Stoke City 2-2 Leicester City: Valiant comeback from 10-man Foxes

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  • Vardy gets straight-red card
  • Bojan, Allen put Stoke 2-0 up 
  • Ulloa, Amarety score late on

Leicester City felt like everything was going against them at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

They lost Jamie Vardy to a straight red card. Gave away a penalty kick which Bojan Krkic scored to put the Potters 1-0 up and then Joe Allen made it 2-0 at half time. However, late in the second half the Foxes launched a stunning comeback with Leonardo Ulloa and Daniel Amartey scoring late on to snatch a point.

With the point Stoke moves to 22 points for the season, while Leicester grabbed just their second away point of the season to move on to 17 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke started the better of the teams as Bojan played in a ball to Joe Allen who set up Jonathan Walters but Kasper Schmeichel saved brilliantly to deny the Potters.

Leicester then twice went close as Riyad Mahrez‘s shot was deflected on goal but Lee Grant saved and Stoke’s goalkeeper then produced a fine stop to deny Robert Huth‘s looping header moments later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Mame Biram Diouf and Bojan both went down in the box but both had penalty shouts turned down. Then Diouf missed the ball after a cross from the left yet Bojan was following up but his effort was blocked by Andy King.

The turning point then arrived as referee Craig Pawson showed Vardy a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Diouf. In fairness to Vardy he was pushed off balance by Glen Johnson as he went in for the challenge and did get the ball but he also caught Diouf. Leicester down to 10 men.

Soon after they were 1-0 down as Bojan’s cross was clearly handled in the box by Danny Simpson and Stoke’s Spanish playmaker slotted home the penalty kick.

Before half time it was 2-0 to the Potters with Giannelli Imbula sending a shot off the near post which hit Schmeichel and then went straight to Allen who tapped home his fifth goal of the season. As the teams walked off at half time Claudio Ranieri was livid as he tried to get to referee Pawson.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

In the second half it was damage limitation for the Foxes and Schmeichel denied Jonathan Walters with a fine save as the Stoke forward towered above Wes Morgan but was denied by the Danish goalkeeper.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Mahrez flashed a free kick over the bar but that was about as good as it got for Leicester, with Allen being denied by Schmeichel as Stoke toyed with the Foxes but couldn’t find a third goal.

However, substitute Ulloa then scored his first goal in 16 games to give Leicester hope in the closing stages with his header going over the line despite being hacked clear by Ryan Shawcross. 2-1.

And then Amartey headed home in the 88th minute to complete a fine comeback for Ranieri’s men as they showed the same fighting spirit which won them the title last season.

Liga MX wrap: Pachuca earns first win, Leon stays unbeaten

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All of Saturday’s action from around Mexico’s top flight…

Pachuca 3-1 Lobos BUAP

A strong first-half push from the hosts was all Pachuca needed on Saturday night to earn their first victory of the 2018 Clausura season. Angel Sagal brought the home side in front after just 10 minutes off of a near-post header, before Pachuca’s lead soon doubled 14 minutes later from the penalty spot when strike Franco Jara converted on the dead-ball attempt.

Just prior to halftime, Pachuca was out to a 3-0 advantage when 20-year-old outside back Erick Aguirre tallied his first goal for the club.

Last-place side Lobos got on the board three minutes into the second stanza via a finish from Heriberto Olvera, however, it wasn’t enough to provide anything more than a consolation for the visiting side.

Necaxa 1-3 Chivas Guadalajara

Mexican international Alan Pulido made it a dream start for the visitors from Guadalajara at the Estadio Victoria, however, that lead was cancelled out in first-half stoppage time after Carlos Gonzalez leveled the match up at 1-1.

The difference proved to be with 25 minutes left to play, when a goalkeeping error by Marcelo Barovero allowed Chivas to regain possession inside the Necaxa penalty area, before Ronaldo Cisneros tapped home the winner.

Then, a third goal came just prior to the end of regulation when Edwin Hernandez killed the game off for Matias Almeyda’s men, who also earned their first victory of the Clausura season.

Rest of Saturday’s Liga MX action

Cruz Azul 0-0 Club Leon
Queretaro 0-0 Tigres UANL
Monterrey 0-0 Club Tijuana

Sunday’s matches

UNAM vs. Club America — 1 p.m. ET
Santos Laguna vs. Morelia — 7 p.m. ET

The 2 Robbies: Alexis/Mkhitaryan transfer saga and more

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle recap all the key stories from the latest Premier League Saturday fixtures including Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Newcastle (0:20), Chelsea’s 4-0 victory at Brighton (10:15) and the latest on the Alexis Sanchez/Henrikh Mkhitaryan saga after wins for Arsenal and Manchester United (19:00). Plus, a closer look at the bottom of the table and thoughts go out to James McCarthy after his serious injury against West Brom (29:00).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Video: Stoke’s Imbula scores stunner on loan at Toulouse

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Stoke City supporters know the name Giannelli Imbula, and perhaps they’ll be clamoring for the Frenchman to return to the bet365 Stadium if he can score more goals like this.

[ MORE: PL Roundup — Top three all victorious; Gunners thrash Palace ]

The holding midfielder is currently on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse, and for the first time this season, Imbula opened his goalscoring account in some fashion.

Right on half-hour mark, Imbula unleashed a left-footed strike from nearly 40 yards out to give Toulouse the lead over Montpellier (below).

Imbula joined Stoke during the 2015/16 PL season, and has made 26 appearances for the Potters in his time with the club, prior to his loan to France.

Willian proves he’s Chelsea’s x-factor against Brighton

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There’s a considerable difference when watching a Chelsea team that plays with and without one of its Brazilian influences in the attacking part of the field.

Willian — who first debuted for the Blues back in 2013 — hasn’t always managed to be a regular starter for Chelsea, whether it was Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink or current manager Antonio Conte at the helm, though.

[ SOURCES: Jack Harrison expected to join Stoke City this winter ]

The 29-year-old plays with considerable flair, something that certainly isn’t uncommon amongst many players that have grown up in Brazil.

At times Willian’s overconfidence is a significant blessing, and at others it can be considered a curse, however, the former Corinthians player’s presence is something that Chelsea needs now more than ever.

That was on display on Saturday during the side’s 4-0 win at Brighton, a match in which Chelsea dominated from start to finish with Willian on the pitch. While the performance cannot solely be attributed to the attacking midfielder’s showing, it’s easy to argue that the Blues midfielder is becoming the club’s biggest x factor — one that can determine the outcome of a match.

Just look six minutes into the match, when the Blues put together one of the best team goals you’ll see in a match this year (or any year for that matter), which of course, was started and finished by none other than Willian.

What stands out about the play isn’t the brilliant slicing shot into the near post corner by the veteran playmaker, but instead the confidence that Willian exudes and brings to a Chelsea lineup that has plenty of talent to be considered one of the best teams in England and all of Europe.

After all, Conte’s group is just a season removed from winning the Premier League and still sits inside the top three in the world’s top league.

Then, there’s the Blues’ third goal against Brighton, which was set up by a smart, and instinctive, through ball played into the path of Eden Hazard by Willian (below).

Even though Hazard ends up with a ton of time on the ball to make his next decision, which was ultimately to cut inside on his preferred right foot, the run by Willian towards the end line dragged a defender away from the Belgian international — allowing the sequence to progress.

Arguing Willian’s importance isn’t a knock on Hazard — a world-class player in his own right — or Alvaro Morata, who has had the intolerable task of replacing a key player like Diego Costa.

Instead, it simply shows that Chelsea has a plethora of talent, and that some of the club’s attacking struggles throughout the 2017/18 season can be chalked up to Willian being left out of the starting XI on a regular basis.

[ MORE: Sergio Aguero continues to display brilliance for Man City ]

The Brazilian international has scored eight goals and added seven assists this season in all competitions for the Blues, despite only starting 19 matches.

The mind of manager Conte is an ever-changing one, so maybe Willian still doesn’t get the starting nod on an every week basis, but just by watching the team’s performance at the Amex Stadium it’s quite hard to argue against the player being on the field as much as possible.