City’s first chance came in the 8th minute when Fuchs whipped in a cross from the left and Slimani’s header forced Lössl to tip the ball over the bar, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Referee Graham Scott had the travelling Town fans up in arms in the 20th minute when Williams broke through the middle and was halted by a clumsy challenge from Maguire on the edge of the area. Williams did, however, go down a little too easily and the ref waved play on.
In the 25th minute Morgan slid into an ungainly and unecessary tackle on Mounie on the halfway line and appeared to pick up a groin injury.
Although he tried to carry on for a couple of minutes the City captain had to limp off, replaced by Dragovic.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

It was a poor game by this stage, summed up when the ball fell for Ndidi after a goalmouth scramble but he sliced his shot well wide.
The tough December schedule had seen plenty of poor games and injuries across the Premier League, and this game wandered to half-time almost without incident.

However, City rallied themselves at the break and produced a far better second half performance.
In the 50th minute Slimani improvised a header to reach an Albrighton cross that was slightly behind him, forcing a save from Lössl.
Two minutes later a moment of inspiration lit up the afternoon as City took the lead.
Albrighton hooked a high ball towards the far post, where Mahrez met it with a superb volley across Lössl and into the net.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

City had the ball in the net again two minutes later, but Okazaki was judged to have fouled a defender on his way to goal.
City didn’t have long to wait for a second, however. In the 59th minute Mahrez played a defence-splitting pass to send Slimani in on goal. As Lössl advanced swiftly to meet him, Slimani chipped the ball over the keeper and it bounced into an unguarded net.
You could see Slimani’s confidence grow, and soon after his goal he almost set Mahrez up with a back-heel, that struck a defender’s arm.
Claude Puel made a change in the 75th minute, bringing Gray on for Mahrez. The crowd gave him a huge ovation, hopefully not for the last time.
It was all Leicester now, and Ndidi headed against the bar from corner.
In the 86th minute, Puel introduced Adrien Silva to the game in place of James, and the crowd responded with something close to hysteria with his every neat pass, and ball-winning challenge being cheered to the rafters.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

City got a third in time-added-on when a Gray cross from the right deflected off a defenders arm, but the penalty appeals were snuffed out when Albrighton popped up at the far post to guide it home.
It was an outcome that had looked unlikely at half-time, but City had ended their run of four games without a win in style, and Slimani had proved that there is a viable option to Vardy up front.  The cameo played by Silva was a bonus, and even that brief glimpse promised that he could be a huge player for City in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Morgan (Dragovic 28), Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 77), Ndidi, James (Silva 86), Albrighton, Okazaki, Slimani.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Iborra, Ulloa.
Huddersfield: Lössl, Smith (Depoitre 82), Jorgensen, Schindler, Löwe (Malone 76), Williams, Mooy, van La Parra, Ince, Lolley (Quaner 59), Mounie.
Substitutes: Hogg, Coleman, Cranie, Hadergjonaj.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 31,748.

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