Joe Allen

Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City: Foxes fight back

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  • Butland own goal rescues point for Leicester
  • Shaqiri’s third goal in three games have Stoke lead
  • Potters remain in bottom three

Leicester City fought back to draw 1-1 with Stoke City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, with an own goal from Jack Butland in the second half canceling out Xherdan Shaqiri‘s opener.

Stoke took the lead just before half time with a beauty from Shaqiri but after Butland misjudged a cross to knock the ball into his own net, Leicester came alive and hit the post twice late on.

With the draw Leicester momentarily move up to seventh place on 36 points, while Stoke remain in 19th place on 26 points and are without an away win since October.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A cagey start to proceedings in the sun saw Riyad Mahrez and Badou Ndiaye both go close from distance as Leicester had plenty of corner kicks but couldn’t get behind a solid Stoke defense.

Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy launched counter attacks when they could but the Algerian was off target on a few occasions as Claude Puel‘s men toiled without much reward in the afternoon sun.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke then delivered a hammer blow just before half time as Shaqiri picked up a pass from Joe Allen, drove towards the Leicester defense and curled home his third goal in as many games to give the Potters a half time lead.

A perfect opening 45 minutes for Lambert’s side as Shaqiri had his seventh goal of the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Leicester battled back into the game but Stoke almost went 2-0 up as Kasper Schmeichel‘s loose pass found Shaqiri and his long-range effort skipped just wide of an empty net.

The Foxes were then gifted a way back into the game as Albrighton’s powerful cross from the right was towards Vardy and although the English striker didn’t touch the ball, he did enough to put off Butland as the ball hit him and went into his own net to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Energized by the equalizer Leicester battered the Stoke goal as Butland saved superbly from Mahrez, then Vardy drilled an effort across goal which found Harry Maguire who hit the post with a shot.

Late on Charlie Adam‘s backward header let Mahrez race clear but a combination of Butland and Kurt Zouma kept him out and from the resulting corner Matty James hit the post with a header.

Stoke hopes $20m Ndiaye cures what ails them
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Stoke City completed what could be a season-saving pickup with the addition of Senegalese international Badou Ndiaye on Wednesday.

[ MORE: JPW grades every PL club ]

The $20 million price tag means only Giannelli Imbula has cost Stoke more money in the market.

Ndiaye, 27, comes from Galatasaray and is 14-times capped by Senegal with a goal. In a certain light, his success would make amends for what failed to materialize with the promising Imbula signing.

He led Gala in tackles and fouls per match. Here’s Paul Lambert‘s take on his new midfielder, from the Stoke Sentinel:

“I met him yesterday and had a quick chat and I know these things are pretty prolonged at times and I’m never sure until somebody says. I’m delighted he’s here.

“He’s going to the World Cup with Senegal. He’s a really good player which good energy for the game. Big crowds won’t faze him because he’s played in big grounds in Europe.

January addition Moritz Bauer has already started to stabilize the Potters’ back line with Kurt Zouma and Geoff Cameron, and Ndiaye could step up the middle of the park with Joe Allen.

Stoke City 2-0 Huddersfield: Lambert bags debut win

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  • Stoke win their first game with Paul Lambert in charge
  • Huddersfield are winless in six PL games, losing three on the spin
  • Stoke climb out of bottom three; goals from Allen, Diouf

Stoke City beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium with goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf handing Paul Lambert a win in his first game in charge of the Potters.

Lambert’s men were the better team throughout and broke through twice in the second half in quick succession against a poor Huddersfield side.

With the win the Potters moved out of the relegation zone on 23 points, while Huddersfield slipped closer to the relegation zone and are just three points above the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke started the better of the two teams as Charlie Adam flashed an effort just wide from long range, while at the other end Steve Mounie flashed an effort just wide. Huddersfield had some

Ryan Shawcross headed over and although Stoke dominated possession, they struggled to get in-behind a stubborn Huddersfield defense.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Potters’ best chance of the first half came last. Xherdan Shaqiri raced free right on half time but Jonas Lossl made a great stop to deny the Swiss winger lobbing him.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Shaqiri had an acrobatic effort ruled out for offside, yet Lambert’s men soon made up for their missed chances. Choupo-Moting’s cross from the right found Allen at the back post and he slotted home to send the home fans, and Lambert, wild.

Soon after Lambert was jumping for joy on the sidelines agains as Choupo-Moting’s pass found Shaqiri who teed up Diouf to finish and make it 2-0.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke almost added to their healthy lead late on but they settled for a massive three points to breath new life into their battle against relegation and drag Huddersfield into the mire.

Man Utd legend Giggs beams after Wales hiring

Ben Birchall/PA via AP
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Ryan Giggs has accepted an offer to coach the Wales men’s national team, calling it “an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

His unveiling comes a day after reports he’d be hired by Wales for his first full-time managerial gig. The 44-year-old had a 2-1-1 record as interim boss of Manchester United.

“I want to get the fans off their seats,” Giggs said. “I’m going to give it my all like I did when I played. It is probably the proudest moment of my life to lead my country.”

[ MORE: Stoke fills manager post ]

Giggs made nearly 1000 appearances for Manchester United and 64 more for Wales in a glittering 23-year playing career. He won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and two UEFA Champions League trophies.

From the BBC:

“I’m not on social media so I haven’t seen much of the criticism. I know the criticism is going to come but the way to combat that is to win games.

“The beauty of football is everyone has an opinion. It’s about striking that balance. All I can do is work as hard as I can to produce a winning team.”

Wales missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after a dramatic run to the semifinals of EURO 2016. The side has Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Ashley Williams, and Ben Davies amongst its assets.

Transfer rumor roundup: Liverpool demand $220m for Coutinho

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year deceptive, draining, trying time of the Premier League campaign: transfer speculation season.

[ MORE: Wenger appears resigned to losing Sanchez, Ozil this summer ]

Manchester United’s search for their full backs of the future could lead to a $70-million bid (release clause) for Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam, according to Portuguese publication Record, which also states 22-year-old Spaniard Alex Grimaldo would then move to Napoli for $35 million. The 23-year-old Algerian international has been on the radars of Man United-sized clubs for a couple years now, but is still only just entering the prime of his career.

Arsene Wenger appears resigned to the fact that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will leave Arsenal this summer, for free, but insists that no offers have been made to acquire either of the Gunners’ star attackers this month.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City, Spurs in action on Tuesday (TV, stream info) ]

Whenever If Philippe Coutinho makes his long-rumored move from Liverpool to Barcelona, he will only be allowed to do so for a fee of nearly $220 million — only $43 million short of Neymar’s world-record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Huddersfield Town are reportedly “in talks” to sign 23-year-old Monaco defender Terence Kongolo. The Dutch international only moved from Feyenoord to Ligue 1 in the summer, for $15 million. UPDATE: Huddersfield have announced the loan signing of Kongolo.

Stoke City have rejected West Ham United’s offer for midfielder Joe Allen, according to ESPN UK. The Potters will reportedly continue to reject any bids, at any price, that come in for the 27-year-old Welshman.