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

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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.

source: Getty Images
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.

LINEUPS:

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′

USMNT striker Sargent out for rest of 2019

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American forward Josh Sargent will be shut down for the rest of 2019 thanks to a groin injury.

Werder Bremen said the injury first arose during USMNT duty and has bothered the 19-year-old in recent weeks.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sargent has two goals and three assists in 13 matches this season, playing mostly a center forward or primary striker role.

Here’s Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt:

“Since this is a small, deep-set muscle, the problems only occur at certain, very specific loads, which is why he was able to play and train for so long with problems. We will now give Josh’s injury time to properly heal, then he will get back to training in January.”

There are four more match days in the Bundesliga before the league goes on holiday break until mid-January.

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 15

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The congested schedule means we’ve had two match days since we last took stock of the Premier League.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

We’ve got a brand new Top Five (well, in terms of the four behind eventual champions Liverpool) and two teams dipping to season lows on our ol’ litmus test.

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]


20. Watford — As many losses as goals (9), and that figure is one more than the Hornets’ total points. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them on the verge of full-time manager No. 3, as full-time manager of Watford is a bit more like seasonal help.
Last week: 18
Season high: 17
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-0 v. Burnley
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Southampton

19. Everton — A top half team in terms of talent seeks the manager who can organize its way out of the drop zone. Might it be this guy? Better than the alternatives.
Last week: 17
Season high: 5
Season low: 19
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Norwich City
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Leicester City

18. Norwich City — The first team to 10 losses is four points shy of 17th.
Last week: 16
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 2-0 at Everton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Arsenal

17. West Ham United — A gigantic ball of “blah.” Should thank Everton for existing so people aren’t more focused on this particular collection of currently squandered talent.
Last week: 20
Season high: 5
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-2 v. Spurs
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea

16. Bournemouth — It’s just not good enough, is it? To have held onto Callum Wilson and get another step up in class from Philip Billing and still be so wildly inconsistent.
Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Wolves
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Spurs

15. Southampton — It really feels like the Danny Ings revival show could rival any story for the best individual one in the league this season. Happy to see Ralph Hasenhuttl get some good performances, as he was being scapegoated in a hurry.
Last week: 19
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Arsenal
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Watford

14. Aston Villa — Allowing a league-worst 18.8 shots per game, but staying in the mix thanks to Tom Heaton and Tyrone Mings.
Last week: 13
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: Won 2-0 v. Newcastle United
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Sunday at Manchester United

13. Arsenal — The Gunners back line gets a lot of heat, and rightly so, but maybe a little help from the midfield would be nice considering Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz have combined for 39 blocks. Sokratis is third in the PL and Luiz fourth.
Last week: 12
Season high: 4
Season low: 12
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Southampton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Norwich City


12. Brighton and Hove Albion — First win ever away to Arsenal is another feather in the cap of Graham Potter, especially nice considering they had lost four on the bounce.
Last week: 14
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Leicester City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Liverpool

11. Newcastle United — No one is punching above its weight more than Steve Bruce‘s Magpies, and they’ve been aided in a big way by Martin Dubravka. The Slovakian goalkeeper has a league-best 44 saves from shots inside the 18.

Also, according to Understat’s xG numbers, they should’ve lost to the Blades. In fat, the xG table says they should be dead last. Life’s funny like that. It’s Steve Bruce’s world and we’re living in it.
Last week: 15
Season high: 11
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-0 at Aston Villa
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Man City

https://understat.com/match/11786

10. Sheffield United — Just lost for the first time since September. That’s amazing.
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 3-3 v. Manchester United
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Wolves

9. Burnley — Striker Chris Wood has been credited with 12 “big chances missed” by Sofascore, more than any player in the league.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Won 3-0 at Watford
Up next: 10 a.m. Saturday v. Crystal Palace

8. Spurs — Jose Mourinho learned Wednesday that Moussa Sissoko is nice for the squad, but not to be leaned on.
Last week: 9
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 3-2 at West Ham United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth

7. Crystal Palace — Wilfried Zaha‘s 68 dribbles are 13 more than anyone else in the league.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

6. Manchester United — Ole had himself a moment in outfoxing Mourinho without Pogba or Martial.
Last week: 8
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Drew 3-3 at Sheffield United
Up next: 11:30 a.m. Sunday v. Aston Villa

5. Chelsea — We told you, Frank. WE TOLD YOU.
Last week: 4
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham United

4. Manchester City — Aymeric Laporte is still two months away and that’s two months too long.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Chelsea
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Newcastle United

3. Wolves — This is going to sound nuts, but there are days I’d rather see Liverpool on my schedule than Wolves. The Reds are obviously better weaponized, but Wolves come at you in waves, man, and Nuno Espirito Santo is doing it without his best center back.
Last week: 5
Season high: 3
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 at Bournemouth
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Sheffield United

2. Leicester City — How’s this for an unsustainable stat? Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira rank first and second in the league in tackles, with 67 and 62.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 2-0 at Brighton and Hove Albion
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Everton
1. Liverpool — Big Virgil Van Dijk is on track to become the first Premier League player to complete 1000 passes this season, currently at 953.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 2-1 at Crystal Palace
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Brighton and Hove Albion

Report: Everton targeting former Porto, Fener boss Pereira

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Everton might be looking to the Chinese Super League for its next manager.

Vitor Pereira is the top target for the Merseyside set, report our partners at Sky Sports, as the Toffees begin life after Thursday’s firing of Marco Silva.

Pereira, 51, has been in management since 2002, leading Porto, Olympiacos, Fenerbahce, and current club Shanghai SIPG amongst others.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

He’s won titles in Greece, China, Saudi Arabia, and his native Portugal, but there are suitors beyond the Toffees’ reported interest.

The 51-year-old is currently one of the highest paid coaches in the world and was recently offered the job of managing the Chinese national team.

It is understood he is currently considering a new contract offer from Shanghai, which will guarantee he earns £30m a year.

Duncan Ferguson is the interim boss as Everton hosts Chelsea this weekend.

MLS teams no longer will play every opponent each season

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NEW YORK (AP) Major League Soccer is breaking away from soccer’s tradition of having each team play every opponent in its league.

MLS is expanding to 26 teams in 2020 with the additions of Miami and Nashville but will keep a 34-game regular-season schedule. A team will play each of its 12 conference opponents home and away, and will face only 10 of the 13 teams in the other conference.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Nashville opens Feb. 29 at home against Atlanta and David Beckham’s Inter Miami starts March 1 at Los Angeles, the league said Thursday in announcing all home openers. Defending champion Seattle opens March 1 against Chicago.

Other Feb. 29 openers are Colorado at D.C., New England at Montreal, LA Galaxy at Houston, Toronto at San Jose, Philadelphia at Dallas, Salt Lake at Orlando and Kansas City at Vancouver. Games the following day include New York City at Columbus, Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls and Minnesota at Portland.

Home openers on March 7 are Chicago at New England, Red Bulls at Salt Lake, NYC at Toronto, Cincinnati at Atlanta, Houston at Kansas City, Orlando at Colorado and Vancouver at LA Galaxy. Four more home openers are set for March 14: Dallas at NYC, LA Galaxy at Miami, D.C. at Cincinnati and San Jose at Philadelphia.

The final home openers are Red Bulls at Minnesota on March 15 and Atlanta at Chicago on March 21 as the Fire return downtown to Soldier Field, their home from 1997-2005. The played in suburban Bridgeview from 2006 through last season.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports