Danny Simpson

Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester City: Early struggles continue

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  • Cherries out-attempt 19-6
  • Early PK appeal denied
  • Okazaki misses sitter

Bournemouth’s finishing denied it a deserved victory as the Cherries drew Leicester City 0-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The draw gives 19th place Bournemouth four points, while Leicester sits 17th with five points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth would’ve felt aggrieved when Jermain Defoe hit the post and a rebound shot struck Danny Simpson on the arm, with nothing to show for either opportunity.

And Joshua King felt he’d drawn a penalty kick around the quarter hour mark, but Harry Maguire was kept off the hook.

Marc Pugh set King up for a chance around the 20 minute mark, but the ex-Manchester United prospect mishit it.

Vicente Iborra gave the ball away to Pugh soon after subbing into the match, but the Spaniard reclaimed the ball before the Bournemouth man could test Kasper Schmeichel.

A rare chance came to Leicester when in-form Shinji Okazaki found the ball well inside the 18 but betrayed his recent performances with a poor miss.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Manchester United 2-0 Leicester City: Mourinho’s men do it again

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  • Schmeichel stars for LCFC
  • Lukaku has PK saved
  • Rashford, Fellaini score
  • United now 3-0

No one marked Marcus Rashford on a 70th minute corner, and the substitute gave Manchester United its first goal in a 2-0 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The win puts United alone atop the Premier League for the time being, with 10 goals scored and not a single concession.

[ MORE: Mourinho’s reaction ]

Leicester has lost two of three to start the season, albeit to Arsenal and Man Utd.

Romelu Lukaku had a penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, who was well off his line to stop the well-hit left-footed effort. According to Opta, Kasper now has more penalty saves at Old Trafford than his father, legendary United keeper Peter Schmeichel.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Juan Mata thought he’d made it 1-0 after some bullish work from Romelu Lukaku, and Mata looked onside when he scored the rebound despite a call from the linesman.

Anthony Martial then started a lightning bit of possession that came within a yard of a goal when Paul Pogba‘s sliding attempt at the back post missed the mark.

Kasper Schmeichel made an outstanding save on Mata in the 20th minute, and Leicester very much could’ve been down three if not for its backstop.

Leicester finally found a chance through Shinji Okazaki after a lay-off from Jamie Vardy, but David De Gea was comfortable in collecting the low shot.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After a trio of penalty shouts in the early stages of the second half, Danny Simpson handled a cross for what some viewed as a controversial penalty.

It was given, and Lukaku’s effort was strong but stopped by Schmeichel.

Leicester had a promising break to Demarai Gray and Riyad Mahrez cut-out by Phil Jones.

United found its goal off a corner kick as no one marked Rashford, and Fellaini looked a bit offside when he redirected a Jesse Lingard shot beyond the reach of Schmeichel.

Demarai Gray cued Andy King up for a doorstep chance at ruining United’s season clean sheet, but De Gea knocked the offering away.

Leicester 2-0 Stoke: Foxes win fourth-straight

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  • Goals from Ndidi, Vardy
  • Leicester win fifth-straight game in all comps
  • Shakespeare has five-straight wins¬†
  • Stoke winless in¬†three

Leicester beat Stoke 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as Craig Shakespeare became the first-ever British manager to win his first four games in the Premier League.

A stunner from Wilfred Ndidi got Leicester going and then Jamie Vardy hammered home a volley early in the second half to put the game beyond doubt.

With their fourth-straight win in the PL since Claudio Ranieri was fired, Leicester move on to 33 points and are three points behind Stoke City with a top 10 finish in their sights.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Leicester started brightly and Riyad Mahrez was at the center of everything good about the Foxes.

Yohan Benalouane went close to giving Leicester the lead as he squirmed an effort just wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The Foxes continued to press with Demarai Gray drilling a low shot just wide and then Ndidi smashed home an unstoppable effort to make it 1-0 to the home side. Fantastic strike.

Shinji Okazaki sent a bicycle kick over as Leicester piled on the pressure and then Stoke launched a rapid counter which saw Saido Berahino force Kasper Schmeichel into a stop.

Mahrez then had a wonderful effort from 25 yards out saved well down low by Lee Grant as Leicester deserved their half time lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Two minutes after the break Danny Simpson clipped in a delightful ball and Vardy hammered home an unstoppable strike to make it 2-0 and score his fourth goal in his last four games.

Stoke looked completely out of ideas in the second half with Leicester hunting in packs and looking comfortable.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Mahrez went close for Leicester but Grant once again denied the Foxes as the one-way traffic continued and the Algerian dragged another effort just wide as the Foxes had to settle for a two-goal win.

Leicester City is hurtling towards relegation. Why?

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The “r word” is being mentioned a lot around the reigning Premier League champions.

[ MORE: Aguero on his way out? ] 

Rightly so, relegation is on the minds of everyone involved with Leicester City with 14 games of the Premier League season to go.

Leicester were blown away by Manchester United 3-0 on Sunday, leaving Claudio Ranieri‘s side just two points off the bottom of the table after four-straight defeats which has seen them concede 10 goals and score zero.

Speaking to Sky Sports following their humbling defeat against United, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel admitted Leicester is in freefall.

“We’re the reigning champions but quite frankly it’s been terrible,” Schmeichel said.¬†“Every player is hurting. It’s not a situation that is comfortable. It’s time for everyone to stand up and be counted because if we don’t we’re going to end up getting relegated.”

Let’s break this down. What the heck is going on?

  • Leicester’s defense suddenly looks porous with Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs not looking anywhere near their levels of last season as they recorded shutout after shutout. They conceded 36 goals last season in 38 PL games. They’ve already conceded 41 in 24 games this season
  • They sold N'Golo Kante to Chelsea. His absence in midfield can’t be understated. Simple
  • Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scored eight PL goals between them in the PL so far and are severely out of form. They had 41 PL goals between them last season
  • Prioritizing the UEFA Champions League over PL in the early months of the season was acceptable but those dropped points are now catching up with them
  • They have yet to win a Premier League game away from home this season
  • Distractions of the FA Cup and UCL Round of 16 are coming up in February, which will cause more rotation to the team and complicate the situation further

So, the main thing here is that there is plenty of reasons why the reigning champs are hurtling towards relegation at a rapid rate.

Ranieri has also had to deal with player unrest as Leonardo Ulloa was denied a move away on Deadline Day despite saying he wouldn’t play for the club again, and there are rumblings that he’s started to lose the dressing room less than 12 months after delivering one of the greatest title victories in sporting history. Ranieri is under pressure and defeat at Swansea in their next game, plus a first leg defeat to Sevilla in the UCL, will surely seal his fate.

Football is fickle, but results talk.

Leicester’s manager admitted recently that the chairman¬†Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was unhappy and demanded they get to 40 points as soon as possible. How on earth are Leicester going to do that?

Their next six PL games will define not only their season but also their foreseeable future. An away trip to in-form Swansea is next up, followed by hosting Liverpool and Hull City, then they travel to Arsenal and West Ham before hosting Stoke on Apr. 1.

By April Fools Day we will see if the reigning champs have been turned into fools and are embroiled in a relegation battle for the final six weeks of the 2016-17 season. If Leicester do go down then they’ll also face a huge financial crisis as they dished out massive contracts to players in the title-winning squad. Vardy and Mahrez are both on over $130,000 per week, while many more are close to the $100,000 mark.

Leicester won’t want to think about those implications right now but reality may have hit home: they pulled off an incredible feat when the perennial giants of English soccer had a down year last season, but when you look at their squad they’re probably where they should be. Midtable at best. That’s the harsh reality.

On the day Leicester lifted the PL trophy last season against Everton in May, I spoke to many Leicester fans in and around the King Power Stadium who said they didn’t care if¬†the Foxes were relegated next season.

I wonder what they think now…

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.