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Spurs edge Leicester out in Wembley goal feast

Tottenham Hotspur 5:4 Leicester City

1718 spurs away c

City ended the season with defeat against Tottenham in a hugely entertaining nine-goal thriller at Wembley…

Claude Puel made two changes for his final starting XI of the season, with Gray and Iborra in for Diabate and Choudhury.
From early on this game had an end-of-term feel about it, and the goals soon started to fly in.
City took a fourth minute lead. Gray was fouled by Walker-Peters down the left, Mahrez swung the free-kick in, and Vardy’s delicate nod steered the ball beyond Lloris and into the far corner.
However, while the City fans were still celebrating, Tottenham were back on level terms. An attempted pass from Simpson struck Lucas and rebounded into the path of Kane, who charged up-field and beat Jakupovic low to his right.
Spurs had a good attacking spell following their goal: Eriksen sent a shot straight at Jakupovic, and then Simpson did well with a clearing header from a dangerous cross.
But it was City who next troubled the scoreboard. After winning the ball in midfield Mahrez found Iheanacho, who played a short ball to Silva, who nudged the ball onto Vardy. Vardy was blocked as he attempted to pull the trigger, but Mahrez was following up to blast the loose ball home.

1718 spurs away d

City should have gone further ahead in the 25th minute. A sweeping upfield move involving Gray, Iheanacho and Vardy saw Gray in on goal, but his shot lacked venom and Lloris pulled off a fine save.
City then caused Spurs problems with a couple of corners, but Maguire couldn’t find the right touch at the far post.
Spurs had another good spell up to the break and Maguire put in a couple of vital challenges to deny Kane and then Sissoko, ensuring City went in at half time with the lead.

Just two minutes into the second half City extended their lead with a superb effort.
Iheanacho picked up a loose ball in midfield and shrugged off the challenge of Wanyama, before launching a rocket into the top right hand corner.

1718 spurs away b

Sadly, City never got a chance to sit on the two goal lead, as Spurs hit back two minutes later. An intricate Spurs passing move through City’s defence provided a tap-in for Lamela, who looked offside, but the linesman was deaf to Leicester’s appeals.
Four minutes later Spurs levelled the game with a slice of fortune.
Lamela’s shot from close in was heading wide after a deflection off Maguire, but it then hit Fuchs’ knee and found the net.
At the other end, Maguire hit a shot narrowly wide, before Tottenham took the the lead for the first time on the hour.
It was another gift. Gray chested the ball down into the path of  Walker-Peters, who crossed for Lamela, all on his own and he beat Jakupovic from 6 yards.
City rallied themselves after conceding three goals in 11 minutes.
After some good work down the right, Mahrez teed up Iheanacho whose hard and low shot forced a fine save from Lloris.
City then drew level in the 73rd minute. After a wrestling match in City’s area between Morgan and Kane, the ref waved play on and Jakupovic set the counter-attack in motion. City raced upfield, Man City style, and Mahrez threaded a ball through the defence for Vardy who smashed his 20th league goal of the season in the roof of the net from an acute angle.

1718 spurs away a

But again, the City corner didn’t have long to celebrate as Tottenham came back with the winner three minutes later. Choudhury bought a Kane dummy hook, line and sinker on the edge of the area, allowing the England striker time to line up a shot into the top right hand corner.
City had one more chance to equalise, but Vardy lashed an effort over the bar, and the season ended as it had started, with a high scoring defeat in North London.
It was a strange feeling to come away from Wembley feeling disapointed but entertained, as opposed to the usual triumph or despair.

2017-18 was a funny old season, ninth place and two cup quarter-finals beats just about every campaign in the club’s history, but a sense of an opportunity missed pervades.
Big changes may be coming this summer and we are all hoping that the club’s owners can make decisions to match their ambitions.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Rose, Sissoko (Son Heung-min 84), Wanyama, Lamela (Sánchez 78), Eriksen, Lucas Moura (Alli 74), Kane.
Substitutes: Vorm, Llorente, Foyth, Davies.
Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson (Choudhury 56), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho (Barnes 85), Gray (Diabaté 61), Vardy.
Substitutes: Hamer, Benalouane, Ndukwu, Hughes.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 77,841.

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Leicester break Arsenal jinx with end of season show

Leicester City 3:1 Arsenal 

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

City produced a fine performance in the final home game of the season, with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal…

With City looking for their first league win over Arsenal since 1994, Claude Puel made three changes to his starting line-up with Jakupovic, Simpson and Iheanacho in for  Hamer, Benalouane and Iborra.
Before the game we said farewell to Robert Huth, who is not having his contract renewed after a season out with injury. His immense contribution to the Great Escape and the Premier League title will never be forgotten.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

After six home games without a win, expectations weren’t high for this game and Arsenal (without an away win in 2018) controlled the opening stage with some neat passing moves. Mkhitaryan got in an early shot straight at Jakupovic, but the keeper was given a more severe test by Iwobi in the 6th minute when he got down to tip a toe-poked effort round the post.
City broke upfield in the 10th minute when great work from Choudhury, set up Iheanacho, who neatly side-stepped his marker but then lost his footing.
Two minutes later City broke away again and Silva sent Vardy through, but his shot was well saved by Cech.
City then delighted the home crowd who had a goal to celebrate at long last.
In the 14th minute. After a spell of pressure, Fuchs launched a cross beyond the far post, Diabaté sent a neat header back into the area and Iheanacho delivered a measured left-footer through a crowd of defenders and past Cech.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

The KPS was instantly revived and a minute later City were nearly through again. Iheanacho was in on goal when Mavropanos brought him down, and was judged to be the last man, leaving Arsenal with 10 men for 75 minutes.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Mahrez curled the resulting free-kick in and Maguire attempted a side-foot finish from close range, but Cech tipped it over the bar.
City were rampant now and Iheanacho fired a shot from the edge of the area, but Cech came to the Gunners rescue again.
Diabaté then made good progress down the left before whipping in a cross that was a couple of inches away from Vardy’s boot.
With City in control of the game Arsenal had a rare attack in the 35th minute when Jakupovic produced a fine save to guide a Mkhitaryan shot round the base of the post. Along with some excellent distribution, the keeper was having a fine Premier League debut for City.
In the 38th minute Silva curved a low free-kick round the wall, but Cech tipped it away at full stretch. City broke forward again, but Iheanacho’s angled drive saw the over-worked Cech saving again.
The half-time joy that City had played so well was temepered by the fact that they hadn’t scored more goals from so many chances. And Arsenal came out for the second half in more determined mood.

Two minutes into the second half Kolasinac found space down the left but his shot from an acute angle thumped against the post.
City were soon pouring forward again. A good run from Mahrez set up Vardy, but the offside flag denied City a second goal.
Diabaté then raced into space down the left, but his shot had the sting taken out of it by Cech’s block, allowing for an easy goal line clearance.
For all City’s chances, it was Arsenal who got the next goal in the 53rd minute.
Aubameyang’s well struck volley was brilliantly saved by Jakupovic from close range, but he had no chance when Aubameyang followed up to lash the ball into the roof of the net.
A now open game was end-to-end for a while. Diabaté fired a shot over the bar, and Fuchs also went close, before Mkhitaryan blasted an effort just over the angle of post and bar.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 72nd minute, bringing Gray on for Diabaté, and it soon reaped its reward.
Gray beat his man down the right and sent in a low cross which was cleared straight back to him, but as he took possession Mkhitaryan caught him from behind and the ref pointed to the spot amid furious protests.
Vardy sent Cech the wrong way, smashing it left to regain City’s lead.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Simpson had to limp out of the action in the 82nd minute, replaced by Dragovic, as City attempted to see the game out. But there was one more moment of magic to come.
A superb ball from Choudhury capped a brilliant night’s work for him and sent Mahrez down the right. In what will surely be his last home appearance for City he sent his marker into the car park with a swift change of direction before guiding the ball round the grounded Cech for another wonderful finish.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Five minutes of time-added-on passed without drama and City’s home schedule finished on a very high note after months of disappointment.
In contrast to Saturday, a large majority of the crowd stayed on to applaud the side off the pitch for what had been a great effort.
There was even a chant for Arsène Wenger, who had lost to Leicester for the first time in his long Arsenal career.
9th place was secured and we were left thinking that it hadn’t been too bad a season after all.

Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson (Dragovic 82), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Choudhury, Silva, Diabaté (Gray 72), Vardy, Iheanacho (Barnes 88).
Substitutes: Hamer, Iborra, Benalouane, Thomas.
Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Iwobi (Nketia 84), Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Welbeck (Mustafi 19).
Substitutes: Mertesacker, Ospina, Nelson, Osei-Tutu, Willock.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 32,095.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 

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Leicester caught cold at Turf Moor

Burnley 2:1 Leicester City

1718 burnley away a

City’s Europa League hopes all but dissolved at Turf Moor on Saturday, with Burnley going 2-0 up within nine minutes…

Claude Puel made three changes to his side, with Choudhury handed his first Premier League start, and Gray and Okazaki in for Diabaté and Albrighton.
But City appeared to miss the starting pistol, and went behind in the 6th minute.
Morgan gifted a clearance to Barnes, who sent Wood through on the left. Although Schmeichel saved his first shot, he could nothing about the second from the rebound.
The afternoon got worse for City three minutes later. Although Wood was fortunate to win a corner that deflected off his foot, City’s defending from the flag kick was woeful.    Gudmundsson delivered it from the right, Schmeichel was blocked as he tried to collect, and Long rose unopposed at the far post to nod home.
City’s first meaningful attack came in the 14th minute, though Mahrez ignored Gray’s run into space on the left and his shot deflected up for an easy take for Pope.
Simpson then did well to intercept a cross heading for Wood at the far post as the Clarets threatened to put the game out of reach.
As the half wore on, City managed to get their passing game together and dominated possession. Chilwell capped a strong run down the left with a good cross for Vardy, but it reached him at an awkward height and his downward header was cleared. Then Gray floated over a cross which was met with a firm header from Mahrez, but it went straight at Pope.
The last action of the half saw City awarded a free kick for a foul on Okazaki 25 yards out. Mahrez got it over the wall well but skimmed the right hand post.

Iheanacho replaced Okazaki for the second half as City tried to find a way back into the game. Although Gudmundsson fired a long range effort narrowly over the bar, it was mostly one-way traffic towards to the Burnley goal.
On the hour, Silva threaded a ball though to Vardy but he didn’t catch his shot right, allowing Pope to save low to his right.
Gray made way for Diabate in the 64th minute and City continued to press forward.
Maguire’s header from a corner just eluded Vardy at the far post.
As Burnley broke upfield there was a double penalty appeal as the ball hit Chilwell’s arm and then Iheanacho brought Lennon down, but Martin Atkinson waved play on.
City finally made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute. A sweeping move upfield saw Iheanacho feed Vardy in on the right and he lashed his shot across Pope and into the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Diabaté’s cross from the left saw Long get the slightest touch in front of goal to take it away from the onrushing Vardy.
In the 81st minute Simpson dithered on the ball and his pass back to Schmeichel saw the City keeper clattered by Barnes. The Burnley man got a yellow card and Schmeichel had to limp off, replaced by Hamer, five minutes later.
In the meantime a Maguire header from a corner was scrambled away by the Clarets’ defence.
Vardy managed a header straight at Pope, as City mounted more desperate attempts on goal, but Burnley stood firm to open up the points gap to 9 points and have their fans checking their passports.
It wasn’t a bad performance from City for at least an hour, but that terrible start had left them with too much to do.

Claude Puel commented: “From the beginning we made things easy for the opposition. Of course I was impressed because there was good concentration before the game and good duels at the beginning and it was close with the other team, but to concede two goals quickly, it was difficult to accept. We have had a lot of chances and it is a big disappointment of course because I think we deserved another result. It was not a fair result.”

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Berg Gudmundsson, Barnes (Vokes 85), Wood (Hendrick 75).
Substitutes: Heaton, Taylor, Marney, Vokes, Hendrick, Wells, Bardsley.
Leicester: Schmeichel (Hamer 86), Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Choudhury, Silva, Gray
(Diabaté 64), 
Okazaki (Iheanacho 45), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Albrighton, Hamer, Dragovic, Fuchs, Barnes, Diabaté.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 21,727.

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We have produced 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 posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

There aren’t many left, so order yours now. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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

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Unhappy Birthday sees Leicester outplayed by Newcastle

Leicester City 1:2 Newcastle United

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

The free beer, chocolate and fireworks in honour of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s 60th birthday were almost matched by the generosity of City’s defence as the Magpies claimed the three points at the KPS on Saturday…

Claude Puel made two changes to his side, with Silva in for the suspended Ndidi and Diabate replacing Okazaki.
Newcastle, chasing the points that would assure them Premier League football next season, applied some early pressure, winning three corners. From the third one Pérez got a thumping header on target, but Schmeichel got down smartly to deny him a second minute opener.
City had an attacking spell of their own after a quarter of an hour, and Morgan sent a header off-target from a decent position. But generally City looked ponderous going forward, with plenty of possession, but most passes going sideways or backwards and Newcastle happy to sit back.
The visitors then took an 18th minute lead. Pérez found Shelvey in an acre of space on the edge of the area, and as Morgan and Magurie tried to close him down, a twist of the hips put them both out of the equation and a measured shot beat Schmeichel via Chilwell’s elbow.
The 22nd minute saw tempers boil when Maguire reacted to Gayle climbing all over his back, and in attempting to push him away his hand connected with the United player’s chin. On another day it might have brought a red card, but Attwell contented himself with a yellow.
City laboured to get back into the game but couldn’t turn possession into chances and any crosses were gobbled up by a comfortable looking Newcastle defence.
Vardy received a kick in the family jewels from Diame, but didn’t get a penalty and then referee Stuart Attwell further enraged the home crowd five minutes before the break. Receiving a fine pass from Silva, Mahrez cut into the area where he was cleared up by a challenge from Dummet for an obvious penalty, but neither Attwell or his well-placed linesman saw a foul.
City’s afternoon got worse just before the break when Iborra limped off, replaced by Choudhury.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

The half time whistle was greeted with loud booing directed at the ref, though it may have been tinted with more frustration at another poor home performance.

United had an early chance in the second half, when Choudhury brought Kenedy down, but Gayle sent his free kick narrowly over the bar. Other than that Choudhury had a fine game, a rare highlight on a hugely disappointing afternoon.
With City showing little sign of improvement Puel made another change 11 minutes into the second half, bringing Okazaki on for Simpson and moving Albrighton to right back.
This did bring in improvement in City’s game and then began to press forward with more intent. Silva saw a long range effort deflected wide, Mahrez had a shot blocked by Lascelles and Vardy headed wide, but any crosses into the area were still easily dealt with by United, with no aerial presence for City.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

After this attacking spell, the visitors caught City on the break to double their lead in the 75th minute. A hopeful punt forward caught out Maguire and Morgan and Perez lobbed the ball into an empty net with Schmeichel still back-pedalling having strayed out to the edge of his area.
Gray replaced Diabate a minute after this further setback, and had a hand in what turned out to be a consolation goal.
In the 83rd minute his cross from the left was nodded down by Okazaki into the path of Vardy who netted from close in.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

But United weren’t in the mood to surrender their precious points and keeper Dubravka claimed a couple of crosses as City chased an equaliser in vain.
With Burnley winning at Watford a six point gap had opened up on that Europa Cup place, and City’s current run of poor home performances don’t suggest that they can make up that ground.
Claude Puel commented on the penalty that wasn’t: “This decision could have helped us come back into the game with a good tempo and a good feeling in the second half. It could have given us a boost. It was not enough but it is not just a question of the penalty. It is not an excuse because our performance was too poor in the first half and we have to correct that aspect of our game.”

Many supporters seemed to have lost patience with Puel, trying to play a style that doesn’t suit the players he has, and neutering the drive and speed that they once had.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Okazaki 57), Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Silva, Iborra (Choudhury 42), Mahrez, Diabaté (Gray 76), Albrighton, Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Dragovic, Jakupovic, Fuchs.
Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diamé (Hayden 81), Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Pérez, Gayle (Joselu 70).
Substitutes: Clark, Manquillo, Merino, Darlow.
Referee: S Attwell. Attendance: 32,066.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We have produced 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 posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

There aren’t many left, so order yours now. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

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Schmeichel save sets up Leicester win at Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion 0:2 Leicester City

Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City, Premier League, 31 March 2018

City shrugged off a late penalty award and the dismissal of Wilfred Ndidi to win at the Amex for the first time on Saturday afternoon…

Claude Puel made one change to his starting line-up with Okazaki in for Iheanacho, while the Seagulls couldn’t field the suspended Knockaert or the on-loan Ulloa.
A very poor first half unfolded, with Brighton looking the more threatening.
Locadia sliced an effort when well placed, Izquierdo just failed to reach a cross, and Morgan picked up an early yellow for a foul on Propper.
Ndidi followed his skipper into the ref’s notebook, before Murray fired a shot over the bar.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City, Premier League, 31 March 2018

The first real chance of the game arrived in the 37th minute, when a ball from Locadia sent Murray in on goal down the right channel, but his normally deadly finishing deserted him and he steered the ball wide of the right hand post.
Despite offering very little, City managed to go in at the break on level terms, and things could surely only get better.

Or maybe not. A minute into the second half a Morgan error presented Gross with a long range shooting opportunity which Schmeichel did well to tip over at full stretch.
Maguire then did well to snuff out a run from Izquierdo as City continued to play on the back foot.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 56th minute, bringing Diabaté on for Okazaki but things didn’t improve.
Chilwell, Simpson and Maguire were all booked within a short spell, meaning that the entire defence and defensive midfielder were all on a knife edge.
By the 71st minute Diabaté was beginning to make things happen, and his cross found Vardy in the middle, but his attempted back-heel didn’t work.
But Brighton’s big moment finally arrived in the 76th minute, when Ndidi fouled Izquierdo in the area and Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot.
Murray planted his kick to Schmeichel’s left, but the City keeper guessed right and tipped it round the post for a fine save.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City, Premier League, 31 March 2018

Gray replaced Albrighton soon after this let off, and City began to press forward at last.
They then delighted their 3,000 + followers, taking an 83rd minute lead.
Chilwell lofted a ball in from the left and Iborra found some space in the area to nod it home past Ryan from 10 yards.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City, Premier League, 31 March 2018

With Brighton desperately seeking an equaliser, Ndidi and Duffy contested a 50-50 ball and it looked as though the City man won it with a fair side-footed challenge.
Ndidi threw himself to the ground in a rage when Kavanagh judged it worthy of a second yellow and City had to see out the game with ten men.
Schmeichel saved March’s resulting free-kick, tipping it over the bar.
Brighton then went close from a corner during the 5 minutes of time-added-on, when Bong missed a far post sitter with an eyes shut, head down header, but his blushes were spared as the ref spotted a foul on Schmeichel.
Instead, it was City who added to the scoreline in the dying seconds. Gray beat his marker down the right and his low cross to the far post was met with a perfectly timed run by Vardy, to seal what had looked like a highly unlikely win.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City, Premier League, 31 March 2018

Claude Puel summed up: “The first half was poor, we didn’t come back from the international break. It was difficult, it was slow and we were without tempo, rhythm and aggressiveness. It was a fantastic save from Kasper and it changed the situation of the game. It gave us a good feeling and desire to continue to believe and for the opponent it was opposite. It wasn’t a fantastic game for us in terms of play but the result is very crucial.”

Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Pröpper, Locadia (March 75). Groß, Kayal (Baldock 84), Izquierdo, Murray.
Substitutes: Bruno, Baldock, Hemed, Goldson, March, Krul, Suttner.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez (Fuchs 85), Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton (Gray 79), Okazaki (Diabaté 56), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Silva, Dragovic, Jakupovic.

Referee: C Kavanagh. Attendance: 30,629.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We have produced 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 posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

There aren’t many left, so order yours now. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

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Chelsea edge Leicester out of the Cup in extra time

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea aet

1718 chelsea home fac e

A Pedro header in extra-time settled a classic cup-tie in Chelsea’s favour at the KPS on Sunday evening…

Claude Puel made two changes to his side, with Iheanacho and Albrighton in for Okazaki and Gray, as City attempted to reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 1982.
The game moved from end to end almost from the start, and City went close in the 3rd minute. A low Simpson cross from the right found Albrighton, whose half-volley flew a yard wide of the right hand post.
City then looked exposed as Chelsea broke forward, but Willian over-hit his pass.
Morgan got his head to two corners, but the first deflected off Rudiger’s shoulder and the second cleared the bar.
Moses incurred the wrath of the home crowd, twice falling over in the hope of a free-kick, neither of which fooled the ref.
Ndidi then launched a long-range shot that was too close to Caballero to trouble him.
Morata began to look threatening, but sent one shot straight at Schmeichel and then sent a header over the bar from a decent position.

1718 chelsea home fac f

In the 36th minute Maguire’s through ball set up a race between Vardy and Caballero, which the Chelsea keeper narrowly won.
The box to box nature of the game was summed up when Chelsea took a 42nd minute lead. Mahrez was crowded out by three defenders as he attempted to get into the area, and Chelsea broke swiftly with Willian easing round Chilwell and racing upfield.
His perfect pass to Morata took three defenders out of the equation and the Spaniard produced a cool finish to beat Schmeichel, ending a thirteen game goal drought.

City started the second half in a more attacking frame of mind and Chelsea looked stretched. A minute into the second half Caballero’s clearance went straight to Mahrez, but his long range shot at an empty goal was high, wide and not very handsome.
In the 53rd minute a delightful chip from Ndidi found Vardy between the two centre-halves, but he ballooned his header over the bar.
As City pressed forward Albrighton attempted a snap-shot from a tight angle but Caballero fielded it comfortably.
At the other end Moses sent a dangerous cross, into the goalmouth but Schmeichel’s touch took it away from the waiting Morata.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 68th minute, bringing Okazaki on for Iheanacho.
There was a lengthy stoppage when Moses caught Iborra in the face with an elbow, and City seemed more switched on after the restart, grabbing a 76th minute equaliser.
Mahrez ghosted past Kante and Alonso down the right and cut the ball back to Vardy whose shot was blocked. Iborra seized on the rebound, which was also blocked, but came back to him for another shot which was well saved by Caballero. The loose ball fell for Vardy who blasted it home from close range.

1718 chelsea home fac d

City had their tails up now and three minutes after the goal Okazaki was a couple of inches away from putting a finishing touch to Chilwell’s cross.
City looked the more likely winners at this stage, but Caballero got down well to save a Vardy shot after he’d been sent through by Maguire.
Schmeichel then made two fine saves in as many seconds, twice denying Morata from close range.
Moses’ flying elbows claimed another victim in time-added-on and Albrighton had to be treated for a nosebleed, though Craig Pawson didn’t allow more added time for the lengthy stoppage.
So extra-time awaited for an already freezing crowd.

Pedro replaced Willian, just two minutes after the restart, before VAR was used for the first time after Fàbregas claimed an assault by Vardy.
With both teams looking leggy, Chelsea regained the lead in the 105th minute.
Kante chipped a ball into the area, Schmeichel came racing off his line to claim it, but Pedro nipped in ahead of him to nod the ball into an empty net.

1718 chelsea home fac b

For the second half of extra-time, Puel replaced Iborra and Simpson with Silva and Diabaté, and City had a quarter of an hour to keep their cup hopes alive.
Two minutes into the final period City won a free-kick 35 yards out.
Silva back-heeled it for Mahrez who lofted it into the area, Okazaki nodded it on for Maguire who blasted it across the goalmouth. It went just behind Diabate at the far post but got fed back to Mahrez who had a fierce shot blocked by Kante. The loose ball fell for Diabate but his shot was blocked by Moses.
As play raced to the other end Kante had a shot brilliantly blocked by Albrighton, City’s Man of the Match.
Puel’s final change saw Gray on for Albrighton, but Chelsea were in full time-wasting mode now and play was broken up.
Despite Craig Pawson pointing to his watch every time a Chelsea player went down, or took an age to take a free-kick he only added one minute on, and the final whistle brought loud booing from the stands and an inquest between the City players and the ref.

1718 chelsea home fac c

Sadly, a real opportunity to chase the one trophy that has always eluded City was missed, and the disappointment wasn’t eased when Chelsea drew Southampton in the post-match semi-final draw.

Claude Puel wasn’t impressed with the mysterious time-keeping: “They waste a lot of time and there was just one minute at the end. I think it was harsh. It would have been important to come back in the game. But they were trying to keep the result and to waste time because they have a lot of experience We can have more time to try to come back.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Diabaté 105), Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Iborra (Silva 105). Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 115), Iheanacho (Okazaki 68), Vardy. Substitutes: Hamer, Dragovic, Fuchs.
Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Christensen (Cahill 101), Rüdiger, Moses, Kanté, Bakayoko (Fàbregas 45) Alonso, Willian (Pedro 92) Hazard, Morata (Giroud 105)
Substitutes: Zappacosta, Emerson, Eduardo.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 31,792.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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We have produced 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 posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

There aren’t many left, so order yours now. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

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

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

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Leicester bury Baggies after early setback

West Bromwich Albion 1:4 Leicester City

1718 wba away c

Despite going a goal down, City added to Albion’s woes with a convincing 4-1 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday…

Claude Puel made five changes to his side, with Simpson, Iborra, Chilwell, Gray and Okazaki all returning to the starting XI.
But they got off to a shaky start on a rainy day in the West Midlands and went behind in the 8th minute. Chilwell missed an attempted interception, allowing Burke to race down the right and deliver a low cross that saw Rondon beating Morgan to the ball to divert it past Schmeichel.
Five minutes later Mahrez looped a cross to the far post but it just evaded both Gray and Vardy.
In the 17th minute City went close to going further behind when a Krychowiak shot took a deflection off Iborra and and was heading for the top corner before Schmeichel finger-tipped it on to the crossbar.
But City struck back in the 21st minute with a fantastically executed goal.
Mahrez played an inch perfect ball for Vardy who watched it over his shoulder before guiding a volley beyond Foster’s reach and into the net.
After his usual celebrations in that corner of the Hawthorns, referee Bobby Madley had a word with him.

1718 wba away a

It was end to end stuff for a while as Krychowiak dragged a shot wide when well placed, Gibbs made a timely clearance from a dangerous Chilwell cross, and Vardy had a goal disallowed for being narrowly offside as he ran on to Chilwell’s through ball.
Rondon then had a shot deflected over the bar.
1-1 at the break, with City on top after a poor opening spell.

Both sides were looking to push forward in the second half and it was an entertainingly open game.
Gray tried to catch Foster out from distance but the Albion keeper was alert to the danger.
Claude Puel made his first change on the hour, bringing Iheanacho on for Okazaki, and it soon brought its reward.
In the 62nd minute Iheanacho sent a delicate chip over the Baggies defence where Mahrez’s well timed run saw him take a touch before lobbing the ball over Foster to give City the lead.

1718 wba away d

City were in charge now. Mahrez almost sent Vardy in on goal and then Iheanacho set him up for a chance which Foster blocked.
Puel brought Albrighton on for Gray in the 67th minute.
Iheanacho then got his first Premier League goal for City in the 76th minute, heading home a Chilwell cross from the left before celebrating in front of the away end.
This sparked an exodus for the exits, with many Albion fans seemingly resigned to defeat and impending relegation.
Puel made his third change late on with Mahrez replaced by Diabate, to rousing applause from the visitors section.
In time added on City got a fourth when Albrighton hoisted a corner in from the left and Iborra rose above the Albion defence to plant a firm header into the net from six yards.

1718 wba away b

Claude Puel commented: “The first half was too open, end to end and box and box. The first half could have finished 3-3. It was crazy. We needed to manage our game better in the second half, with more calm and quality. It was interesting to keep the ball on the floor and work West Brom more. We found the clinical edge with a fantastic goal.”

West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Krychowiak (Field 59), Livermore, Brunt, Burke (Robson-Kanu 83), Rondón, Phillips (Rodriguez 70).
Substitutes: Yacob, Myhill, McClean, McAuley.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez (Diabaté 88), Okazaki (Iheanacho 60), Gray (Albrighton 67), Vardy.
Substitutes: Dragovic, Jakupovic, James, Fuchs.

Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 23,558.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized