Shinji Okazaki

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Chelsea 0-0 Leicester City: Foxes frustrate Blues

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  • Vardy, Okazaki go close
  • Chilwell sent off in second half
  • Chelsea’s fourth-straight draw in all competitions

Chelsea were held at Stamford Bridge by 10-man Leicester City on Saturday, with the Foxes having the better chances and looking more dangerous throughout.

Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea looked sluggish and didn’t get going, while Leicester could have scored two or three in the first half alone but lost some steam in the second half as Ben Chilwell was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession.

With the point, Chelsea missed a chance to close the gap on the two Manchester clubs ahead of them, while the Foxes stay in eighth place.

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Leicester had the first big chance of the game as Ben Chilwell skipped into the box on the left and picked out Shinji Okazaki but the Japanese forward failed to get the right connection on his finish.

Moments later Jamie Vardy flicked just wide from Chilwell’s cross and Leicester kept pouring forward as Wilfried Ndidi had a header clawed away brilliantly by Thibaut Courtois as Chelsea’s defense were all other the place.

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Riyad Mahrez ripped Chelsea’s midfield apart time and time again in the first half as the home side struggled to get going.

Cesc Fabregas did force Kasper Schmeichel into a fine stop but Conte’s boys were sluggish in the opening 45 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

In the second half Leicester pressed forward and Mahrez went down in the box under a challenge from Andreas Christensen but no penalty kick was given as it looked like the Algerian took a dive.

Mahrez had a shot which deflected just wide moments later as the Foxes did all of the pressing.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Foxes were reduced to 10-men late on as Chilwell was given a yellow card for late tackles on Willian and Victor Moses within the space of four minutes, but the Foxes were worthy of getting a least a point.

Southampton 1-4 Leicester: Foxes thrash sorry Saints

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  • Okazaki scores twice
  • King, Mahrez grab a goal each
  • Four wins on the spin for Leicester

Leicester City beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday with former Saints boss Claude Puel seeing his side put on a show during his first return to Southampton.

The Foxes were 3-0 up at half time and it could’ve been more with Riyad Mahrez scoring a fine goal, then Shinji Okazaki and Andy King tapping home before the break.

Saints pulled one back through Maya Yoshida early in the second half as the hosts threatened an unlikely comeback but another devastating counter from Leicester saw Okazaki finish Southampton off.

With the win Leicester are in eighth place and five points off the top four with just one defeat in 12 games, while Saints have 18 points and are just four points above the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints started the game well as Maya Yoshida went close from two corners but Leicester always looked lively on the break and Jamie Vardy almost found Shinji Okazaki early on.

The home side didn’t heed that warning and Mahrez made it 1-0 to Leicester with a fine finish as he ran towards the box after two Saints players slipped up trying to tackle him, then struck low into the far corner from 25 yards out. Another beauty for the Mahrez collection.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Leicester took control of the game after going ahead with Okazaki’s deflected shot heading towards the top corner but Fraser Forster tipped wide.

Moments later the Japanese international through he had made it 2-0 but his shot was cleared off the line by Mario Lemina. Vardy was then brilliantly denied by Forster but soon after it was 2-0 as Christian Fuchs volleyed towards goal and Okazaki cleaned up in front of the net.

And it got worse for Saints as the Foxes flooded forward and from a set piece center back Harry Maguire whipped in a great cross for King to make it 3-0. Charlie Austin had a shot on target which Kasper Schmeichel beat away but that was as good as it got for Saints. A stunning first half for Leicester.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Saints were stunned and Manolo Gabbiadini came on at half time to try and salvage some pride.

They at least scored. A corner from the right found Yoshida and his header towards goal missed Tadic on the line and went in. 3-1. It should have been 3-2 soon after but somehow Schmeichel denied Austin from close range after a fine cross from Ryan Bertrand.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Any hope of a remarkable Saints comeback was extinguished with 20 minutes to go as a poor cross-field ball from Cedric found Mahrez who played the ball to Vardy and his cross was swept home by Okazaki for his second and Leicester’s fourth goal of the game. Game over.

PL AT HALF: Man City, Leicester rolling; Everton leads away

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Seven Premier League matches are rioting through Wednesday, with five Top Four contenders in play.

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Swansea City 0-2 Manchester City

David Silva made it 1-0 before a seeing-eye free kick from Kevin De Bruyne (above) doubled the advantage.

Southampton 0-3 Leicester City

Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki, and Andy King have all scored as Claude Puel‘s Foxes are helping him extract revenge from his former side.

Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth

It’s a rainy, rainy night at Old Trafford, where Romelu Lukaku has headed a Juan Mata cross past Asmir Begovic.

Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

The Reds haven’t found too many ways past the packed-in Baggies.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Unlikely goal scorer Serge Aurier‘s 40th minute goal has Spurs ahead at Wembley, as the Ivorian’s cross drifted over the keeper and into the upper 90.

West Ham United 0-0 Arsenal

Not much cooking at the London Stadium.

Newcastle United 0-1 Everton

Matt Ritchie and Mikel Merino have struck the wood work for Newcastle, whose goalkeeper helped Wayne Rooney nab another Toffees goal.

 

Premier League preview: Newcastle vs. Leicester City

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  • Newcastle United welcome back Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu and has a clean bill of health.
  • Leicester City has no new injury concerns with Matty James (Achilles) and Robert Huth (ankle) the only absentees.
  • Newcastle United have lost only two of their last 17 home league meetings with Leicester City, although the Foxes won on their last visit to St James’ Park in November 2015.
  • Jamie Vardy is one away from becoming the first Leicester City player to hit 50 Premier League goals.
  • Shinji Okazaki scored in both fixtures the last time these sides met in 2015/16, making Newcastle the only team he’s scored in more than one match against in the Premier League.

Newcastle has lost five of its last six games, but they return home to try and turn things around with Leicester City coming to St. James Park on Saturday evening. (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Rafa Benitez has plenty of big-game experience – usually in UEFA Champions League matches – but now his Newcastle side is in a relegation battle and needs a big performance to create some space between the side and the drop zone.

Leicester City meanwhile has won two games on the bounce and has lost just one game in its last nine fixtures, showing good form with Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Damarei Gray showing their talent on a week-by-week basis.

What they’re saying

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on his team’s recent results: “We have to improve as a team to be sure we can compete against some of the top sides. The teams at the top at the moment, we are a little bit far away, but still we could do something against Liverpool, for example. I think it is important that the next two games at home, if we can compete, we can win. If we cannot compete – like happened in the second half against Manchester United or Chelsea – we cannot win. As I have said before, we have to maximize what we have, and what we have is fantastic fans behind the team, at home and away. So, they have to show again that they support the team because these are the players we have.”

Leicester City manager Claude Puel on his side’s performance since joining the club: “I don’t know if I expected this but the most important thing is to continue this work and to keep building momentum and confidence. It is important to get results for confidence and to try and improve all the time. Time will tell. For me it is about keeping a good focus and concentration on the next game and to try and play a strong game.”

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Prediction: Newcastle will come out with plenty of energy and spirit, but defensive frailties, even with the return of Jamal Lascelles will cause them to lose as the quality of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez take over. Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle

Leicester City 1-0 Burnley: Foxes on the rise

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  • Foxes unbeaten in three
  • Gray slots at back post
  • Leicester outshoots Burnley 16-14

Leicester City’s rise continued at the detriment of Burnley’s Top Four ambitions, as the Foxes used a Demarai Gray goal to win 1-0 at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The win moves Claude Puel‘s bunch ninth with 20 points, while seventh-place Burnley is level with Spurs on 25 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Blonde-haired Riyad Mahrez swept in a cross from the left, and Gray was at the back post to put Leicester ahead within the first quarter hour of play.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson threatened to level the score only to be foiled by Kasper Schmeichel.

The second half saw plenty of chances for the Foxes to claim all three points, with Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez both denied late in the contest.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]