Jamie Vardy

PL roundup: Citizens crack 70 points, Spurs grab North London Derby

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Get caught up on all seven of Saturday’s Premier League fixtures…

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Manchester City 5-1 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

Raheem Sterling gave the Citizens a lead inside three minutes, but it was Sergio Aguero’s second-half outburst that paced Man City to their league-leading 23rd win of the year. The Argentine international netted on four separate occasions after halftime to extend the lead to 5-1, after Jamie Vardy had temporarily cancelled out Sterling’s opener. Pep Guardiola‘s side now sit 16 points above second-place Manchester United with 11 matches remaining.

 

Tottenham 1-0 ArsenalFULL RECAP

At the moment, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side have gone third in the PL courtesy of Harry Kane‘s header. The Englishman has now scored seven goals in as many matches during the last seven North London Derbies.

Everton 3-1 Crystal PalaceFULL RECAP

The Toffees climbed to within two points of seventh-place Burnley behind an offensive outburst from the hosts. Gylfi SigurdssonOumar Niasse and Tom Davies all scored after halftime to bring Sam Allardyce‘s men up to 34 points on the season at Goodison Park. Palace’s lone goal on the day came through Luka Milivojevic, who converted a penalty kick late on after Ashley Williams conceded the spot kick via a handball.

West Ham United 2-0 WatfordFULL RECAP

The Hammers are now unbeaten in seven of their last eight, and have climbed up to 12th place after Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic found the back of the net on Saturday. Meanwhile, Watford is level on 30 points with West Ham, despite the Hornets boasting a superior goal differential through 27 rounds of play.

Stoke City 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion — FULL RECAP

Xherdan Shaqiri helped capture a point for the Potters at the bet365 Stadium, after Jose Izquierdo had given Brighton the lead early on after a beautifully-executed team goal from the visitors. Stoke remains in 18th place on 25 points, while Brighton sits three points clear of a tightly-contested relegation battle.

Swansea City 1-0 Burnley — FULL RECAP

The Swans benefitted from Ki Sung-Yueng‘s second-half finish to go 15th place, while Burnley remains in seventh place despite the club having gone winless in their last 10 matches.

Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City: Aguero, KDB on fire

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  • Sterling scores very early
  • Vardy nabs 13th PL goal
  • Aguero scores four
  • De Bruyne assists three

Sergio Aguero put an exclamation point on a thrilling night with a glorious fourth goal as Manchester City scored in the first three minutes of each half to beat Leicester City 5-1 on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings for goals by Raheem Sterling and two of Sergio Aguero’s four.

Man City’s point total means it could lose every remaining league match and finish no lower than sixth. City has 72 points and a 16-point lead on Man Utd, who plays Sunday.

Jamie Vardy scored for Leicester, making him the first player in league history to score against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur in the same season.

The Foxes remains eighth with 35 points.

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Sterling proved his confidence was fine despite a brutal late miss against Burnley, meeting Kevin De Bruyne’s cross for a third minute goal inside the six-yard box.

A Christian Fuchs stop on Sergio Aguero brought a counter attack for Leicester, and Vardy moved past an Ilkay Gundogan slide tackle to shoot past a continually backing off Aymeric Laporte and behind Ederson. 1-1, 25′.

Sterling dove to win a dangerous free kickoff Wilfred Ndidi in the 36th minute, but a leaping Nicolas Otamendi could not meet De Bruyne’s long range pass.

The goal scorer fooled Kasper Schmeichel on a dribble inside the six, but a sliding Aleksandar Dragovic meant Sterling won a corner kick, not a brace.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It took less than three minutes of the second half for De Bruyne to work more magic, putting together a brilliant team goal for Aguero with Oleksandar Zinchenko and Sterling.

De Bruyne slipped Aguero through for another within 10 minutes, continuing his almost certain PL Player of the Year campaign.

Schmeichel would later give the ball to Aguero inside the 18 to complete another hat trick for one of the PL’s all-time greats.

And Aguero made it four for him and five for his side when he took a feed from Phil Foden and lashed a beauty off the underside of the bar.

WATCH LIVE: Man City vs. Leicester City

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Riyad Mahrez is on the bench for Leicester City as the Foxes look to keep up their decent record against league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Leicester starts Jamie Vardy and Fousseni Diabate in attack, while Man City keeps John Stones and Vincent Kompany on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (C), Gündogan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Bernardo, Agüero. Subs: Bravo, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Nmecha, Foden, Diaz

Leicester City: Schmeichel (c), Dragović, Maguire, Fuchs, Albrighton, Silva, Ndidi, James, Chilwell, Diabaté, Vardy. Subs: Jakupović, Simpson, Benalouane, Iborra, Gray, Mahrez, Iheanacho.

PL preview: Man City vs. Leicester City

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  • Man City 13 points clear of everyone in title race
  • Leicester up to 8th after slow start, managerial change
  • Man City unbeaten at home; Leicester just 3 away wins

For the first time since August (not including international breaks), Manchester City are fresh off an entire week between games, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time, as far as Leicester City, who visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com), are concerned.

After making serious headway in the Premier League (runaway leaders and champions-elect), Champions League (group winners, into the round of 16), FA Cup (into the fifth round) and League Cup (into the final), Pep Guardiola‘s side found itself in dire need of an extended (if you considered seven days a long time) break, as fatigued bodies and injuries to key players have piled up in recent weeks. Mercifully, defender John Stones and midfield maestro David Silva are expected to be available for selection come Saturday.

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Leicester’s recent struggles (loss to Everton, draw with Swansea City), following a particularly purple patch (just one defeat in 11 games from Sept. 30 to Dec. 13) during the middle third of the already-completed portion of the season, was in many ways spurred by Man City, who, whether intentionally or not, unsettle the Foxes’ star attacker, Riyad Mahrez, with a transfer deadline day approach which proved to be unsuccessful. Mahrez then refused to report for training or make himself available for selection the following week, before returning on Friday. He will not feature for the Foxes on Saturday.

Kelechi Iheanacho, who made a $33-million move from Man City to Leicester in the summer, is still seeking his first PL goal (he has five between the FA and League Cups) for his new club. The 21-year-old has featured more prominently in recent weeks (starts in three of Leicester’s last five games – all competitions), and might just continue to do so in the absence of Shinji Okazaki (knee), who’s frequently deployed as a forward/midfielder tweener just behind Jamie Vardy.

INJURIES: Man City — OUT: Leroy Sane (ankle), Fabian Delph (knee), Gabriel Jesus (knee), Benjamin Mendy (knee); QUESTIONABLE: David Silva (oblique); RETURNING: John Stones (knee) | Leicester — OUT: Riyad Mahrez (personal), Shinji Okazaki (knee), Wes Morgan (hamstring)

What they’re saying…

Pep Guardiola, on City’s busy season: “We have had a lot of games since August, with just one midweek off, so we needed it. We made three good training sessions and then we come back. We love to play football but when you play every three days in three or four competitions, sometimes a break is good for everybody because you come back stronger. Everybody (had a rest). The physios, chef…everybody.”

Claude Puel, on Mahrez: “I think Riyad is not available for Saturday’s game. I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football. He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his teammates, and that’s important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right.”

Prediction

Man City have won 12 straight PL games at home (18 across all competitions), outscoring opponents 44-8 during that time (55-11 including other competitions), a run which should leave Leicester with very little hope of earning anything at the Etihad. Man City 3-0 Leicester.

PL roundup: Arsenal impress at Emirates; Citizens drop points

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Get caught up on all seven of Saturday’s Premier League fixtures…

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal 5-1 EvertonFULL RECAP

The Toffees never looked like they were in the match, with Arsene Wenger‘s side coming out firing from the opening kick off. A hat-trick from Aaron Ramsey and Lauren Koscielny’s sliding finish had the Gunners flying high on Saturday, before new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened his account for the club (although he was really offside). Everton found its consolation through Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s close-range header. The win puts Arsenal within three points of Tottenham for fifth place.

Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town — FULL RECAP

Alexis Sanchez bagged his first goal for the Red Devils, while Romelu Lukaku also found the back of the net. Jose Mourinho’s side now sit 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City, who dropped two points on the day. Meanwhile, the Terriers have now gone eight straight PL matches without a victory, which leaves the side in the bottom three.

Burnley 1-1 Manchester City — FULL RECAP

The Clarets became the fourth PL side to take points off of Man City this season, although Pep Guardiola‘s group remain 16 points clear of second place following the draw. Johann Berg Gudmundsson played hero for the home side in the final minutes, after cancelling out Danilo‘s stunning finish earlier in the match.

Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke City — FULL RECAP

Xherdan Shaqiri kicked off the scoring for a desperate Stoke side, but it was Bournemouth that responded positively and found a way back. The Cherries moved into ninth place with its comeback victory at the Vitality Stadium behind Lys Mousset and Joshua King finishes. The defeat for Stoke leaves Paul Lambert‘s side in 18th place.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Southampton — FULL RECAP

In what proved to easily be the most exciting match of the day, the Saints picked up their first PL victory in 13 rounds of play. Mario Lemina‘s brilliant strike highlighted the outburst from Southampton’s attack, while goals from Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse also gave the visitors a boost. Southampton sits two points clear of the bottom three, while West Brom remains bottom in England.

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham United — FULL RECAP

Goals from Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross gave the Seagulls a much-needed lift in the relegation battle, with Brighton moving up to 13th place. Meanwhile, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s beauty of a finish on the half-hour mark gave the Hammers a temporary moment of relief, but it was short-lived for the visiting side.

Leicester City 1-1 Swansea City — FULL RECAP

Jamie Vardy‘s 11th goal of the season wasn’t enough to secure all three points for Leicester, who picked up their 35th point. The draw was quite important to Swansea though, with the point picked up lifting the Swans out of the relegation zone despite being level on points with Stoke and Huddersfield.