Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal: Home side holds strong for draw


Arsenal were listless and wasteful, and Leicester were collected as the Premier League new boys held on strong for a 1-1 draw at King Power Stadium.

The Gunners scored after 20 minutes, but Leicester responded just three minutes later and Arsenal had nothing of quality left to offer.

The game begun in an open manner, with both sides testing the other with attacking flow and counter-attacks.

There looked to be an early injury change, unfortunately for Arsenal, with Laurent Koscielny and Jeffery Schlupp clattering heads in an aerial challenge, and the Gunners defender received the worst of the challenge.

With an open wound on his head and clearly dazed, Koscielny still was able to return with a head wrapping a few minutes later after receiving two staples in his head.

Leicester came closest early on when Riyad Mahrez skipped past Aaron Ramsey twice before shooting just wide left, having beaten Wojciech Szczesny.

On the other end, Arsenal proved lethal in the 20th minute. Some messy defending allowed Alexis Sanchez to put Yaya Sanogo through with a dink. Kasper Schmeichel came out to stone Sanogo but Sanchez was there to skillfully rip home the rebound.

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Leicester wasted no time hitting back though, as Schlupp lifted in a wonderful cross from nearly in the corner flag, and it found the head of Leo Ulloa who thundered home for the equalizer just three minutes after falling behind.

It was Koscielny who Ulloa beat in the air for the goal, and following the goal, Wenger removed the French defender in favor of Callum Chambers – likely a change which should have taken place well prior.

The rest of the half went back and forth, and both sides had a few chances with positive counter-attacks, but nothing came of it despite a large amount of stoppage time thanks to Koscielny’s treatment.

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The best chance of the second half came five minutes in, when Sanchez picked out a free Santi Cazorla but the Spaniard dragged his shot wide despite the good opportunity.

It fell to Ulloa on the other end two minutes later after fooling the usually pinpoint Chambers, but with just Szczesny to beat, the ball ended up off the side netting as the Polish keeper got a touch.

Arsenal’s attack slowly became more and more toothless as the game dragged on, but Wenger waited ages to make any replacements. Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, and Sanogo had long since seen their usefulness dry up, but Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remained seated on the bench.

Finally, with 14 minutes to go Ox and Podolski came on, but poetic justice saw Mesut Ozil go down painfully on the edge in front of the advertising boards, and with Arsenal just having used their substitutes, they were down to 10 men for a good four minutes while he received treatment.

Ulloa also was withdrawn, having put in a full shift and clearly looking exhausted and with an empty tank.  Other tired legs remained on the pitch, and the game slowed to a crawl as a result.

Finally, something burst to life when Leicester got a one-man counter-attack with substitute Jamie Vardy skipping past a number of defenders on a high line near the mid line. He got support from Andy King, and Vardy got it back for the shot – denied by a diving Szczesny.

A fitting moment marked extra time, as Szczesny came out to collect a corner and got tangled with Liam Moore, and the pair were booked after a scuffle broke out.

With the point, Arsenal get up to five on the season and stay undefeated but fail to take the chance to jump Tottenham, Liverpool, and Manchester City.  Leicester City get their best result of the short season and move to two points total.


Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Mahrez (Albrighton 64′), King, Hammond, Schlupp (Vardy 77′), Nugent, Ulloa (Drinkwater 77′).

Goals: Ulloa 23′

Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Chambers 27′), Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77′), Ozil, Alexis, Sanogo (Podolski 77′).

Goals: Sanchez 20′

Ancelotti rules himself out of Liverpool job

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid CF
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Carlo Ancelotti will not be the next manager of Liverpool, if you’re not so cynical that you don’t believe Mr. Ancelotti himself, that is.

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Ancelotti, who this summer was fired one season after winning the UEFA Champions League at Real Madrid, has been widely reported a top-two candidate for the Premier League club’s vacant managerial position ever since Brendan Rodgers was fired on Sunday.

While he may very well have been one of Liverpool’s top choices, to hear Ancelotti tell it, he’s not interested in taking the job, nor any other job anywhere in the world this year.

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Ancelotti, speaking at the National History Museum in London on Tuesday — quotes from the Guardian:

“I enjoy my time now but, of course, I want to come back to manage – to work – because it is my passion. I want to take my time to rest, but next season I am ready.”

“Why not [return to Paris Saint-Germain]? I have very good memories of Paris, PSG, I have good relations with everyone, with Nasser [al-Khelaifi, the PSG president].

“But I’m thinking about other things and PSG has a very good coach in Laurent Blanc. I hope he will continue and shine in the Champions League.”

Of course, with Jurgen Klopp reportedly all but officially announced as Liverpool’s new manager, Ancelotti is probably doing two things by ruling himself out until next season: 1) saving a bit of face, given that he was pretty clearly not Liverpool’s first-choice candidate; 2) letting every Ancelotti-sized club know that he’ll be available come this spring and summer, just in case they’re considering firing their current manager and need a bit of assurance an elite candidate will be available.

[ MORE: Klopp expected to be named new Liverpool manager this week ]

For instance, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Juventus immediately come to mind. A manager of Ancelotti’s quality will always have options and offers, and that’s something he clearly understands. Ancelotti has earned the right to enjoy a year-long sabbatical and to be picky when choosing his next job.

Report: FIFA provisionally suspends Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

Sepp Blatter could, finally, be frozen out by FIFA.

The 17-year leader of world soccer’s governing body has reportedly been suspended for 90 days after FIFA’s ethics committee met on Wednesday to discuss allegations against both Blatter and his close ally Michel Platini.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter ]

Reports suggest that the decision to suspend the Swiss official still needs to be formally ratified by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, but it is highly likely that Blatter will be suspended until January 2016.

Blatter, 79, has been at FIFA for over 40 years but under his stewardship the organization has been riddled with allegations of corruption as current investigations from both the U.S. and Swiss authorities continue. The longtime FIFA official is suspected of “criminal mismanagement or misappropriation” by the Swiss authorities after a payment of over $1.9 million is linked to Blatter and the current president of UEFA, and FIFA presidential candidate, Platini.

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Klaus Stoehlker, who formerly advised Blatter, has told Sky News that the ethics committee “made the ruling pending further investigations by the Swiss attorney general” and the verdict was “pending”  but that “no negative finding had been made against the head of world football’s governing body.” It is believed that the 90-day suspension is the maximum amount of time the ethics committee can suspend any individuals while an investigation is ongoing.

It has been reported that the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Judge Hans Joachim-Eckert, has told Blatter of his suspension.

The leader of FIFA, who will stand down following the next presidential elections on Feb. 26, 2016, has been defiant in recent weeks despite growing pressure from corporate sponsors of FIFA for him to resign.

On Wednesday he spoke out and denied he will quit, while at the Leaders’ in Sport Summit in London another presidential candidate ,Chung Mong-joon, declared that he will sue Blatter for “at least $100 million” and believes the FIFA president and his “cronies” are deliberately sabotaging his own presidential campaign.