Tag: Leicester

Premiership: Spurs 4-3 Leicester

Harry Kane’s first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham’s challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.

After Hugo Lloris was carried off, Kane slotted home and scored with a deflected shot as Spurs went 2-0 up.

Jamie Vardy steered in an effort before Wes Morgan headed Leicester level.

Kane converted a penalty and Foxes defender Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal as Spurs, despite Nugent’s late second strike, held on for victory.

Leicester remain bottom of the table but will feel aggrieved at a controversial penalty decision going against them as referee Mike Dean adjudged Nugent had fouled Danny Rose when the pair collided with the game poised at 2-2.

The Foxes again came away with nothing from a valiant display as they lost an 18th league game out of 29 this season.

Tottenham’s credentials had been questioned following the way they wilted at Manchester United last Sunday and, even though they secured three points, they remain unconvincing with their vulnerable defence having let in 14 goals in their last six league games.

Nevertheless, the White Hart Lane side are three points off fourth-placed Manchester United, who play fifth-placed Liverpool on Sunday, and have Kane to thank for keeping their rivals within reach.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Man City 2-0 Leicester

David Silva and James Milner struck late in each half as under-fire reigning champions Manchester City grabbed a scrappy but much-needed 2-0 win over Leicester in the Premier League.

Silva pounced from close range to put City ahead after an unconvincing start at the Etihad Stadium and Milner came off the bench to settle nerves in the last minute.

It was far from a fluent display from City but the result will at least take some of the heat off manager Manuel Pellegrini after a testing few days.

The hosts could justifiably claim victory was deserved after forcing veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to make several fine saves.

But the Foxes were denied three penalties – with two appeals looking particularly strong – and defeat was harsh on the hard-working bottom side.

Luck was therefore on Pellegrini’s side after the build-up to the game had been dominated by criticism of his tactics in damaging losses to Barcelona and Liverpool and speculation over his future.

The Chilean responded strongly to that by dropping captain Vincent Kompany to the bench while Samir Nasri and Fernandinho did not feature in the squad.

Edin Dzeko and Pablo Zabaleta also found themselves among the substitutes in the reshuffle, while £25million January signing Wilfried Bony was handed his first start.

The changes initially appeared to do little to fire up the side.

No spark came from the crowd either with the atmosphere subdued following the last two dispiriting results.

What flicker of life they did show in the opening stages came from Jesus Navas, who looked in the mood after being left out at Anfield on Sunday.

But it was Leicester who threatened first, with Jeff Schlupp completely wrong-footing Eliaquim Mangala on the counter-attack. Martin Demichelis came across to help out his partner.

Leicester then had their first two penalty appeals in quick succession. Schlupp was unlucky not to get a decision in his favour when it appeared he was impeded by Bony.

Andrej Kramaric then went down as he raced with Joe Hart to meet Riyad Mahrez’s superb through-ball but the England goalkeeper did get a touch before the pair collided.

Navas was berated by Yaya Toure after misplacing a pass but he was not deterred, firing in a good cross from which Bony forced Mark Schwarzer to block.

Navas then tested Schwarzer himself with a good effort from the edge of the box before Silva teed up Bony with a clever ball, only for the Ivorian to slice high and wide.

City were performing only in fits and starts but they seized the advantage on the stroke of half-time as Aleksandar Kolarov crossed from the left. Bony was unable to take advantage but Silva pounced, tapping in from close range after his initial effort was partially blocked by Wes Morgan.

Bony made an even bigger mess of a chance early in the second half, racing into the perfect position to meet Navas’ pull-back but completely miscuing and hitting the corner flag.

Leicester were again unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Fernando brought Kramaric down, but referee Robert Madley ruled the offence just outside the area. Replays suggested it may have been just inside and Kramaric was denied again as his free-kick was deflected agonisingly wide.

City wanted to kill off the game but Schwarzer kept the Foxes in it with a fine save to keep out a Sergio Aguero header and did even better to claw away a long-range Toure strike.

The hosts had a let-off when Mahrez got away a shot and a slight deflection took it past Hart and onto the post but City responded with Toure and Kolarov going close.

Bony’s frustrating debut had been brought to an end after 72 minutes and his replacement, Milner, did finally end the contest when he turned in a Navas cross in the closing moments.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Everton 2-2 Leicester

Matthew Upson’s late own goal denied Premier League bottom club Leicester victory as Everton drew a fifth home game in a row.

Steven Naismith’s opener gave manager Roberto Martinez hope of a first home league win since December.

Sloppy defending allowed boyhood Everton fan David Nugent to equalise for Leicester, before Esteban Cambiasso put the visitors in front.

But Upson turned Christian Atsu’s cross into his own net with two minutes left.

Leicester’s spirited performance ended a run of four straight defeats, and will have given manager Nigel Person hope that they can avoid relegation, even though the draw leaves them four points from a position of safety.

Everton, so impressive in their 4-1 Europa League victory over BSC Young Boys on Thursday, have repeatedly failed to transfer high-quality European form to domestic competitions.

Romelu Lukaku, who scored a hat-trick in Switzerland, was unable to follow that up with a goal against Leicester, although he did get a flick to Atsu’s late cross before Upson got the scoring touch.

The Belgium international had myriad chances to add to his season’s tally of 13 goals, but sent the ball high over the bar from eight yards in the first half after Seamus Coleman had held off Upson to cut the ball back, lifted a clear second-half chance too high from a lovely James McCarthy flick, and had a goal-bound header blocked in the final minutes.

Everton team-mate Ross Barkley was guilty of a bad first-half miss of his own, with Aaron Lennon getting down the right to deliver a low cross, and the ball running loose to the England midfielder to clear the crossbar after Lukaku’s attempt had been blocked by Wes Morgan.

Jeff Schlupp, denied by a great John Stones block at the end of the first half, blazed wide early in the second period after Tim Howard had parried a Matty James shot into his path.

Instead, it was the home side who scored first, as Lukaku held up Darron Gibson’s pass for Naismith, who cut in on to his right foot and squeezed a shot past Morgan and Robert Huth, and just inside a stranded Mark Schwarzer’s post.

But Everton’s defensive vulnerability has hurt them time after time this season, and they conceded a soft equaliser as two Leicester substitutes combined within a minute of coming on.

Jamie Vardy got down the right to play in a low cross, and Nugent turned in the loose ball as Howard and Stones got into a mix-up at the near post.

The visitors were soon in front thanks to another Howard error, as the United States international keeper flapped at a Riyad Mahrez cross, and Vardy cut back for Cambiasso to drive in from 10 yards.

It looked as though Cambiasso would be the match winner, but Upson’s own goal ensured that Everton finish the weekend six points above the relegation zone.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester

Tim Sherwood saw his new Aston Villa side edge into the FA Cup quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Leicester at Villa Park.

Sherwood had a watching brief but after a goalless opening 45 minutes, his half-time team-talk seemed to galvanise Villa and goals from Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair settled a scrappy game.

Andrej Kramaric netted an injury-time consolation for the Foxes but they could not force a replay.

First-team coach Scott Marshall took charge of Villa after ex-Tottenham boss Sherwood was appointed as Paul Lambert’s successor on Saturday.

Marcin Wasilewski hit the post for Leicester and Shay Given denied Matty James while Christian Benteke and Andi Weimann had goals ruled out for offside for the hosts.

But Villa reached the last eight for the first time since 2010 despite their late scare.

Benteke, Bacuna, Ron Vlaar, Tom Cleverley and Given all returned for Villa while Leicester replaced the cup-tied Robert Huth with Wasilewski.

Foxes boss Nigel Pearson was also in the stands and would have been worried by the Foxes’ slow start.

Eager to impress, Villa opened well and Weimann blazed over from 16 yards but their attacking threat waned, showing Sherwood the immediate problem he needs to fix.

While there was plenty of endeavour the hosts lacked quality with Benteke isolated and unable to seriously trouble the Foxes defence.

It gave Leicester encouragement and Wasilewski glanced James’ corner across goal and onto the face of the far post after 12 minutes.

Slowly, the Foxes began to assert themselves and Kramaric went down under pressure from Vlaar before Wes Morgan headed over.

Leicester were on top and Villa needed Given to roll back the years after 31 minutes to deny James.

Jeff Schlupp’s pass was dummied by Esteban Cambiasso for James to arrow a shot towards the top corner, only for Given to produce a wonderful fingertip save.

Villa did not need another warning and thought they were ahead a minute before the break when Benteke swept into the corner, but his strike was ruled out for offside.

Seemingly buoyed by Sherwood’s half-time words, the hosts began the second half well and Fabian Delph’s mis-hit header flew over before Mark Schwarzer saved at Benteke’s feet after Vlaar’s header caught out the Leicester defence.

The Foxes looked ragged and Benteke headed wide before Villa finally made their dominance count after 68 minutes.

Vlaar slipped a cute ball through to Bacuna and the midfielder cut inside to unleash a curling effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Two minutes later Weimann had the ball in the net, only to be pulled up for offside, and Benteke fired over after outpacing Matthew Upson.

A dour game had come to life and Leicester almost hit back when Kramaric failed to force the ball in after Given had spilled a cross.

Vlaar then denied Riyad Mahrez with a last-ditch tackle and Kramaric headed over.

But Villa made it 2-0 in the 89th minute when substitute Sinclair wriggled free. His weak shot was straight at Schwarzer but the keeper spilled it into his own net.

Leicester immediately hit back in stoppage time when Kramaric headed in Schlupp’s cross but Villa held on.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Arsenal 2-1 Leicester

Arsenal moved back into the Barclays Premier League top four as they edged out bottom club Leicester 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, beaten by Tottenham in the north London derby on Saturday, looked to be in control after first-half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott.

However, Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric netted his first Leicester goal after 61 minutes to reduce the deficit, while Arsene Wenger’s side survived some late pressure and some five minutes of stoppage time to secure victory which moves them back above Spurs and Manchester United, who play on Wednesday.

The result was harsh on Nigel Pearson’s side, showing plenty of industry for their under-fire manager, who came down from the director’s box to orchestrate the second-half recovery.

Leicester, winless in 16 games against Arsenal since November 1994, had enjoyed a promising start as a deflected effort from Riyad Mahrez flew across the Arsenal six-yard box.

There were alarm bells in the home penalty area again after 11 minutes when the Algerian forward burst clear down the right and fired a low shot through the legs of David Ospina, which flew just wide of the far post.

Arsenal slowly built some sustained possession, with fit again Alexis Sanchez central to their positive momentum.

In the 15th minute, Walcott latched onto a through pass from Mesut Ozil, but Foxes goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was out quickly to make a smart block with his chest.

Ozil, fit again following nearly three months out with a knee injury, played a neat exchange with Sanchez at the edge of the Leicester box, before stepping inside and sending a toe-poke shot towards the bottom right corner, which Schwarzer palmed away at full stretch.

From the resulting corner, Arsenal took the lead after 27 minutes.

Ozil floated the ball towards the near post, where Koscielny got clear of his marker to fire past the keeper from point-blank range.

Leicester looked to regroup, and Mahrez curled a 20-yard effort wide after more patient build up from the Foxes, who had lost their last three Premier League matches.

Arsenal, though, doubled their lead in the 41st minute.

Ozil was given space some 25 yards out and drilled in a left-foot shot which Schwarzer could only parry.

The ball dropped to Walcott, who dispatched it on the volley back into the bottom left corner for a third goal in four games.

Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty at the start of the second half when the ball clearly struck Leicester defender Danny Simpson on the arm from Sanchez’s pass, but referee Mike Jones was not convinced.

Leicester continued to look for a way back into the match, with an angled pass from Simpson picking out Matty James in the right side of the penalty area, but the midfielder could not bring the ball under control.

On the hour as former Arsenal defender Matthew Upson limped off, replaced by Marcin Wasilewski, Ospina got down quickly to beat away a low drive by Kramaric, whose cross was then headed over by Per Mertesacker.

Arsenal were punished for some slack defending from the corner as it bounced around a crowded penalty area before being buried into the bottom left corner by Kramaric for his first Leicester goal since a B£9million January move from Rijeka.

The Gunners looked to reassert themselves, as Santi Cazorla tested Schwarzer with an angled drive before, after 68 minutes, Sanchez was replaced by Olivier Giroud.

Mahrez curled a 20-yard effort inches wide before Leicester broke quickly again in the 71st minute, with Ospina just getting his fingers to a chip from Kramaric.

Arsenal had to replace substitute Aaron Ramsey, who had not been on the pitch for more than 10 minutes, when the Wales midfielder pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem. Matheiu Flamini came on.

Leicester refused to lie down, but this time, there was to be no late capitulation from the Gunners, who host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson quiet on sacking reports

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has refused to discuss speculation on Sunday night that he had been sacked.

Media reports suggested he had lost his job, but the club said the rumours were “inaccurate and without foundation”.

“They have made a statement. I’m not going to speak about it,” said Pearson, whose side play at Arsenal on Tuesday.

He also played down an altercation with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur, dismissing it as “light-hearted” and saying it had been “put to bed”.

Pearson clashed with Eagles midfielder McArthur during Leicester’s 1-0 home defeat on Saturday, a result that left the East Midlands side bottom of the Premier League.

After the match, rumours continued concerning the 51-year-old’s future before the club issued a statement at 22:00 GMT on Sunday saying he was still in charge.

“Nigel, his staff and the first team squad are entirely focused on Tuesday night’s trip to Arsenal and our continued efforts to secure our position in the Premier League,” the club added.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Pearson, who led Leicester to promotion from the Championship last season, said he had “had conversations” about his job but would not reveal the details.

“If I have got things to say I will say it in the appropriate manner to the appropriate people,” he added.

“I don’t think I’ve been in a position where I speak too openly about what goes on in internal workings.

“I’ve always had a good working relationship with the owners and I’m sure I will moving forward.

“You are never going to have a situation at any football club where things are entirely going the way you want all the time.”

In December, Pearson was given a touchline ban and fined for insulting a Leicester fan during the 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.

On Saturday, the former Southampton and Hull City boss was knocked over on the touchline by McArthur, who had been felled after attempting to tackle Marc Albrighton.

Initially, it looked as if both Pearson and McArthur would laugh off the incident, even after the Foxes boss playfully grabbed McArthur around the throat before helping him to his feet.

But then it appeared to become more confrontational, with Pearson preventing McArthur from returning to the field by grabbing his shirt.

Asked, after the match, why he held McArthur back, Pearson responded: “Because he said something to me.

“I don’t have to reveal anything, do I? I’m more than capable of looking after myself. There’s no problem with the player.”

Pearson, who had a previous spell as Foxes boss from 2008-2010, has been in charge since November 2011.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Leicester City sign defender Robert Huth on loan from Stoke City

Leicester City have signed Stoke City defender Robert Huth on loan until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old made 187 appearances for the Potters after joining the club for £5m from Middlesbrough in 2009.

“I’m not expecting to walk into the team,” he told Leicester City’s YouTube channel.  “I will need to prove my worth and hopefully I can do that.”

The German is currently serving a two-game Football Association ban for comments made on social media.

He will miss the Foxes’ Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, but will be available for the trip to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on 10 February.

Huth started his professional career at Chelsea in 2002, and won the Premier League twice in his four years at Stamford Bridge.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Man Utd 3-1 Leicester

Robin van Persie on target as Manchester United beat Leicester City

Robin van Persie ended his dry spell with a spectacular finish that propelled Manchester United to a comfortable 3-1 win over Leicester.

Van Persie scored his first goal for over a month to put United ahead and Radamel Falcao got on the scoresheet before Wes Morgan’s own goal sealed the win, which moves Louis van Gaal’s men up to third in the Barclays Premier League.

Marcin Wasilewski scored in the second half, but the Foxes were unable to pull off another great comeback like they did in the reverse fixture last September, which ended 5-3 to Leicester.

Van Persie spoke candidly this week about how disappointed he was with his form this season.

The Dutchman said his performances had not been up to scratch and conceded he did not know if he had done enough to earn a contract extension.

But on Saturday he looked something like the Van Persie who scored 30 goals in his debut season at the club.

The Dutchman watched Daley Blind’s chip pass over his left shoulder before expertly stabbing the ball past Mark Schwarzer with his right boot.

Replays showed the 31-year-old may have been slightly offside, but he did not care.

Falcao rounded off a move which Van Persie started five minutes later and the three points were in the bag at half-time after Morgan turned Wayne Rooney’s corner into his own net

The win — and the fact that they scored three goals — will give confidence to Van Gaal’s team, who had scored just five goals in their previous six matches.

For the first 20 minutes, United looked just as flat as they did in their last home match — the 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

The tempo was slightly quicker, but Leicester goalkeeper Schwarzer remained untested in the opening exchanges.

The home fans became annoyed at their team for not going on the attack against the bottom team in the division.

Too often they passed the ball sideways or backwards.

Nothing seemed to be going for the hosts. Rooney’s attempted cross-field pass ended up in the East Stand.

Angel di Maria showed his class by chesting down a Leicester clearance, but he followed it up by putting his volley into the crowd too.

Van Persie spurned an opportunity moments later, scooping a shot high and wide from the edge of the area.

The home supporters needed a goal to lift their spirits and Van Persie delivered it in spectacular fashion just before the half hour.

Blind pinched the ball off Andrej Kramaric and chipped a clever ball over the Leicester back four towards Van Persie. The striker showed true class by watching the ball over his shoulder before stabbing past Schwarzer first time for his ninth of the campaign.

Five minutes later, United doubled their lead. Van Persie started the move, brushing his man off the ball to find Di Maria. Schwarzer spilled the Argentinian’s shot and Falcao scrambled home his fourth goal of the season just before Ritchie De Laet and Wasilewski could intercept.

United were now playing at their free-flowing best. Falcao and Di Maria exchanged passes in a quick counter, but they could not test Schwarzer.

With Leonardo Ulloa isolated up front, Leicester could offer little on the attack and two minutes before the break they found themselves 3-0 down.

Rooney’s corner skidded off the head of Blind and Morgan, who was caught out by the flick-on, accidentally diverted the ball into his own net.

Leicester’s supporters, rather optimistically, insisted they were going to win 5-3 again.

Just after introducing Esteban Cambiasso at the break, the Foxes hit United on the counter, but Kramaric’s attempted bicycle kick failed spectacularly.

United remained by far the superior team though. Adnan Januzaj, making his first league start in almost three months, wanted in on the act, but his swirling 25-yard shot dipped just over Schwarzer’s bar.

Ulloa had a pretty desperate penalty appeal turned down when he slipped in the box on the hour.

A brief moment of panic followed when substitute David Nugent nudged last man Phil Jones off the ball, but David de Gea came out to stop the former England striker.

Van Persie earned a standing ovation when he came off with 22 minutes to go.

Leicester grabbed one back when Wasilewski headed in at the far post, but there was not enough time to mount another comeback and United coasted to victory.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Leicester agree club record £9million Andrej Kramaric striker deal

Leicester have agreed a deal to sign 23-year-old Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric for a club record fee, subject to a work permit being granted.

A price, thought to be more than £9m, has been set with his club FC Rijeka and Kramaric has undergone a medical.

The forward has also agreed terms on a contract that runs until June 2018.

Chelsea were also interested in Kramaric, who has scored 28 goals in 24 appearances for his club and national team this season.

Kramaric played for Dinamo Zagreb between 2009 and 2013, before moving to FC Rijeka.

Leicester, who have 14 points from 20 games, paid a club record £8m in July 2014 for former Brighton striker Leonardo Ulloa.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Liverpool 2-2 Leicester

Liverpool throw two-goal lead away to draw with Leicester City

Liverpool squandered a somewhat fortuitous lead as a battling Leicester stunned their hosts with two goals in as many second-half minutes to draw 2-2.

After back-to-back wins the new year was supposed usher in the beginning of the Reds’ drive towards the top four but the same old defensive frailties were exposed by the league’s bottom team.

Leicester will argue a point was the least they deserved after the home side were gifted the first of two Steven Gerrard penalties when referee Mike Jones ruled the ball had hit Wes Morgan’s hand when it was in fact his head.

Danny Simpson definitely handballed for the second spot-kick, which saw Liverpool become the first team to score 100 Premier League penalties, but Leicester hit back after the break through substitute David Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Two points dropped against a side which only just ended a run of 13 matches without a win is not the sort of thing required to mount a challenge for the Champions League places and Liverpool – missing Mario Balotelli after an injury in training on Wednesday – ended the day further off the top four than when they started it.

Leicester had created the majority of the chances as their hosts struggled to regain the fluidity they displayed in Monday’s victory over Swansea.

Riyad Mahrez had three of his own in the first half-hour, two free-kicks from identical positions – one of which hit the post with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet beaten after just 66 seconds – and another from Schlupp’s low left-wing cross.

The Foxes knew from their encounter at home a month ago, when they took the lead but ended up losing 3-1, they could not afford to squander opportunities.

One player who was excelling among the Reds mediocrity was Philippe Coutinho, who had a hand in both penalties.

Having struggled for form the Brazil international has flourished in an inside-forward role alongside Adam Lallana and behind central striker Raheem Sterling in recent weeks.

One early diagonal ball over the top to Jordan Henderson was played to perfection and ruined only by the midfielder starting his run too early and being flagged offside.

It was Coutinho’s pass to Sterling which produced the first, controversial, penalty as when the England international tried to cut the ball back it hit Morgan.

Jones ruled it was hand but television replays showed it was face. Gerrard did not waste too much time worrying about it as he tucked away the spot-kick.

Lifted from their slumber Liverpool raised their game in the final third of the pitch with Lallana directing a header wide and firing past the far post after shifting Alberto Moreno’s cross from right foot to left on the edge of the area.

The second penalty was all Coutinho’s doing as his weaving run saw the ball bounce up and hit Simpson’s hand.

There were no arguments this time and Gerrard went the other side to goalkeeper Ben Hamer’s right.

An indicator of confidence came when Henderson almost scored a goal of the season contender with a brilliant volley direct from Gerrard’s corner.

Leicester, understandably aggrieved with the officials’ performance, upped the tempo after the break and only a perfectly-timed tackle from the ever-improving Mamadou Sakho prevented Jamie Vardy taking advantage of Kolo Toure’s slip.

But after Dean Hammond had missed a free-header from Matty James’ flick-on at a corner there was a significant momentum change within less than two minutes.

In the 58th minute substitute Nugent volleyed home brilliantly from Vardy’s knockdown and with Liverpool still reeling from that Schlupp beat Mignolet from the edge of the area just 100 seconds later.

Late in the game Rodgers made a number of formation switches as Lazar Markovic and Fabio Borini – and later Rickie Lambert – were sent on in an attempt to salvage two dropped points.

Borini had a couple of attempts, one blocked by Markovic, and then proceeded to get in the way of a thunderbolt from Coutinho before a clumsy challenge on him by Morgan could have resulted in a third penalty but the referee was not in that generous a mood.

Read more at ESPN