Tag Archives: premier league

Leicester make their point at Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur 1:1 Leicester City

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City battled to their first away point of the season after going behind to a very soft penalty decision at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Vardy back in and Slimani left out with a slight groin strain.
Unbeaten Spurs had an early spell of pressure, Alli fired in a shot from the edge of the area following a corner but Schmeichel got down to it well.
The City keeper then made a comfortable save from a long-range Rose effort and watched Eriksen’s free-kick go narrowly wide, before City had their first chance. Okazaki got his head to a Mahrez cross but cleared the bar.
Fuchs then attempted an audacious volley from a deep Mahrez corner but sent his well struck effort just over from 20 yards.
Five minutes before the break Spurs got nearer when Walker’s cut back from the right was side-footed against the crossbar by Alli from 12 yards.
However, City were not to go down the tunnel on level terms. In the 44th minute Janssen, with Huth’s hand on his shoulder, threw himself to the ground, and referee Bobby Madley bought it. Janssen sent his ill-gotten spot-kick down the middle, just evading Schmeichel’s flailing boot.

City emerged for the second half looking purposeful, and were soon back on level terms.
In the 48th minute, a wayward back header from Wanyama sent Vardy haring down the right. He squared for Musa who slid the ball in off Lloris, picking up a knock on his way into the back of the net.
An Alli dive, his third of the game, saw Spurs awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, but Janssen’s curving effort went inches wide of the right hand post.
The same player then brushed the same post moments later with a low shot on the turn as Tottenham increased the pressure in search of a winner.
But City – with Schlupp, Albrighton and Ulloa introduced to the action – then had a very good spell of their own and Fuchs, seemingly attempting to outdo his first goal last week, attempted another ambitious voley, which went high and wide.
Spurs best chance of a winner came when Wanyama swung a cross in from the right and Vertonghen sent a firm header against the bar.
The final chance fell for substitute Ulloa, who got his head to a Fuchs free-kick but directed his effort wide.

Claudio Ranieri was happy with the first away point of the season: “This was a very big result – we need confidence at this moment – and a fantastic performance against a good team, our rivals last season. I’m very pleased. We started well; we tried to win, they tried to win, a very good match, this is the magic of Premier League football.”

Copenhagen awaits…

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Rose, Vertonghen, Son, Janssen, Wanyama (Winks 87), Dier, Dembele, Alli (Nkoudou 83), Eriksen. Subs Not Used: Vorm, Trippier, Onomah, Davies, Carter-Vickers. 
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez (Albrighton 72), Musa (Schlupp 68), Okazaki (Ulloa 78), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Hernández, Amartey, Gray. 
Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 31.868.

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Champions Leicester fail to get out of the blocks

Hull City 2:1 Leicester City

1617 hull away d

City started the defence of their title with a disappointing defeat against Hull at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday, despite Riyad Mahrez equalising from the spot…

Hull were manager-less, favourites to go down, had spent nothing on players, only had 13 fit players, and the fans were protesting… it all seemed too good to be true for City’s first game, and it was.
Claudio Ranieri made three changes to the starting line up at Wembley, with Gray in and Musa and Hernandez making their Premier League debuts.

City had the first chance of the game in the third minute, when Gray pushed forward from midfield and hit a long-range effort that took a looping deflection onto the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Hull threatened Schmeichel’s goal, Davies flicking a near post header narrowly wide of the far post from a Snodgrass corner.
Gray then found himself in a good position from a Fuchs long-throw but wildly sliced his shot.

1617 hull away a

In the 20th minute, a good run and cut back by Musa on the left set up Vardy beautifully, but the Engand striker produced an airshot. The ball ran through to Mahrez, who side-stepped one defender in the area, but then fired wide.
In a strong spell up to the break for City, several chances came and went.
Mahrez battled through two defenders down the right and pulled a ball back for Drinkwater who curled a shot inches wide wide of the left hand post.
Fuchs went on a run down the left and played balls off Gray and then Musa,before bearing down on goal, but  Jakupovic came out well to block his prodded effort. Vardy followed up but saw his shot blocked by Livermore; and Mahrez seized on the loose ball and went round a couple of defenders but sent his shot just wide.
Musa then pounced on a stray pass from Diomande and raced past Davies, before setting up Vardy, who miscued his shot over the bar.

1617 hull away e

City were to pay for those missed chances just seconds before the half time whistle when the Tigers took the lead with a bizarre goal. Davies got his head to a Snodgrass corner, but Schmeichel managed to parry it away to his left. As the loose ball bounced up to head height both Hernandez and Diomande attempted acrobatic efforts. Both connected, but the latter appeared to get the final touch as the ball found the net via the bar.

City were soon on level terms after the break, however, when referee Mike Dean ruled that Huddlestone treading on Gray’s heel had occurred inside the area, though replays indicated it was at least two feet outside. Mahrez rattled his penalty kick straight down the middle and the Champions were back on track.

1617 hull away c

However, the script went awry again ten minutes later. A hurried throw-out from Schmeichel conceded possession, and a swift move down the right saw a probing cross from Elmohamady that was only half cleared by Simpson. The ball sat up nicely for Snodgrass to fire an unstoppable half-volley just inside the right hand post.
With City struggling to get past a dogged Hull back-line Claudio Ranieri made a couple of changes in the 68 minute with Okazaki and Amartey replacing Gray and King.
Okazaki introduced a bit of the zip and tempo from last season that appeared to be lacking in this game, and one charge down the middle saw him upended by Davies.
Mahrez delivered a decent free-kick round the wall, but Jakupovic got down well to tip it round the post.
Hull were very well organised in defence of their lead by this stage and City were looking strangely flat. Okazaki hit one long range effort well over the bar.
On the home side’s rare ventures upfield they looked more threatening and more cunning. From a free-kick on the right Snodgrass tried to catch Schmeichel out with a shot towards the near post. Fortunately the City keeper was alert to the danger.
City eventually ran out of ideas and steam and couldn’t launch a concerted bid for an equaliser, even during 5 minutes injury time.
Caretaker manager Mike Phelan and his side, with Snodgrass inspired, had done a magnificent job on the Champions. City became the first title-defending club to lose their first game of the season since 1989.

Claudio Ranieri commented: “We know very well that last season was something special. Now we have to get back with our feet on the ground and we have to work hard. When I said ’40 points’ a lot of people were laughing but it’s true. We have to restart, forget we are the champions and improve as a team. The players made a big effort but as individuals not as a team. We scored a goal, created good chances and we were unlucky – those are positive things. The negatives were that they were smarter and we have to concentrate for 90 minutes always.”

Hull: Jakupovic, Robertson, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Hernandez, Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore, Diomande, Elmohamady. Subs Not Used: Kuciak, Maloney, Tymon, Bowen, Luer, Olley, Clackstone.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Ulloa 84), Hernandez, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King (Amartey 68), Mahrez, Gray (Okazaki 68), Musa, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, Albrighton, Kapustka.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 20,137.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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Foxes devour Swans to go 8 points clear

Leicester City 4:0 Swansea City

2015-16 swansea home d

City took a step closer to the title with a convincing 4-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Sunday to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with just three games to play…

With Vardy suspended, Claudio Ranieri played Ulloa and Okazaki up front , with Schlupp in for Albrighton.
Although Swansea were the first to deliver a ball into the box, it came to nothing, and City were then gifted an 11th minute lead.
Williams’ slightly leisurely clearance struck Mahrez and the Algerian international showed great composure to finish, with Fabianski perhaps expecting a curling effort into the far corner, Mahrez simply fired it in at the near post.
It was the start City needed to calm any nerves, and they never looked back.
With City’s midfield bossing the play, Fuchs and Okazaki both threatened the Swans goal, before City extended their lead on the half hour.
After a battle between Morgan and Routledge out on the left ended with a free-kick to City, Drinkwater delivered a perfect ball into the area for Ulloa to nod home from 6 yards.

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It was tempting to think ‘game over’ at this stage, but Swansea enjoyed their best spell of the game up to half-time.
But of the two free-kicks their pressure gained, one was headed narrowly over by Fernandez and the other, a shot from Sigurdsson, may have been heading for the post when Schmiechel tipped it round. And so City took a precious 2-0 lead in with them at the break.

Swansea had an early chance in the second half when a well-placed Ayew failed to test Schmeichel with a weak header, but it was all over by the hour mark.
Schlupp charged after a Schmeichel clearance down the left, beating two defenders and cutting in on goal. He unselfishly attempted to square to Ulloa, but Williams blocked. However, the ball fell nicely for Schlupp to cross again and Ulloa slid the ball in at the far post, sparking huge celebrations.

2015-16 swansea home c

Barring an Ayew header into the side-netting, it was one-way traffic now, with City in irresistible form.
Schlupp forced a fine save from Fabianski and miscued a couple of other efforts.
Okazaki fired a shot over the bar, and then King (on for Ulloa who picked up a knock to his back) tested Fabianski again with a low shot.
City’s fourth goal arrived with five minutes remaining. Gray went on a run down the right, and just kept running. At one point it was almost comedic with four Swansea defenders chasing after him. After cutting in, the youngster chipped a ball to the far, post, King headed it back across goal, but Gray’s first time effort was pushed out by Fabianski… only as far as Albrighton who gleefully rifled it home, having only been on the pitch for three minutes.

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City ended the day eight points clear, knowing that two more wins would seal the club’s first ever title. With every week bringing a new landmark, they now can’t finish outside the top two and, later that evening, Riyad Mahrez was crowned PFA Player of the Season.

Speculation about how City would cope without Vardy had been answered with four goals:
“It was a magnificent performance,” said Claudio. “Without Jamie, everyone else had to give that bit more. It was great to see my players fight. We had some difficulties, but everybody made sure we had a good match. Now it is important for us to make our dreams a reality. Now is the right moment to give everything.”

* Credit where it is due: maybe it was the light and shade effect but referee Mark Clattenburg appeared to come up with the perfect refereeing performance.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, Schlupp (Albrighton 82), Mahrez, Okazaki (Gray 73), Ulloa (King 79). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Chilwell, Amartey.
Swansea: Fabianski, Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Fernandez, Britton, Cork, Fer (Paloschi 46), Routledge (Montero 46), Ayew, Sigurdsson (Ki 75). Subs Not Used: Amat, Nordfeldt, Naughton, Barrow.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 31,962.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester’s woes continue as Saint march on

Southampton 2:0 Leicester City
2014-15 soton away a
Two second half goals from Shane Long were enough to see off City at the St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday…
Nigel Pearson made two changes to his side for this trip to a rain-swept south coast, with  Schlupp and Ulloa in for Konchesky and Nugent.
In-form Southampton applied some early pressure but the City defence managed to keep them at bay with the final ball being cut out or misdirected several times.
Clyne forced Schmeichel into a save from a long-range effort, and Morgan blocked a Pelle effort.
City looked set up to defend a pointand chances were rare though Morgan went close after connecting with a James corner but couldn’t direct his header downwards.
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City stood strong through an intense period of corners towards the break, but their only stat going forward was a booking for  Schneiderlin after he brought Vardy down.
Defensively City could be satisfied with the goalless scoreline at half-time.
City continued to soak up the pressue in the second half and though Wanyama  found the net in the 51st minute  the linesman flag brought a swift end to the celebrations.
Alderweireld then became the second Saints player to pick up a yellow card for stopping Vardy in his tracks, a tactic designed to snuff out City’s only real threat.
Cambiasso sent the free kick straight into the wall, as if to underline this.
Moore came on for De Laet  and as the clock ticked 0n Southampton began to get frustrated, restricted to long range efforts.

However, Ronald Koeman then made a game-changing substitution bringing on Long for Mane.

With a quarter of an hour remaining Long latched on to a ball from Pelle and slotted home a fine finish beyond Schmeichel’s reach.
2014-15 soton away c
Five minutes later Long doubled Southampton’s lead after chasing down a long ball from Wanyama and it was game over.
As at Swansea City then wasted a great chance to score when substitute Wood outfoguth Fonte to earn himself a shot on goal but lobbed it wide.
After a promising start to the season City are now in free-fall, having earned one point out of the last 18.Something has to change.

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderwiereld, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schneiderlin (Reed 90), S. Davis (Cork 40), Tadic, Mane (Long 68), Pelle. Subs Not Used: K. Davis, Yoshida, Gardos, Mayuka.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Moore 54), Wasilewski, Morgan, Schlupp, Cambiasso, James, Drinkwater, King (Powell 76), Vardy, Ulloa (Wood 71). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Mahrez, Smith, Nugent.

Referee: M. Oliver. Attendance: 31,297.
All photos: Simon Kimber

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Leicester fail screen test as Newcastle register first win

Newcastle United 1:0 Leicester City

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City came away from St James Park pointless on Saturday after a hard-fought game that was short on quality was settled by a second half Obertan strike…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side with Cambiasso, James and Albrighton in for Hammond, Mahrez and Vardy, but there was an hour’s delay to the kick-off after a new big screen that was flapping in the wind had to be nailed down.
When play finally got underway Newcastle should have taken a 7th minute lead when Obertan surged forward before feeding Sissoko down the left. His low cross found Coloccini 12 yards out but he sent his shot wide of the left hand post with the goal at his mercy.
In a tight game City’s first chance came in the 20th minute when Ulloa set up James, who tamely straight at Krul.
With half-time approaching Albrighton struck the bar when a deep cross got carried by the wind, and there was also a close call at the other end when Morgan blocked a Cisse shot and was relieved to see it loop over the bar.

Newcastle improved after the break. Moore blocked a fierce Sissoko shot before an underhit backpass from Konchesky sent Cisse through.  the striker rounded Schmeichel, but then inexplicably blasted a shot into the side-netting when he could have rolled it into an empty net.
Schmeichel then made a good save from a Colback free-kick, with City hanging on in the face of opposition desperate for a first win of the season.

With Vardy and Nugent on for Albrighton and Schlupp City had a better spell, but couldn’t prevent the Magpies going ahead for the first time this season in the 71st minute.
De Laet went on a surging run but his shot was blocked and the rebound sent Newcastle charging upfield. Although City looked to have enough men back, Obertan cut in from the left and made progress along the 18 yards line before threading a low shot though three defenders and beyond the reach of Schmeichel. It was his first goal in over two years.

It was a big blow for City but they kept at their task and pressed forward.Vardy, Ulloa and Knockaert all had half chances in th eclosing stages but their touch deserted them at the final moment as Newcastle defended their precious lead doggedly.

Drinkwater the tested Krul with a shot, but James follow up effort was blocked by Coloccini.
There was a huge sigh of relief from St James Park in general and Alan Pardew in particular at the final whistle…

City’s recent run of one point out of the last 9 needs to end soon.

Newcastle: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Dummett (Haidara 72), Sissoko, Colback, Anita (Perez 59), Obertan, Cisse, Gouffran (Cabella 90). Subs Not Used: Elliot, Ferreyra, Abeid, Armstrong.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan, Moore, Drinkwater, James, Albrighton (Vardy 56), Schlupp (Nugent 56), Cambiasso (Knockaert 79), Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hammond, King, Wasilewski.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 51,886.

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Leicester Defeated by Soaring Eagles

Crystal Palace 2:0 Leicester City

Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 27 Sept 2014,

After last week’s heroics, City never really turned up at Selhurst Park, beaten by two headers from set-pieces soon after the break…

Nigel Pearson stuck with the same side that humbled United, but they came up against a very well drilled Warnock defence that meant that chances were few and far between.

The first real chance of the game came in the 13th minute, when an Ulloa header set Vardy up. His first touch took the keeper out of the equation but three defenders raced to block the City striker’s shot. The rebound fell to Nugent but his attempted curler beat the far post.
In a very tight encounter both sides were reduced to long-range efforts Jedinak and, at the other end, Nugent both failing to trouble the keepers.
It was Palace who began to apply some pressure towards the break, the nearest they got to an opener was when Cambiasso had to block a Jedinak effort on the line.
Schmeichel then had his palms stung by a vicious Puncheon 30 yarder.
Cambiasso set Vardy up with a chance just before half-time, but he missed the target and 0-0 was a fair enough scoreline at the break.
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 27 Sept 2014,

Although City had the first chance in the second half,  Nugent having a shot blocked by Ward, the game soon swung dramatically in favour of the Eagles.

In the 51st minute. Dann rose above the City defence to nod on a corner, and summer-target Campbell touched it past Schmeichel from close in.
Three minutes later another ball was delivered from the left after Morgan fouled Bolasie. Jedinak met Puncheon’s free-kick, heading across Schmeichel and in at the far post.

For a City side that looked out of sorts, with passes going astray and a long ball tactic that was gobbled up by the giants in Palace’s defence, the game already looked out of their reach.

With half an hour remaining, Simpson replaced De Laet and Mahrez came on for Cambiasso, but still City struggled to make any impression on the red and blue wall. James also came on for Hammond but City were being kept easily at bay.
When Vardy didn’t get a penalty after being shoved in the back by Ward we knew that the game was up.
Simpson had a good effort blocked, but City were never able to create any real pressure late on and succumbed to their second defeat of the season.
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 27 Sept 2014,
Gary Lineker summed it up with his: “After the Lord Mayor’s Show” comment on Match of the Day.
We knew there would be days like these, and to suffer one and still be in the top half means that we aren’t doing too bad.
Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Bolasie (Guedioura 90), Campbell (Chamakh 73), Jedinak, McArthur, Delaney, Ledley, Kelly, Puncheon. Subs Not Used: Mariappa, Doyle, Zaha, Hennessey, Gayle. 
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Simpson 64), Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Hammond (Jamies 71), Cambiasso (Mahrez 64), Drinkwater, Nugent, Vardy, Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Hamer, King, Wasilewski, Schlupp.
Referee: Keith Stroud. Attendance: 24,311.
All photos: Simon Kimber.

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The FOX will be following the fortunes of Leicester City in 2014-15, as we have since the 1986-87 season, so if you want each copy posted to your door then take out a subscription now.
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Chelsea overcome brave Leicester resistance

Chelsea 2:0 Leicester City

Chelsea v Leicester City, Sky Bet Premiership, 23 August 2014,

City were a match for one of Europe’s best sides for just over an hour at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, before goals from Costa and Hazard sealed a 2-0 win for Chelsea…

Nigel Pearson brought Hammond in for Drinkwater and Schlupp for Knockaert and, although this line-up could be described an understrength, City looked undaunted by this visit to the title favourites.
The early chances went to the home side, Oscar had a shot blocked by Morgan, and then Cahill had two efforts blocked by red shirts that were giving their hosts very little breathing space.
Schurrle then headed a Hazard cross over, before City broke upfield.

Chelsea v Leicester City, Sky Bet Premiership, 23 August 2014,
Mahrez saw a fierce shot beaten away by Courtois and then Schlupp had an effort deflected wide.
At the other end Costa had a curling shot blocked by Morgan, and City could be well pleased with their efforts as the half-time whistle heralded a goalless half.

Mourinho had apparently given his side something of a ‘pep-talk’ at the break and they appeared to have moved up a gear.
Oscar fired against the post, and then Ivanovic was denied by a superb Schmeichel save as City were stretched for the first time.
But they should have taken the lead five minutes later when a speedy breakaway set up Nugent in a one-on-one with keeper Courtois, but the Belgian keeper managed to block with his legs.
Chelsea v Leicester City, Sky Bet Premiership, 23 August 2014,
Schurrle then went close with a curler, before Schmeichel denied Ivanovic again this time tipping away a long-range shot.
City were still looking dangerous on the break but Courtois again saved from Nugent after last year’s leading scorer had been set up by Mahrez.
As play swung from one end of the field to the other Fabregas then forced another save from Schmeichel who tipped his attempted chip over the bar.
However, Chelsea began to turn the screw further and City’s resistance was broken in the 62nd minute.
In a busy penalty area Costa guided home from close range after Ivanovic’s low cross made it across the goalmouth.
Chelsea v Leicester City, Sky Bet Premiership, 23 August 2014,
City stuck to their task, and Pearson brought on Albrigthton and Taylor-Fletcher for Mahrez and Hammond, but Chelsea went further ahead in the 77th minute. Fabregas sending Hazard through for a run and shot beyond Schmeichel’s reach.

Schmeichel then made another fine save from Willian to keep the scoreline at respectable levels.

It was a predictable enough defeat against Chelsea’s Megastars, but City fans could take great pride in their side’s performance, which boded very well for the rest of the season.
Nigel Pearson told Sky Sports: “We are aware of the fact that when chances have come our way, it’s not quite happened for us. But the encouraging thing is that we are being creative. I think today we have put them under quite a bit of pressure and even when they started to take a bit of control in the second half, we still had our moments. There are positives to take from today, certainly.”


Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Schurrle (Ramires 64), Oscar (Willian 70), Hazard, Costa (Drogba 79). Subs: Cech, Zouma, Luis, Mikel.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Mahrez (Albrighton 68), Hammond (Taylor-Fletcher 72), King, Schlupp, Nugent, Ulloa (Wood 84) Subs: Hamer, Hopper, Knockaert, Wasilewski.
Referee: Lee Mason. ATTENDANCE: 41,604.
All photos: Simon Kimber.

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The FOX will be following the fortunes of Leicester City in 2014-15, as we have since the 1986-87 season, so if you want each copy posted to your door then take out a subscription now.
You will have the option to buy our Champions cigarette card set (which will be posted out with the Summer Special NOW) at a greatly reduced price of £3.50.

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