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

Norwich End Leicester’s Nine-Game Winning Streak

Norwich City’s Finnish striker Teemu Pukki (R) celebrates with Norwich City’s English defender Max Aarons after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Norwich City at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 14, 2019.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Norwich ended Leicester’s nine-game winning run to claim an unexpected 1-1 draw at the King Power that meant the second-placed Foxes fell 10 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Leicester paid a heavy price for a poor start as Teemu Pukki put the Canaries in front before a Tim Krul’s own goal brought Brendan Rodgers’s men level before the break.

However, Leicester lacked their usual zip and Norwich’s excellent defensive display frustrated the hosts to pick up a deserved point.

Second-bottom Norwich move to within three points from safety and Daniel Farke will be frustrated his side have not shown this level of defensive discipline on most of their road trips so far this season.

READ ALSO: Gosling Gives Bournemouth Shock Win Over Chelsea

Other than an early fumble from Krul, when he turned Youri Tielemans’s drive onto the post, the visitors settled well and should have gone ahead when Sam Byram crossed for the unmarked Pukki, but the stretching striker could not turn the ball in.

Moments later, the Finnish international made amends by netting his ninth goal of the season on 26 minutes.

Norwich opened up the Foxes again when Emi Buendia slipped in Pukki to outpace Caglar Soyuncu and beat Kasper Schmeichel with a low finish.

But Farke’s men undid a lot of their good work to allow Leicester level seven minutes before the break.

Jamie Vardy thought he had scored for the ninth straight game when he touched on James Maddison’s corner at the near post.

However, as his header was flashing across goal, Krul’s attempted save turned the ball into the net and the Dutch ‘keeper was credited with the own goal.

Krul was, almost beaten again two minutes into the second half when Vardy latched onto Maddison’s pass, rounded Krul and rolled the ball onto the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Norwich offered little going forward after the break as they focused on keeping Leicester at bay.

Wilfred Ndidi nodded wide after 67 minutes but the hosts lacked inspiration and ideas, even if Krul was forced into another smart low save by Vardy.

AFP

Vardy, Iheanacho Fire Title-Chasing Leicester To Club Record Win

 

 

Leicester closed the gap on Premier League leaders, Liverpool, as Jamie Vardy extended his red-hot streak with a brace in Sunday’s record-breaking 4-1 rout of Aston Villa.

Brendan Rodgers’ second-placed side moved within eight points of Liverpool thanks to goals from Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans at Villa Park.

Jack Grealish had reduced the deficit to 2-1 late in the first half, but Leicester cruised to an eighth consecutive top-flight victory, setting a new club record that smashed the previous best from the 1962-63 season.

Vardy has now scored in eight consecutive Premier League appearances and is the competition’s top-scorer with 16 goals this term.

The 32-year-old striker’s blistering run has given him a chance of equalling his sequence of scoring in 11 successive matches during Leicester’s 2016 title-winning campaign.

Leicester’s surge up the table, after 12 wins from their last 14 league games, has made them unexpected title contenders again and leaves them in position to qualify for the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s men remain heavy title favourites and the acid test of Leicester’s credentials will come with successive fixtures against Manchester City and Liverpool over Christmas.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off to a show of respect to former manager Ron Saunders, who guided Villa to the First Division title in 1981 and died on Saturday aged 87.

Once the emotional tributes were paid, Villa should have taken the lead when Matt Targett’s low cross picked out Anwar El Ghazi, but he fired against the bar from close-range.

Vardy maintained his superb form to put Leicester ahead in the 21st minute.

Latching onto a fine pass from Iheanacho and, with the injured Tyrone Mings unable to sprint back, Vardy had space to round Heaton before stumbling over the ball.

Quickly recovering his footing, the striker glided past Ezri Konsa to slot home from inside the six-yard box.

After bagging the winner against Everton last Sunday, Nigerian forward Iheanacho struck again in the 41st minute.

Teed up by a sweeping Leicester move, James Maddison surged into the Villa area and delivered a fine cross that Iheanacho turned in from close-range.

Grealish gave Dean Smith’s side a lifeline in first half stoppage-time when Villa’s captain shot past Kasper Schmeichel after Leicester failed to clear.

But Evans restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage in the 49th minute when the defender met Maddison’s corner with a towering header for his first goal since February.

Vardy put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute as he raced clear of the Villa defence to drill past Heaton.

Newcastle hit back

Newcastle fought back to make it two consecutive wins with a 2-1 success against Southampton.

Danny Ings gave Southampton a 52nd minute lead at St James’ Park, the striker running onto Jack Stephens’ long pass to notch his fifth goal in his last five appearances.

But Newcastle were level in the 68th minute when Jonjo Shelvey headed in substitute Andy Carroll’s cross, giving the midfielder three goals in his last three games.

And Federico Fernandez won it with three minutes left when he tapped in after Sean Longstaff’s long-range effort was fumbled by Saints keeper Alex McCarthy.

Newcastle are up to 10th place, while Southampton sit third bottom.

Sheffield United came from behind to win 2-1 at second bottom Norwich.

Norwich took the lead in the 27th minute through captain Alexander Tettey’s powerful finish for his first Premier League goal since 2016.

Enda Stevens equalised for United in the 49th minute with a header from George Baldock’s cross.

And Baldock went from provider to scorer three minutes later when he twisted into space before blasting home.

Chris Wilder’s eighth placed team thought they had been reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute.

But Chris Basham escaped with a booking after initially being shown the red card for his foul on Kenny McLean before a VAR review.

Soyuncu, Vardy, Lift Leicester Up To Third With Win At Palace

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (C) vies with Crystal Palace’s English defender Gary Cahill (L) and Crystal Palace’s Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 3, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Leicester moved up to third in the Premier League as the Foxes fine form continued with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Crystal Palace thanks to second half goals from Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy.

Brendan Rodgers’s men smashed Southampton 9-0 last Friday, but were made to work much harder for all three points by a resilient Palace.

Soyuncu’s stooping header from James Maddison’s corner just before the hour mark made the breakthrough and Vardy’s hot streak continued when he finished off an excellent team move two minutes from time.

Leicester edge ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and six points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who they host next weekend, in the battle for a top four finish.

Vardy had the best opportunity of an uninspired first half when a wonderful Maddison pass freed the former England international in behind, but he could not force the ball beyond Vicente Guaita from a narrow angle.

Set-pieces seemed the most likely source of a goal for either side early on and Jonny Evans headed the first warning shot from the visitors looping just over moments later.

Vardy was then inches away from latching onto a brilliant defence-splitting pass from Youri Tielemans, but it was the hosts who threatened first after the break.

Cheikhou Kouyate’s cross picked out Jordan Ayew, but the Ghanaian could not make contact as the ball flashed across goal.

At the other end Evans threatened again when he met a Maddison corner with a towering header that Guaita turned over the bar.

However, from the resulting corner, Leicester made the breakthrough when Soyuncu stooped to head home.

Palace have scored just four goals in their first six home games of the season and their lack of a goal threat was clear as they probed for an equaliser without ever forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a serious save.

Leicester then produced one of the few real moments of quality in the game to seal all three points when Vardy played a one-two with substitute Demarai Gray before drilling into the bottom corner with his left foot.

AFP

Vardy Scores Brace As Leicester Deal Fresh Blow To Arsenal’s Champions League Hopes

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (L) lobs the ball over the goalkeeper to hit the bar and score their second goal from the rebound during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal / AFP

 

Jamie Vardy scored twice as Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football suffered another serious setback as familiar failings saw the 10-man Gunners lose 3-0 at Leicester on Sunday.

It was the third time in seven days that the north London side, once renowned for an impregnable defence, had conceded three goals following 3-2 and 3-1 Premier League league defeats by Crystal Palace and Wolves respectively.

Leicester’s Youri Tielemans opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium in the second half and Vardy netted twice for the Foxes after the visitors had defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles dismissed for two bookable offences before half-time.

The winning goals, however, owed little to that dismissal.

Arsenal failed to stop James Maddison’s cross or mark Tielemans as he stole in to head home the first, then were embarrassingly outwitted by a goal-kick from which Vardy poached the second with the help of a rebound off the crossbar.

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– Uphill battle –
It left Unai Emery’s men facing an uphill battle to force their way back into the top four, although victory in the Europa League could also secure a Champions League place.

Three defeats in a row, however, have left Emery with a clear picture of the failings that linger from Arsene Wenger’s reign.

Maddison had a curling shot from the edge of the Arsenal penalty area deflected wide early on before Tielemans volleyed off target from a similar position.

Arsenal had shown little attacking threat but, when Maddison squandered possession on 22 minutes, the Gunners built a quick counter-attack from which they could have opened the scoring.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s smart turn and pass fed Alex Iwobi and his cross from the left found Alexandre Lacazette, who volleyed wide under pressure from Harry Maguire.

At the other end, Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno made a superb save to push Wifred Ndidi’s header from a corner over the crossbar.

Then, 13 minutes from the interval, Arsenal were nearly undone by Marx Albrighton’s straightforward ball over the backline.

Vardy beat Sokratis to collect it but lofted a shot over the bar.

Suddenly, though, Leicester were hit by a rapid counter-attack from the visitors, ending with a neat pass from Aubameyang to Iwobi and a good, low save from Kasper Schmeichel to keep out his shot.

The encouragement was short-lived for the Gunners, however, as nine minutes from the break Maitland-Niles, who had already been booked for a barge on Ben Chilwell, went in late on Maddison and collected a second yellow card, followed by the inevitable red.

Arsenal avoided further damage in the final moments of the first half as Tielemans fed Vardy but his shot was well saved at the near post by Leno.

Despite Arsenal’s introduction of an extra defender and Leicester’s of an extra forward at the interval, the opening moments of the second half brought an evenly-matched contest.

That was until the 59th minute, when poor defending allowed Leicester to take the lead.

Albrighton and Maddison were given time to exchange passes before Maddison delivered a cross which Tielemans strolled in between Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny to head home with little resistance.

Emery was warned by referee Michael Oliver after his temper threatened to boil over as Arsenal were angered by some hefty Leicester challenges, notably whem Lucas Torreira was caught by Jonny Evans’s arm as the pair contested a corner.

But the game was up with four minutes remaining as Arsenal’s fallible defence failed to meet a long goal-kick by Schmeichel and Vardy lobbed against the crossbar before heading in the rebound.

The final goal, with the last kick of the game, was even more embarrassing for the Gunners as they allowed Ricardo to stroll past and square for a Vardy tap-in.

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.

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.