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Jamie Vardy fails from spot as Liverpool hold on to beat Leicester

Published in England Premier League
Sunday, 24 September 2017 07:42

Premier League, King Power Stadium - Leicester City 2 (Okazaki 45', Vardy 69') Liverpool 3 (Salah 15', Coutinho 23', Henderson 68')

Jamie Vardy saw a late penalty saved by Simon Mignolet as Liverpool held on for a 3-2 victory over Leicester City in a thrilling match at the King Power Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp's side, who have not enjoyed the strongest start to the season, stormed into a 2-0 lead as early as the 23rd minute through goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho.

Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy scored either side of a third for Liverpool from Jordan Henderson to keep the hosts in the match, and the England striker squandered an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.
Mignolet brought down Vardy to concede the penalty, but the Belgian made amends with his seventh save from a spot kick in the Premier League since he arrived at Anfield.
The crucial victory lifts Liverpool from ninth to fifth in the Premier League table, five points off leaders Manchester City and United.
TALKING POINT

Chaotic defending, but Liverpool get away with it: Klopp said he was sick of his side’s defending after the midweek defeat to Leicester, so you can’t imagine he is feeling any better after this shambolic performance at the back.

Cruising at 2-0, Simon Mignolet made a mess of a set-piece, culminating in Leicester finding a way back into the game. Then, at 3-2, the Belgian goalkeeper arguably should have been sent off when he bundled over Vardy to concede a penalty.

And while Mignolet saved the spot-kick and the Reds somehow held on for a much-needed three points, Klopp knows his side cannot continue to defend like this.
PLAYER RATINGS

Leicester: Schmeichel 7, Simpson 6, Morgan 6, Maguire 6, Chilwell 7, Albrighton 7, Ndidi 7, King 6, Mahrez 5, Vardy 8, Okazaki 7. Subs: Slimani 6, Gray 7, Iheanacho 5.

Liverpool: Mignolet 5, Gomez 5, Matip 5, Lovren 6, Moreno 6, Wijnaldum 6, Henderson 7, Can 7, Salah 7, Coutinho 8, Firmino 7. Subs: Milner 5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 5, Sturridge 7.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – Playing as part of a three-man attack, the Brazilian was back to his brilliant best. His wonderful vision and pin-point crossing was on display as he picked out Mo Salah for Liverpool’s opener, before he nonchalantly curled in his team’s second with a beautiful free-kick.
KEY MOMENTS

12’ - WHAT A MISS! A great strike from Can rattles the post, the ball comes out to Salah who is left with a simple finish but, with an empty goal to aim at, he somehow puts the ball wide! You would have put your house on him to score!

15’ - GOAL - LIVERPOOL HAVE THE BREAK THROUGH! A pinpoint cross from Coutinho picks out Salah at the back post and the forward heads in from the tightest of angles! Schmeichel should have done better, but it's still a remarkable finish.

23’ - GOAL! BRILLIANT FROM COUTINHO! Well, that's what he is capable of! The Brazilian curls his free-kick over the wall, it is dipping and curling and it ends up in the far corner as Schmeichel can't get near it. Liverpool find themselves two goals ahead.

45’+ 2 - A GREAT SAVE! Vardy gets in front of his marker at the near post to reach Mahrez's free-kick, he uses all of his neck muscles to direct head at goal and it's well parried behind by Mignolet!

45’+3 - GOAL - LEICESTER HAVE ONE BACK! Mignolet appears to be pulled back as the corner delivery is whipped in, he makes an unconvincing punch but it hits Gomez and Okazaki bundles the ball over the line. The referee awards the goal and it's game on!

68’ - GOAL - HENDERSON NETS LIVERPOOL'S THIRD! The Reds break at speed, with Sturridge racing clear, he plays Henderson in space and the captain keeps his cool to slide the ball beyond the reach of Schmeichel.

69’ - GOAL - VARDY SCORES! Leicester simply do not know when they are beaten! Mignolet can only parry Gray's half-volley into the path of Vardy who heads home from a few yards out!

71’ - PENALTY TO LEICESTER! A lovely through pass releases Vardy and Mignolet brings down the England international inside the penalty area. Anthony Taylor has no choice but to point to the spot and give the Liverpool goalkeeper a yellow card.

72’- VARDY'S SPOT-KICK IS SAVED! He sends the ball straight down the middle and Mignolet makes the save! It is a really poor penalty.
KEY STATS

Since joining Liverpool in 2013, Simon Mignolet has saved seven of the 15 Premier League penalties he's faced; more than any other keeper.

Jordan Henderson has scored his first Liverpool goal since his strike at Chelsea last season; 372 days ago.

Shinji Okazaki has scored four goals in his last seven Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 48.

Philippe Coutinho has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the Premier League since his debut.

No Liverpool player has been involved in more goals in all competitions this season than Mo Salah (six goals, one assist).

Jamie Vardy has scored six goals in his last four Premier League games against Liverpool.

Leicester City vs. Liverpool: Team News, Preview

Friday, 22 September 2017 13:11

Leicester City welcome Liverpool to the King Power Stadium on Saturday, fresh from knocking the Reds out of the Carabao Cup in midweek with a 2-0 win.

The defeat was another poor result for Liverpool who are yet to win in September and have now gone four games without a victory in all competitions.

Leicester, meanwhile, will be aiming to improve on a slow start to the season, which sees them lying in 15th place having picked up just four points from their opening five games.
Team News

Both teams were much-changed for the Carabao Cup game and should bring key players back for Saturday's clash.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino did not feature at all on Tuesday and may return to the attack, but Sadio Mane remains suspended for Liverpool after his dismissal against Manchester City.

However, it is in defence where manager Jurgen Klopp may look to change things having said he was "really sick" with the goals they conceded against the Foxes in midweek, per Stuart James of the Guardian.

This is not a new problem, and the statistics back up Klopp's criticism, as the Reds have conceded 10 goals in their last four games and are yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels so far this season.

 Preview

Liverpool head to Leicester at the weekend with questions being asked of Klopp after their elimination in the League Cup.

The game highlighted familiar failings within the Reds squad, particularly their profligacy in front of goal, as noted by Goal's Melissa Reddy:
After this game, Liverpool's next fixture is against Spartak Moscow in Russia on Tuesday.

Leicester took full advantage of Liverpool's failings in the cup and may do so again.

In Jamie Vardy they have a striker who has the pace and precision to trouble the Reds back line.

The England international's league form is superb, particularly since Craig Shakespeare took charge, as illustrated by Opta:15 - Jamie Vardy has now had a hand in 15 goals in 18 Premier League apps under Craig Shakespeare (12 goals, 3 assists).
The season may be young but anything other than a win for Liverpool will increase the scrutiny on Klopp after a poor run of results.

The Reds' humbling of Arsenal in August showed they have the quality, particularly in attack, but they must tighten up to avoid being beaten by Leicester for the second time in a week.

Alvaro Morata helps Chelsea grind out win at Leicester City

Published in England Premier League
Sunday, 10 September 2017 07:03

King Power Stadium, Premier League - Leicester City 1 (Vardy 62’ pen.) Chelsea 2 (Morata 41’ Kante 50’)

Alvaro Morata and N'Golo Kante scored to give Chelsea a 2-1 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea needed a win to remain in touch with Manchester City after their 5-0 win over Liverpool in Saturday’s early kick-off, and were able to welcome Eden Hazard and ex-Leicester player Danny Drinkwater to the bench.

Chelsea focused their attacking efforts on Morata in the first half, but Wes Morgan frustrated him until he nodded in from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, moments after Islam Slimani shot straight at Thibaut Courtois from close range.

In the second half, former Leicester player Kante quickly made it two. Jamie Vardy pulled one back with a penalty after a defensive mix-up between Azpilicueta and Courtois.

Despite a late flurry of chances for both sides, Chelsea took the points to move into third on nine points, while Leicester have just three points from four games.
TALKING POINT

Leicester City need to resolve the Adrien Silva transfer as soon as possible. Chelsea were able to keep Drinkwater on the bench, but Silva watched his new club from the stands as he sits out Leicester's games. Matty James has made a welcome return after injury, but as Leicester attempted to find a way past Kante, it was obvious they needed the strength and skill that Silva should provide.

MAN OF THE MATCH

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea): Chelsea will be delighted that Morata continues to score, and Hazard showed some impressive touches on his return to first-team action. But Kante provided a reminder of his talents. Leicester struggled to find their way through the middle of the pitch because of his attention to any threat, and he even gave his side a winner when the chance was forced upon him.

PLAYER RATINGS

Leicester City: Schmeichel 6, Simpson 6, Morgan 7, Maguire 6, Fuchs 6, Ndidi 6, James 5, Albrighton 5, Mahrez 5, Slimani 5, Vardy 7. Subs: Gray 6, Iheanacho 6, King 6.

Chelsea: Courtois 6, Rudiger 6, Luiz 6, Azpilicueta 6, Moses 6, Kante 8, Fabregas 6, Alonso 6, Bakayoko 5, Pedro 6, Morata 8. Subs: Hazard 7, Zappacosta 7, Willian 7.
KEY MOMENTS

25’ – VARDY MISS - Vardy is slipped in by Mahrez's through ball, on the last man's shoulder, but he drags his shot just wide of the far post.

40’ – SLIMANI SHOT - Leicester break, two-v-one against Chelsea. Mahrez waits for Vardy to pull off to his left, creating room for Slimani on the overlap, and his shot is beaten away by a well-spread Courtois.

41’ - GOAL! Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea. Morata scores - Azpilicueta has ages to measure a cross, and guides it to the back post. Morata is lurking behind Morgan, and he glances his effort low and past Schmeichel.

50’ - GOAL! Leicester City 0-2 Chelsea. Kante scores - Kante makes it two. He looks up from distance and sees the chance open up in front of him. 25 yards out, it rolls past Schmeichel who just can't reach it with his dive.

61’ - PENALTY! Vardy intercepts a Azpilicueta pass and Courtois brings him down.

62’ - GOAL! Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea. Vardy scores - He blasts the spot-kick down the middle, Courtois diving to his right, and Leicester have a chance.

KEY STAT

Morata has scored three headers and provided two assists for Chelsea.

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