Vardy Stars As Leicester Beat Watford

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Watford at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 4, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Details coming shortly….

Vardy Strikes As Leicester Stun Chelsea

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (R) scores the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in London on December 22, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea suffered their first home defeat since April as Jamie Vardy fired Leicester to a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side paid the price for failing to convert their chances when Vardy netted early in the second half to hand the Blues their first defeat in five games.

Chelsea’s disjointed display surrendered an 18-match unbeaten run at the Bridge dating back to Tottenham’s victory in April.

Sarri has insisted he does not expect Chelsea to challenge for the title this season, the Italian rating Liverpool and Manchester City as “two steps ahead” of the Blues.

This was further evidence to support Sarri’s concerns, with Chelsea left trailing 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Chelsea remain in fourth place in the Premier League, but they are now above fifth-placed Arsenal only on goal difference, leaving them facing a tense bid to qualify for the Champions League in the second half of the season.

Leicester’s first win at Chelsea since September 2000 was well-timed for Foxes boss Claude Puel, who has endured recent reports he could be sacked just 14 months after he arrived from Southampton.

Chelsea almost took the lead in bizarre fashion after just two minutes when David Luiz launched a long ball towards Willian.

Luiz’s pass bounced on the edge of the Leicester area, prompting Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel to rush off his line, but when neither he or Willian could make contact, the ball bounced just wide of the empty net.

Pedro was inches away from putting Chelsea in front when he met Willian’s corner with a glancing header that flashed wide as Luiz stretched in vain to turn it in.

But despite their territorial dominance, Chelsea’s passing and movement wasn’t precise or fast enough to prise Leicester open.

 Thunderous 

Significantly, Hazard was again deployed up front as Sarri continued with the experiment of using the Belgian playmaker as a ‘false nine’.

Hazard has been less than effusive in his thoughts about the role so far, dropping hints that he would prefer to return to his usual wide position.

He remains by far Chelsea’s most dangerous player wherever he lines up, but there is little doubt his best performances come on the flanks.

Hazard had been the midweek League Cup match-winner against Bournemouth and he should have bagged his 100th Chelsea goal after pouncing on a slip from Leicester’s Harry Maguire for a fierce close-range shot that cannoned off the bar.

It was a crucial moment.

Ndidi’s thunderous long-range drive forced Kepa Arrizabalaga to make a fine save before Jorginho produced a powerful effort of his own that Schmeichel punched away.

Not for the first time this season, Chelsea’s miscues in attack proved fatal.

Showing the cutting edge that Sarri’s team lacked, Leicester punished a moment’s loss of concentration to snatch the lead in the 51st minute.

James Maddison slipped a perfect pass to Vardy, who escaped Cesar Azpilicueta before burying a cool finish past Kepa for his sixth goal of the season.

It was the first time Chelsea had conceded a goal at home in six matches and inevitably they turned to Hazard for inspiration.

Beating Leicester’s offside trap, Hazard cut in from the left for a stinging strike that Schmeichel blocked at his near post.

Sarri responded by sending on Olivier Giroud and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, allowing Hazard to return to the left wing.

But Leicester were defending superbly and Chelsea’s luck was out in stoppage-time when Marcos Alonso’s shot hit a post and rolled along the goal line to safety.

AFP

BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2016 Shortlist Revealed

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 Shortlist RevealedSixteen contenders have been shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 16 for 2016 were named after a year in which British sportsmen and women had a lot of successes, including at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio.

They will go into a vote on the night of the live show in Birmingham on Sunday, December 18.

Jamie Vardy makes the cut after helping guide Leicester City to the biggest title upset in Premier League history while Bale features for winning his second Champions League title with Real Madrid in May and being the standout star in Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign in the summer.

However, Andy Murray is heavy favourite to win the award, having ended the year as No.1 in the world rankings – a first for any British singles player in history.

The Scot secured victory at Wimbledon for the second time in his career, while he also won gold at the Olympics.

A host of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are on the shortlist.

The nominees are:

Nicola Adams – Boxing, Gareth Bale – Football, Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon, Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian, Kadeena Cox – Athletics/Cycling, Mo Farah – Athletics, Jason Kenny – Cycling, Laura Kenny – Cycling.

Andy Murray – Tennis, Adam Peaty – Swimming, Kate Richardson-Walsh – Hockey, Nick Skelton – Equestrian, Dame Sarah Storey – Cycling, Jamie Vardy – Football, Max Whitlock – Gymnastics, Danny Willett – Golf.

Ronaldo, Messi Lead 2016 FIFA Awards Shortlist 

Ronaldo, Messi Lead 2016 FIFA Awards Shortlist Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lead the contenders on the 23-man shortlist for the 2016 best FIFA Men’s Player Award.

Real Madrid quartet of Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric were also shortlisted.

Messi is joined by Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated FIFA’s annual award since 2008. Messi has won five times and Ronaldo three.

Ronaldo is favourite to win for 2016 because Portugal won the European championship and Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League.

Leicester City trio of Rihad Mahrez, Ngolo Kante and Jamie Vardy have also been nominated along with others for the FIFA Best Player Award.

Some other nominees are Sergio Aguero, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet.

The list was chosen by the FIFA football committee and the winner will be decided by a vote split between national team captains and players, selected media representatives, and a global fan poll.

Jamie Vardy Agrees New Contract With Leicester City

Jamie Vardy. Leicester CityEngland striker and Arsenal target, Jamie Vardy has agreed a new deal with Premier League champions Leicester City.

This is according to a statement on the club website.

“Leicester City have today (Thursday) agreed with the representatives of Jamie Vardy to extend the England international’s contract with the Premier League champions for a further four years.

“Both parties hope that this announcement will end recent speculation regarding Jamie’s future and confirm his long term commitment to Leicester City Football Club.

“Jamie will continue to focus all of his efforts on trying to achieve success with the England team at the European Championships in France.

“There will be no further comment from either the Club or the player on this matter until the conclusion of the tournament,” the statements reads.

Vardy was the subject of a reported £20m bid from Premier League rivals Arsenal before the start of Euro 2016.

That bid activated a release clause in his contract, with the Gunners offering him a deal reported to be worth £120,000 a week.

Leicester responded with an offer said to be worth £100,000.

He is currently on duty with England at Euro 2016 in France and scored in the 2-1 win over Wales in the group stage.

Roy Hodgson’s side eventually finished second in Group B to make it through to the last 16, where they will face Iceland on Monday.

Euro 2016: England Draw Slovakia To Finish Second

Euro-2016-England-SlovakiaEngland have played a goalless draw with Slovakia to finish second in Group B of the on-going Euro 2016 championships in France.

The English have also qualified for the knockout phase of the competition behind Wales who beat Russia 3-0 in their final match.

Wales top the group with six points ahead of England on five, one ahead of Slovakia who could possibly reach the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams.

England, who made six changes from the side that started their 2-1 win over Wales, dominated the first half as Jamie Vardy missed a good chance to put them ahead.

They continued to enjoy the lion’s share in possession of the game after the half time but there were few clear opportunities they could not utilise.

Premier League: Arsenal Finish Second As Tottenham Crash

Arsenal, Spurs, Premier LeagueA hat trick by Olivier Giroud ensured that Arsenal finished second, above London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Gunners defeated relegated Aston Villa 4-0 with three Giroud goals in the 5th, 79th and 80th minute capped by a Mark Bunn own goal in the 90th.

Tottenham went into the final match day of the 2015/16 season needing just a draw to finish second but Spurs who were title contenders a fortnight earlier collapsed 5-1 away to relegated Newcastle United.

The Gunners keep their bragging rights as they maintained the record of not finishing below Spurs in Premier League history.

Arsenal’s hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud said; “We were hoping to finish in top three but to finish second is very nice. We are really pleased to finish second and hopefully next year we can grab one more place.

“We wanted to start strongly, we knew it wouldn’t be easy and we thought Villa would fight, and they did well. But we were efficient up front and could have scored 3 or 4 more.”

Meanwhile, in other EPL final day matches, Champions Leicester City drew 1-1 at Chelsea as they win the title by 10 points.

Manchester City also finished in fourth place and secured Champions League football with a 1-1 draw away to Swansea.

Southampton defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 to move into fifth position but may be knocked out of it by Manchester United. Nevertheless, they have secured Europa League football for next season even if they end up in sixth.

West Ham have their ambition to play in Europe dented after losing away to Stoke City 2-1 courtesy a Mame Biram Diouf late strike.

Their fate is now solely dependent on the result of the FA Cup between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. If Man-U beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final a Europa League place filters down to seventh. If Palace win they are in the Europa League at the group stage.

Everton end the season on a high with 3-0 win against Norwich City, while West Brom and Liverpool played 1-1.

Man United’s final-day match against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday because of a suspect package found in the North West Quadrant of the ground.

Results

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

Watford 2-2 Sunderland

Swansea 1-1 Manchester City

Everton 3-0 Norwich

West Brom 1-1 Liverpool

Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham

Southampton 4 – 1 Crystal Palace

Stoke City 2 – 1 West Ham United

 

 

Leicester City Manager, Claudio Ranieri Honoured In Italy  

Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City Leicester City Manager, Claudio Ranieri, can add a personal award to the wonderful success he has engineered in inspiring the Foxes to their first ever league title this season.

Ranieri received the 2016 Enzo Bearzot Prize for Italian Coach of the Season, as well as the Golden Palm Award, a technical award for the best Italian manager.

The Bearzot Prize is awarded by the Association of Italian Christian Workers and by the Italian Soccer Federation and was created in honour of Enzo Bearzot, who led the national team to World Cup glory in 1982.

Earlier this week Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, said that he would propose awarding a top state honour to Ranieri.

Leicester City were officially decorated as Premier League champions for the first time in their history on Saturday after a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Thousands of fans gathered at the King Power Stadium for their final home game to witness the historic event.

Leicester won the title in what has been described as one of the greatest sporting triumphs of all time, starting the season as 5000/1 outsiders.

Claudio Ranieri’s boys set a record to become the champions of England for the first time in 132 years.

The 64-year-old Italian spoke with pride after the feat. Speaking to the club website, he said, “I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week.

“Never did I think too much about where it would take us.”

Leicester City Lift Premier League Trophy

Leicester cityLeicester City have been officially decorated as Premier League champions for the first time in their history.

They received the Premier League trophy on Saturday evening after a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Thousands of fans gathered at the King Power Stadium for their final home game to witness the historic event.

Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lifted the trophy as the team celebrated.

The Foxes emerged champions without kicking a ball after Tottenham could only manage a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Spurs, the only title challenger left, had gone into the London derby needing an outright win to remain in the title race but a remarkable comeback from Chelsea saw them forfeiting a 2-goal lead.

Leicester City

Leicester won the title in what has been described as one of the greatest sporting triumphs of all time, starting the season as 5000/1 outsiders.

The 25kg Premier League trophy, topped by a golden crown, is decorated with blue ribbons for Leicester, and yellow ones to represent the royal house of Thailand, which is the country of club owners King Power.

It was engraved on Friday, in preparation for Saturday’s presentation.

Claudio Ranieri’s boys set a record to become the champions of England for the first time in 132 years.

The Premier League champions title parade will hold on Monday, May 16 – the day after their final match of the season at Chelsea.

Claudio Ranieri’s squad will travel on an open-top bus through the city before taking the stage at Victoria Park.

EPL Victory: I Never Expected This, Leicester City Boss Says

Claudio Ranieri-EPL-Leicester CityLeicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri, has expressed shock after his side emerged the winner of the English Premier League.

The Foxes were pronounced champions after Chelsea forced Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

The 64-year-old Italian spoke with pride after his boys set a record to became the champions of England for the first time in 132 years.

“I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week.

“Never did I think too much about where it would take us,” he said on the club’s website.

Ranieri who commended the support of the fans and management of Leicester City, said that players’ determination made the feat possible.

“I’m so proud. I’m happy for my players, for the Chairman, for the staff at Leicester City, all our fans and the Leicester community.

“It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so happy for everyone.

“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination (and) their spirit have made this possible,” he said while maintaining that they deserved to be champions.

Leicester City Are Premier League Champions As Tottenham Slip

leicester cityLeicester City are Premier League champions for the first time after Tottenham could only manage a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Spurs had gone into the London derby needing an outright win to remain in the title race but a remarkable comeback from Chelsea saw them forfeiting a 2-goal lead.

Harry Kane had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 35th minute and Tottenham doubled their lead just before half time after a miscued pass from Ivanovic sent the ball straight to Kane, who spins quickly before finding Eriksen.

The Dane then pokes a lovely through-ball past Terry and straight to Son, who is completely unmarked just inside the penalty area and is able to slot a lovely shot past Begovic and into the back of the net.

A rejuvenated Chelsea resumed the second half and their efforts paid off in the 58th minute through Gary Cahill.

Costa battled down the right wing before forcing Alderweireld into poking the ball out for a corner. Willian curls a lovely cross from the set-piece right on to the foot of Cahill, who controls it well before sending a thumping strike past Lloris and into the back of the net.

Eden Hazard completed the comeback in the 83rd minute to send Stamford Bridge into ecstasy.

The visitors struggled to get a hold on the ball for the rest of the match as Chelsea held on for a draw that ensured that Leicester City are Premier League champions.

The result also means Chelsea maintain their record of having not lost to Tottenham Hotspurs at Stamford Bridge since 1990.

 

Mahrez, Vardy Dedicate PFA Awards To Teammates

Jarmie Vardy Riyad Mahrez PFA AwardsLeicester City players, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have dedicated their English football’s PFA awards to their teammates.

Mahrez, who is an Algerian, becomes the first African player to win a Professional Footballers Association (PFA) players award.

The Leicester City winger beat teammate, Vardy, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Arsenal midfielder, Mesut Ozil to clinch the award.

Scoring 17 goals with 11 assists, Mahrez has been one of the main reasons behind Leicester’s phenomenal rise to the top of the English Premier League, sitting eight points clear with three games remaining.

Vardy, who has 22 goals for the league leaders was also honoured by the PFA for becoming the first player to score in 11 consecutive premier league matches earlier this season.

Meanwhile, Leicester City fans in Thailand are confident the team would lift their first league title this season.

Hundreds of blue-shirted Thai fans watched the league leaders’ 4-0 win over Swansea City on live screens in Bangkok.

The fans believed it was time to do the unthinkable in their club history.