Leicester City 5-3 Manchester United: Foxes complete comeback for the ages (video)


In a game to be remembered for years, Jamie Vardy capped a mind-boggling comeback by newly-promoted Leicester City as they came from 3-1 down to defeat a stunned Manchester United.

The Red Devils thought they’d built on their demolition of QPR last week by ripping up the Foxes as well, up 2-0 by the 16th minute and 3-1 just after halftime.

But the brilliant Vardy and his newly-promoted side then put together one of the most impressive 20 minutes of Premier League soccer we’ve seen this year as they equalized in minutes and scored the winner in emphatic fashion.

It was the Red Devils who proved the first beneficiaries of a spell of attacking ability on both ends, as three goals burst through in a six-minute span to start the game.

Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie combined to put Manchester United up early 1-0 as United’s newest member picked up his first assist for his new club and his Dutch strike partner grabbed his season’s first goal.

[RELATED: Full match replay]

Falcao burst uncontested down the left flank and lofted in an easy cross to van Persie at the back post. Nobody marked the Dutchman, and he easily poked home the opener for his first goal of the year.

Then just three minutes later it was the other pair, as Angel Di Maria played a one-two with Wayne Rooney and finished a lovely chipped goal and a 2-0 lead before the 16th minute mark.

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Leonardo Ulloa’s brace led the way as Leicester City brought Manchester United to its knees with a 2nd half for the ages.

The former Real Madrid man motored through the midfield and found Rooney for a lay-off.  His English teammate gave it back, and as the Argentinian winger plodded into the box he cut under the ball and sent it looping over Casper Schmeichel for a brilliant chip goal.

It appeared to be another easy day on the job for the new-look Manchester United squad, but it wouldn’t be as Leicester City makes a living on remaining in the back of the minds of top teams.

They hit back within two minutes as Leo Ulloa received a stellar cross from way out by the corner flag by Jamie Vardy and headed it powerfully past a frozen David De Gea.

Manchester United had some injury troubles as the first half dragged on, as Johnny Evans went down and immediately needed a substitute with what appeared to be a muscle issue.  Minutes later, Di Maria went skidding down the hard border of the pitch under a challenge from Ritchie De Laet and needed treatment for scraping his hand and wrist.

The second half provided more of the same as Falcao clattered the crossbar four minutes after the break with a stunning blast that had easily beaten Schmeichel. It would be a precurser to another moment in the 57th minute with Di Maria firing on goal from outside the box, and the low strike was redirected hockey-style by Ander Herrera on its way through for a third goal.

But Leicester’s given Arsenal and Everton fits this season so far, and they weren’t out of it at all.  The impressive Vardy probably fouled Rafael on the break down the left, but after no call from Mark Clattenburg, Rafael’s frustration got the better of him, and he bodied Vardy down to which Clattenburg responded by giving a penalty.  David Nugent finished powerfully from the spot, and Leicester were within one yet again.

This time, they’d find a way back. The penalty lifted the Foxes to the ascendency, and two minutes later their midfield maestro Esteban Cambiasso equalized by latching onto the ball in traffic in the box and slicing into the bottom corner.  Manager Nigel Pearson was set to bring Cambiasso off when he scored, and right on cue he sent the substitute back to the bench.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ RELATED: Premier League stats ]

The Foxes continued to swarm and it would eventually pay off for a goal to be remembered. Vardy went through all alone and made no mistake against De Gea one-on-one for the winner.

Ulloa added another as United crumbled meekly, with Tyler Blackett sent off for a last-man foul on Vardy, and Ulloa touched home the penalty as Manchester United had nothing left to offer.

Instead of jumping into the top seven in the table, Manchester United remain slumped in 11th place, while Leicester City makes it two wins in two to go above United into sixth place.


Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Hammond, Cambiasso (King 71′), Nugent (James 75′), Drinkwater, Vardy (Schlupp 85′), Ulloa.

Goals: Ulloa 18′, 83′ (pen), Nugent (pen) 62′, Cambiasso 64′, Vardy 79′

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans (Smalling 30′), Blackett, Rojo; Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Mata 76′); Rooney; Falcao (Janazaj 72′), Van Persie.

Goals: Van Persie 13′, Di Maria 16′, Herrera 57′
Discipline: Blackett (straight red) 83′

LIVE, FA Cup 4th round: Spurs visit Southampton in all-PL tie

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The fourth round of the FA Cup is set to get into full swing at 10 a.m. ET, with eight ties kicking off simultaneously, including a pair of all-Premier League clashes.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Southampton host Tottenham Hotspur in the premier matchup of the time slot, with Jose Mourinho desperate for Cup success amid a difficult run of results at Tottenham. Elsewhere, Burnley will host Norwich City at Turf Moor. Fellow PL sides West Ham United, Newcastle United and Sheffield United are also in action.

Check the schedule of fixtures below, and hit the link above to follow along with the scores and results. As always, check back on PST for recaps and a roundup of all the action.

Saturday’s FA Cup schedule (all games at 10 a.m. ET, unless otherwise noted)

Southampton v. Tottenham Hotspur
Burnley v. Norwich City
West Ham United
v. West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United v. Oxford United
Millwall v. Sheffield United
Portsmouth v. Barnsley
Coventry City v. Birmingham City
Reading v. Cardiff City
Hull City v. Chelsea — 12:30 p.m. ET

FA Cup: Leicester survive trip to Brentford, reach 5th round (video)

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Brendan Rodgers made nine changes, but Leicester City were simply too much for an equally rotated Brentford side in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Griffin Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Leicester took an early lead through Kelechi Iheanacho with just four minutes on the clock, and that was all the Premier League’s third-place side needed to see off the EFL Championship’s third-place side. Dennis Praet gets no official credit for the goal, but it was the Belgian midfielder’s seeing-eye through ball that carved the Bees up and found James Justin for the routine cross followed by Iheanacho’s tap-in finish.

It was far from easy or straightforward for the Foxes, though, as Brentford turned things around following the first-half whistle an so nearly pulled level just past the hour mark. Emiliano Marcondes whipped in a curling, in-swinging cross that needed the slightest of redirects to find the back of the net, but Halil Dervisoglu couldn’t get a toe on the ball and watched helplessly as it hit the inside of the post and settled on the ground a yard or two off the goal line.

Bryan Mbeumo came off the bench and put the ball into the back of Leicester’s goal with his first touch, but the Frenchman was correctly ruled offside when Rico Henry looped the ball over the Foxes’ defense.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Eriksen

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After months of posturing and working the back channels, it would appear that Christian Eriksen is close to getting his transfer away from Tottenham Hotspur.

[ VIDEO: Haaland has played 59 minutes, scored 5 goals for Dortmund ]

After months of posturing and holding firm, it would appear that Tottenham are close to getting their desired transfer fee for Eriksen despite his contract having only six months remaining.

After months of posturing and unsettling the 27-year-old star, it would appear that Inter Milan are close to getting their Danish international playmaker.

In the end, it would appear that everyone is going to get what they want, only no one truly gets what they want. Spurs spent the last year trying to sign Eriksen to a new contract; Eriksen wanted to leave in the summer and will feel like they wasted six months of his career; much like Inter would have been desperate to bolster their squad in the summer.

[ MORE: Mourinho in favor of PL’s winter break, but says timing all wrong ]

$22 million — the amount Spurs will reportedly receive from Inter — will hardly be enough to replace such an influential player, therefore Spurs come out of this long-running saga the worst of the bunch.

As for Eriksen and Inter, it’ll be a challenge for the player to immediately find his footing and shine ever so brightly in the midst of a title race, especially after the side has already slumped to back-to-back draws and fallen four points back of Juventus. Though, reportedly tripling his wages from Spurs to Inter leaves Eriksen the biggest winner in a mostly no-win situation.

Struggling Atleti in unfamiliar territory under Simeone

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MADRID — This is uncharted territory for many Atletico Madrid fans.

Few other times in recent years have they seen their team struggle so much under Diego Simeone.

[ VIDEO: Haaland has played 59 minutes, scored 5 goals for Dortmund ]

Few other times have they seen their coach fail so often while trying to put the team back on track.

Atletico hit a new low under Simeone on Thursday when it was eliminated by third-division club Cultural Leonesa in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey. The 2-1 loss in extra time was the team’s worst result in the cup competition since losing to third-tier club Albacete at the same stage in 2011-12.

Two days after that loss in 2011, Atletico hired the then-mostly unknown Simeone to replace Gregorio Manzano, a move that kick-started one of the club’s most successful eras and led to a Spanish league title, two Europa League trophies and two Champions League final appearances.

Atletico did go through difficult moments under Simeone, including when the team failed to advance past the group stage of the Champions League a couple of seasons ago.

“There were always complicated moments in past seasons, maybe after we didn’t make it in the Champions League, or when we lost in the Champions League finals,” Simeone said. “After being at the club for so long, things like this can happen, although they shouldn’t happen.”

There is a greater sense of urgency about the team’s struggles this time.

In addition to Wednesday’s embarrassing Copa del Rey elimination, Atletico lost the Spanish Super Cup final to Real Madrid on Jan. 12, and already is eight points off the Spanish league lead after 20 matches.

[ MORE: Report: Man United’s list of possible new strikers revealed ]

Before, there used to be a notion that Simeone would quickly turn things around and put the team back on track, but this time there aren’t many signs things will improve again soon.

Atletico has yet to impress since undergoing its biggest squad revamp under Simeone at the end of last season, when it lost Antoine Griezmann and other veteran players such as Filipe Luis and Diego Godin. Young Portugal forward Joao Felix, who arrived to replace Griezmann after a transfer from Benfica worth more than 120 million euros ($133 million), has yet to meet expectations.

More concerning, Atletico is not being nearly as effective as it used to be, when it always seemed to find a way to win matches despite not playing well.

The team remains solid defensively — it has the second-best defense in the Spanish league with 14 goals conceded — but it hasn’t been able to do much in attack recently.

“Everything is harder when you can’t score,” Simeone said.

Only seven teams have scored fewer goals than Atletico’s 22 in the 20-team standings.

Diego Costa has been mostly out injured, and Victor “Vitolo” Machin and Alvaro Morata haven’t done much in attack. Morata is the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals in all competitions, and no one else has more than five.

“We have to be humble enough to be self-critical,” Simeone said. “We need to keep working to try to be ready for the challenges that we have ahead of us. We have a very good squad and I’m sure that the results that we want will start arriving soon.”

Atletico biggest chance to rebound will come next month against European champion Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League. The first leg will be on Feb. 18 in Spain.