Iheanacho Signs Contract Extension Deal With Leicester

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho.

 

In-form Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho has signed a new contract with Leicester that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2024.

Iheanacho has scored nine times in his last nine appearances in all competitions as Leicester cemented their grip on third place in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup semi-finals.

The 24-year-old, who arrived at Leicester from Manchester City in 2017, scored five goals in three Premier League matches in March, earning him the top-flight Player of the Month prize.

“I can’t express how I’m feeling. I’m excited, I’m happy, I’m overwhelmed! It’s a great moment and I’m happy that Leicester City gave me a new contract,” Iheanacho told Leicester’s website.

“It’s been a great time here. It’s not been easy, but there’s a lot of people here that are good people, great people to work with. They are nice people and they make me feel comfortable and welcome since I came in.

“It’s been really great being here. It’s like a family. I’m happy being here and hopefully I can stay here many more years.”

 

READ ALSO: Iheanacho Beats Harry Kane, Others To EPL Player Of The Month Award

 

Iheanacho’s tally this season of 12 has taken him to 32 goals for Leicester in 117 games in all competitions.

“I think you see a young player playing at the top of his game,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said.

“I can only speak for the two years I’ve been here but his work, his ambition to become a better player was always there.

“He’s a wonderful character within the squad, constantly smiling, and whatever role he’s been asked to play he’s played it very well.”

 

 

Lesotho’s captain (2nd L) Lerotholi Nkau vies fro the ball with Nigerian attacker Kelechi Iheanacho (2nd R) during the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between Nigeria and Lesotho at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on March 30, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Leicester Advance To FA Cup Semis As Iheanacho’s Double Send United Out

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) scores the opening goal of the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Leicester sent Manchester United crashing out of the FA Cup as Kelechi Iheanacho’s double sealed a 3-1 win, while Chelsea will face Manchester City in the semi-finals after beating Sheffield United on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side can look forward to meeting Southampton in their first FA Cup semi-final since 1982 thanks to Iheanacho’s predatory finishing at the King Power Stadium.

He put Leicester ahead in Rodgers’ 100th game in charge before Mason Greenwood equalised late in the first half.

Youri Tielemans restored Leicester’s lead and Nigeria striker Iheanacho wrapped up only their second win over United in 23 years and their first since 2014.

Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup and last reached the final in 1969, will head to Wembley to face Southampton in April.

United’s limp exit ended their run of 29 away games without defeat in all domestic competitions since losing at Liverpool in January 2020.

Without a trophy since the 2017 Europa League, that competition is now their last realistic chance of winning the first silverware of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.

After reaching the Europa League quarter-finals with a win at AC Milan in midweek, Solskjaer made five changes as Paul Pogba returned to the starting line-up following his winner at the San Siro.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes (L), Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred (C) and Manchester United’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani (R) react after going 3-1 down during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021.
Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Solskjaer this week revealed that Fred, Bruno Fernandes and Alex Telles had played a key role in United’s revival with their upbeat personalities.

But Fred had nothing to smile about as he paid the price for a woeful mistake in the 24th minute.

When Harry Maguire played a risky ball out to Fred on the edge of the United area, the Brazilian’s panicked response was a weak back-pass towards United keeper Dean Henderson.

Iheanacho nipped in to intercept it before rounding Henderson and tapping into the empty net to make it eight goals in his last nine games.

United equalised in the 38th minute when Pogba’s cross was cleverly dummied by Donny van de Beek and Greenwood slammed his shot past Kasper Schmeichel from 12 yards.

Lacklustre United were still out of sorts and Tielemans put Leicester back in front in the 52nd minute.

The Belgian midfielder advanced unchecked as United backed off and he took full advantage with a fine low finish from the edge of the area.

Solskjaer responded with four substitutions including the introduction of Fernandes and Edinson Cavani.

But Iheanacho killed off United in the 78th minute with a clinical header from Marc Albrighton’s free-kick.

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) takes the ball aroud Manchester United’s English goalkeeper Dean Henderson before scoring the opening goal of the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Since his first game in the FA Cup in 2016, Iheanacho has scored 13 times, more than any other player.

– Chelsea set up City clash –
At Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel’s much-changed side were below their best but still earned a potentially thrilling showdown with quadruple chasers Manchester City by beating Sheffield United 2-0.

Oliver Norwood’s 24th-minute own goal, the midfielder turning Ben Chilwell’s shot into the net, put them on course for the last four.

Hakim Ziyech came off the bench to finish Chilwell’s pass in second-half stoppage time.

The Blues are back in the FA Cup semi-finals for a fourth time in the last five seasons after losing last year’s final against Arsenal.

Chelsea won the last of the club’s eight FA Cups under Antonio Conte in 2018.

“We had a good first half where we controlled everything. We lost control in the second half. After 14 consecutive matches I could feel we were tired and we made many little mistakes,” Tuchel said.

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel (2nd R) embraces Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech on the pitch after the English FA Cup quarter final football match between Chelsea and Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in London on March 21, 2021. Chelsea won the game 2-0.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Tuchel’s early impact since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January has turned Chelsea in a rock-solid defensive unit.

The German is unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions, with Chelsea keeping 12 clean sheets in that period, including shutting out the opposition in their last seven matches.

“I could tell in training we were tired and there was a lack of concentration. That can happen sometimes. It gets harder to keep the level up,” Tuchel said.

AFP

Iheanacho Scores Hattrick In Leicester City’s Demolition Of Sheffield

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) runs to celebrate scoring the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP

 

Nigerian forward, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hattrick on Sunday as Leicester City demolished Sheffield United, advancing the Foxes’ quest for a top-four Premier League finish.

 

Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.

Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.

United, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation after failing to build on last season’s impressive first campaign back in the top flight.

The Blades, 14 points from safety with only nine games left, have lost six of their last seven league games.

Leicester pushed them closer to the Championship with their biggest win this season.

Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.

Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.

Iheanacho scored again in the 69th minute from Vardy’s cross and completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.

Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who moved above Manchester United and within 15 points of runaway leaders Manchester City.

– Spurs face Arsenal test –
Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand after a frenetic south-coast derby at St Mary’s, winning 2-1.

It was a first win in eight games in all competitions for Graham Potter’s side since they beat Tottenham in January.

The Seagulls are one point above fourth-bottom Newcastle, who travel to Brighton for a crucial clash in the relegation battle next weekend.

Brighton took the lead through Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.

Fraser Forster made a fine save to keep out Neal Maupay’s shot but Dunk’s towering header from the resulting corner flashed past the Saints keeper.

Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.

But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.

Later on Sunday, Tottenham, unbeaten in the last five north London derbies dating back to 2018, will aim to bolster their top-four bid by recording a third successive victory against bitter rivals Arsenal.

Jose Mourinho’s side have won their last five games in all competitions and can close to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand if they win at the Emirates stadium.

West Ham are also in the race to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.

David Moyes’ side can move level on points with Chelsea with a game in hand if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Hammers have won eight of their last 11 league matches, while United need the points to cement their own top-four ambitions.

United dropped to third after Leicester’s victory, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men would go back above them with three points against West Ham.

Former United boss Moyes, sacked by the Old Trafford outfit in 2014 after less than a season in charge, will be returning to his old club for the second time this term following their FA Cup defeat last month.

AFP

Leicester Held By Burnley, Villa Shocked By Sheffield United

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C bottom) celebrates scoring their first goal to equalise 1-1 during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 3, 2021. (Photo by Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP)

 

Leicester had captain Kasper Schmeichel to thank just for a point in a 1-1 draw at Burnley on Wednesday as the Foxes’ bid for a top-four finish in the Premier League stumbled again at Turf Moor on Wednesday.

Aston Villa also missed the chance to move to within two points of the top four as they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat by bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United, who held on for the final half an hour with 10 men.

Leicester’s challenge for a return to the Champions League next season has been badly hit by a series of injuries to key players and the presence of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Jonny Evans and James Justin was badly missed.

A point edges Brendan Rodgers’s men level on points with second-placed Manchester United, who face Crystal Palace later on Wednesday.

But Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton all have the chance to close in on Leicester — who have not won in their last three games — when they are in action on Thursday.

A newly configured defence and midfield for the visitors showed as Hamza Choudhury’s slack pass to Wilfred Ndidi allowed Matej Vydra to smash home his first league goal in nearly 12 months after just four minutes.

Choudhury missed a great chance to quickly make amends as his looping effort was tipped over by Nick Pope.

 

Burnley’s English defender Charlie Taylor (L) tries to block Leicester City’s Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans (R) during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 3, 2021. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP) 

 

However, Kelechi Iheanacho’s splendid finish drew Leicester level on 34 minutes as the Nigerian volleyed home from Ndidi’s floated ball over the top.

Schmeichel then produced two stunning saves to prevent Chris Wood restoring Burnley’s lead early in the second half.

The Dane leapt to his left to parry the New Zealander’s powerful header before getting down low to his right to turn another deflected Wood shot wide.

Ashley Westwood then rattled the post for Burnley, but Leicester finished the stronger and could have snatched a victory that would have taken up to second in the table.

Marc Albrighton stung the palms of Pope before Youri Tielemans’s shot came back off the post.

A point takes Burnley six points clear of the bottom three in 15th.

Sheffield United secured just their fourth win of the season as David McGoldrick scored the only goal against a Villa side desperately missing the inspiration of injured captain Jack Grealish.

McGoldrick swept home George Baldock’s cross off the underside of the bar.

Bertrand Traore fired wide from the edge of the area and Ollie Watkins hit the post for Villa before Phil Jagielka was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity when he chopped down Anwar El Ghazi.

 

Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) makes a save during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 3, 2021. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

 

Despite dominating possession, Villa failed to make the man advantage count to remain down in ninth.

Blades boss Chris Wilder has already conceded his side are headed back to the Championship, but they close the gap to survival to 12 points.

Vardy, Maddison Compound Klopp’s Liverpool Woes

 

It is back to the drawing board for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as they were humbled at the King power’s stadium with goals from Maddison, Vardy and Harvey Barnes in a space of six minutes.

The Reds who had been under pressure lately with a string of inconsistent results were hoping to put the nightmare display of Alisson against Manchester City behind them when they faced the Foxes.

Fabinho was amongst the latest absentees for the  Liverpool side with a muscle issue, while  20-year -old, Ozan Kabak, made his debut partnership in defence alongside Jordan Henderson

The defending champions were in early ascendancy but were unable to muster an effort at goal to trouble the Foxes.

Klopp was left to ponder his growing injury list as the game grew when  James Milner was substituted off in the 17th minute for Thiago Alcantara.

The first real opportunity of the match came for the Leicester side in the 42nd minute, when a Maddison ball found Vardy who could only see his effort clatter off the bar and travel wide.

The holders continued the second-half as they had started, maintaining their forward momentum and struck the cross-bar in the 57th minute from an Alexander-Arnold freekick.

The 67th minute saw the Liverpool side break the deadlock with Salah bending a fine strike into the top-left corner after receiving a delightful pass from the Brazilian Firmino.

King Power Stadium has not been a fortress for the Foxes this season and they were staring at a sixth straight home defeat, that is until Maddison 78th minute free-kick changed the complexion of the game.

Allison made matters worse for the visitors as a howler allowed Vardy to get the second and the rout was complete two minutes later as Barnes sent the Foxes into dreamland.

Liverpool next turn to the Champion League for some redemption on Tuesday when they do battle against German side RB Leipzig in the round of 16.

Away-Day Specialists Leicester See Off Struggling Fulham

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (L) scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Leicester beat struggling Fulham 2-0 to improve their stunning Premier League away record on Wednesday, climbing back to third in the table.

Defeat at home to Leeds at the weekend ended a seven-match unbeaten run in the league but the Foxes rediscovered their mojo at Craven Cottage.

 

Fulham’s English defender Tosin Adarabioyo (L) vies for the ball against Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (R) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP) 

Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring for Brendan Rodgers’ men and James Justin doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Leicester now have eight wins out of 11 on the road, in contrast to their mixed form at the King Power Stadium, where they have suffered five defeats.

The victory lifted the 2016 champions to 42 points after 22 matches — five points behind leaders Manchester City, who beat Burnley 2-0 on Wednesday.

But their stay in third may not last long, with rejuvenated Liverpool hosting Brighton later in the evening.

Leicester, without injured talisman Jamie Vardy, took the lead in the 17th minute when Iheanacho headed home a James Maddison cross from deep.

They almost doubled their lead minutes later when Fulham failed to clear but Caglar Soyuncu’s shot was straight at goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

 

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (C) takes the ball past Fulham’s French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (L) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP)

 

Fulham, who had not produced an effort on target in the entire first half, could have been level shortly before the break but Kasper Schmeichel tipped over a thumping header from Tosin Adarabioyo from close range.

The home side were made to pay for their profligacy in the 44th minute when Justin finished off a delightful move.

The impressive Maddison burst into the box and fed the fast-arriving Justin, who rounded the goalkeeper and squeezed the ball in from a tight angle.

Harvey Barnes nearly scored a third as Leicester threatened to overwhelm Fulham but his left-footed shot was saved by Areola.

 

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) 

 

Disciplined Leicester largely kept Fulham at arm’s length in the second half, denying the home side clear-cut chances.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid had a chance to reduce the deficit with about 10 minutes to go but Justin deflected his shot into the side netting.

The result leaves Fulham third from bottom of the table, seven points from safety.

Vardy’s Strike Lifts Leicester Into Third, Palace Punish 10-Man West Brom

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (R) scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Leicester City at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on December 6, 2020.
JASON CAIRNDUFF / POOL / AFP

 

Jamie Vardy struck in the final minute to move Leicester up to third in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Sheffield United as Tottenham and Liverpool prepared to welcome back supporters for the first time in nine months on Sunday.

The Foxes moved above both Spurs and Liverpool in the table after ending a four-game winless run at an empty Bramall Lane, to push the Blades ever closer to a return to the Championship.

Clubs in tier-three areas of coronavirus restrictions in England still have to play behind closed doors, while tier-two zones such as London and Liverpool can have crowds of up to 2,000.

Sheffield United still have just one point from 11 games and were punished for a lack of ruthlessness as John Egan let Vardy run through rather than bringing down the striker outside the box and taking a red card, before the former England international kept his cool to beat Aaron Ramsdale.

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Leicester City at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on December 6, 2020. JASON CAIRNDUFF / POOL / AFP

 

The late winner was a just reward for Leicester’s domination of the game as they hit the woodwork twice in the first half through Vardy and James Maddison.

Instead, it was Ayoze Perez who put Brendan Rodgers’s men in front when he pounced on Marc Albrighton’s deflected shot.

READ ALSO: Mbappe Scores 100th Goal For PSG

However, Chris Wilder’s men hit back immediately for only their fifth league goal of the season when Oli McBurnie showed good strength to head home from a corner.

The hosts then held out more comfortably in the second period until they gifted away possession inside their own half and Maddison picked out a perfect pass to release Vardy for the winner.

– Spurs bid to go back top –
Tottenham can move back to the top of the table when they host Arsenal in front of a crowd of 2,000 fans for the North London derby.

Liverpool will also welcome back supporters to Anfield when they host Wolves later on Sunday for the first time since the Reds ended a 30-year wait to win a top-flight title.

Earlier, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both scored twice as Crystal Palace made West Brom pay for Matheus Pereira’s first-half red card in a 5-1 rout at the Hawthorns.

The Eagles had struggled for goals in recent weeks, but with Zaha restored after missing defeats to Burnley and Newcastle due to coronavirus, Palace were a team transformed as they moved to 11th and within three points of the top four.

At the other end of the table, the margin of defeat sees West Brom sink behind Burnley to second bottom.

Zaha made an instant impact as Palace took the lead after eight minutes when his low cross was turned into his own net by Darnell Furlong.

Furlong made amends on the half-hour mark when his cross was swept home by Conor Gallagher.

But just four minutes later the game swung decisively in the visitors’ favour when Pereira was sent off after kicking out at Patrick van Aanholt.

Zaha restored Palace’s lead 10 minutes into the second half when he brilliantly curled in from 16 yards.

Four minutes later, Benteke marked his return to the starting line-up with a first goal since July by stooping to head home Van Aanholt’s cross.

Zaha made it 4-1 after 68 minutes when he stabbed in following Eberechi Eze’s strong run into the box and Benteke rounded off the scoring in style by turning his marker and powering home a left-footed drive from just inside the penalty area eight minutes from time.

AFP

Leicester Go Top Of Premier League As Vardy Tames Wolves

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy strikes the ball but fails to score from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 8, 2020. Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP

 

Leicester moved to the top of the Premier League as Jamie Vardy’s penalty earned a 1-0 win against Wolves on Sunday.

Vardy netted from the spot in the first half at the King Power Stadium and, although the striker had a second spot-kick saved by Rui Patricio, the hosts held on for their third successive Premier League victory.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, who have won six in a row in all competitions, are one point clear of second-placed Tottenham, who had gone top with a win at West Bromwich Albion earlier on Sunday.

Liverpool will replace Leicester in first place if they beat Manchester City later on Sunday.

Whether Leicester finish the weekend in pole position or not, Rodgers will be delighted with his team’s start to the season.

They have shrugged off the pain of missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of last season and look capable of challenging for a top four finish again.

 

Leicester City’s Austrian defender Christian Fuchs (L) vies with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Spanish midfielder Adama Traore (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 8, 2020. Tim Keeton / POOL / AFP

 

“Everything about the game was very good and we should have been more than one goal up,” Rodgers said.

“Our football was outstanding against a very good side. You’re not always going to have it all your own way. The more we work together the more we are able to deal with that pressure.

“We had real challenge in this first part of the season with the players we had out, so to win nine of 11 in all competitions. The team have been fantastic.”

– Penalty duel –
Vardy was recalled after being rested for Thursday’s Europa League win over Braga.

Suitably refreshed, Vardy needed just 15 minutes to get on the score-sheet.

Dennis Praet’s cross hit Max Kilman on the hand in the Wolves area and referee Anthony Taylor awarded a penalty after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Vardy stepped up to calmly send Rui Patricio the wrong way from the spot for his ninth goal of the season.

It was the 33-year-old’s fourth goal in his last four appearances.

Leicester had only lost one of their previous 45 Premier League games when scoring the first goal at the King Power Stadium.

Vardy should have doubled the lead in the 39th minute when Wolves defender Rayan Ait Nouri took a heavy touch in the area and tripped James Justin in a panicked attempt to clear the danger.

Vardy drove his effort down the middle, but Rui Patricio saved and the rebound hit the striker before bouncing just wide.

Marc Albrighton came on for the Foxes at half-time and the winger’s fist contribution nearly brought a goal as Youri Tielemans headed narrowly wide from his cross.

Vardy’s fierce strike forced a superb tip-over from Rui Patricio before Wolves finally threatened when Pedro Neto’s shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester’s James Maddison had a deflected effort that almost crept in, but Wolves substitute Adama Traore nearly set up Raul Jimenez for an equaliser in a frantic finale.

Schmeichel preserved Leicester’s lead with a brilliant save after Ruben Neves unleashed a blistering shot from the edge of the area.

Neto passed up a golden opportunity to equalise when he side-footed wide from close-range in the final minutes.

AFP

West Ham Ruin Leicester’s Unbeaten Start, Saints Beat West Brom

West Ham United’s English striker Jarrod Bowen (R) scores the third goal past Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and West Ham United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on October 4, 2020. Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP

 

 

West Ham shattered Leicester’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a surprise 3-0 win, while Oriol Romeu’s superb strike inspired Southampton’s 2-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

After thrashing Manchester City 5-2 last weekend, second-placed Leicester were brought back down to earth as their three-game winning run came to an end at the King Power Stadium.

Goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen ruined Leicester’s bid to win their opening four league games for the first time in their history.

West Ham, who crushed Wolves 4-0 in their previous league game, have won three of their four matches since boss David Moyes tested positive for the coronavirus in September.

“I had hoped to be back with the squad for today’s fixture but I’m not quite ready to return just yet,” Moyes told West Ham’s website before kick-off at the King Power Stadium.

“I’m feeling generally fine but I have had some mild symptoms so we are taking it day by day and following the advice of the medical experts.”

Alan Irvine again managed from the dugout, while Moyes, watching at home on television, liaised with assistant Stuart Pearce by phone.

Moyes’ quarantine hasn’t affected West Ham and they took the lead in the 14th minute.

Having won a free-kick when he was fouled by Caglar Soyuncu, Antonio made a well-timed run to the far post, where he headed home from Aaron Cresswell’s pin-point cross.

Antonio is the first Hammers player to score in five consecutive top-flight away matches since Mike Small in 1991.

Jamie Vardy’s long-range chip over Lukasz Fabianski was disallowed after the Leicester striker’s foul on Angelo Ogbonna.

West Ham doubled their lead in the 34th minute, Fornals beating the offside trap as he controlled Cresswell’s long punt and ran clear to fire past Kasper Schmeichel for his first goal since February.

Leicester failed to muster a single shot on target and with seven minutes left, Bowen slotted home from Fornals’ pass.

At St Mary’s, Southampton won their second successive league game against lowly West Brom.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side dominated throughout and Ryan Bertrand’s fierce drive drew a superb early save from Albion keeper Sam Johnstone.

Ings forced an even better save from the over-worked Johnstone with a header that was pushed away by the 27-year-old.

Southampton’s pressure was rewarded in the 41st minute when Moussa Djenepo’s clever drag-back eluded Jake Livermore before the winger stroked his finish into the bottom corner.

Southampton’s Polish defender Jan Bednarek (C back) jumps to head the ball over West Bromwich Albion’s English goalkeeper Sam Johnston (R) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on October 4, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP

 

Romeu, who hadn’t scored since February 2019, met Stuart Armstrong’s cross with a brilliant volley from the edge of the area to wrap up the points in the 69th minute.

West Brom are the first Premier League side to concede as many as 13 goals after four matches of a season since Southampton in 2012-13.

Albion, who blew a three-goal lead in their 3-3 draw with Chelsea last weekend, are winless in eight league matches dating back to last season.

AFP

Rodgers Hails ‘Phenomenal’ Vardy After Hat-Trick Record Against City

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (L) and Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate after the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Martin Rickett / POOL / AFP)

 

Brendan Rodgers hailed Jamie Vardy’s “incredible view of football” after the Leicester talisman scored a hat-trick for the Premier League pacesetters in their 5-2 victory against Manchester City.

The 33-year-old former England international converted two penalties and scored one from open play as the 2016 champions came from 1-0 down at the Etihad on Sunday.

It is the first time in 686 games as a manager that Pep Guardiola has seen his side concede five goals.

The victory gave Leicester maximum points from their first three games in the English top-flight for the first time in their history.

Rodgers praised Vardy’s overall awareness of the game.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” said the Leicester boss. “He’s tactically so good. You see his goals and runs but he has an incredible view of football. He understands the game.

“With that, along with his running ability, he’s sensational.”

Rodgers side faded badly when the 2019/20 season resumed after the coronavirus shutdown, eventually finishing fifth, but have shrugged off that disappointment.

The former Celtic and Liverpool manager said what cheered him most in Manchester was his team’s all-round display.

“I think you could say 100 percent this was a team performance,” he said. “You can’t come here (to Manchester City) unless the team is as one and synchronised.

“If ever there’s a team man of the match then this is it.”

Rodgers said the Foxes’ performance was the best since he took over at the club in February 2019.

“We are normally a high-pressing team but against a team of this quality we wanted to deny them the space and we knew we had the players to break out and exploit the spaces,” he said.

“To go behind so early, we showed calmness.

“We didn’t panic and had good moments in the first half. To go in at 1-1 we were happy but knew we could push on again in the second half.”

-AFP

Vardy Nets Brace As Leicester Start Season On Winning Note

Vardy has scored in all five of his away Premier League appearances against West Brom. Photo: [email protected] League.

 

 

Leicester bounced back from a disappointing end to last season to get their new campaign off to a winning start as Jamie Vardy scored two penalties in a 3-0 win at West Brom.

Belgian international Timothy Castagne opened the scoring on his debut as West Brom were given a harsh lesson on the step-up in quality they face on their return to the Premier League.

Leicester won just two of their last 10 games to miss out on a place in the Champions League on the last day of last season and Brendan Rodgers had voiced his frustration at a lack of funds to help their chances of success in four competitions this season.

But the one new signing the Foxes have added made a big impact as Castagne’s towering header from Dennis Praet’s cross opened the floodgates 11 minutes into the second half.

Despite Leicester’s drop-off in the second half of the campaign, Vardy still won the Premier League’s golden boot last season and the 33-year-old launched his challenge to be top scorer once more with two expertly taken spot-kicks in the final 16 minutes after he and James Justin had been felled inside the area.

AFP

English Striker Vardy Wins Premier League Golden Boot

File photo: 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

 

Jamie Vardy won the Premier League Golden Boot for the first time in his career on Sunday despite a poor end to the season for Leicester City that saw them miss out on the Champions League.

England forward Vardy, 33, became the oldest player to win the award for the league’s top scorer after netting 23 goals, one more than Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Southampton’s Danny Ings.

With Chelsea ensuring a top four finish with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vardy drew a blank as the Foxes failed to gain the win against Manchester United that they needed to leapfrog Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the top four.

Vardy came closest for Leicester in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium when he hit the bar on the hour mark.

Ederson took the Golden Glove award for the most clean sheets after Manchester City’s 5-0 win over relegated Norwich took him to 16 for the season.

He finished one ahead of Burnley stopper Nick Pope, whose team suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton.

AFP