2015 MLS predictions: Cup winners? MVP? Lampard or Gerrard? Kaka or Giovinco?

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It’s prediction time! With the 2015 Major League Soccer season kicking off this week, we’ll tell you who wins every major trophy, award and how many goals some of the league’s biggest newcomers will score.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s 2015 MLS preview series ]

U.S. Open Cup winners

Joe Prince-Wright: Seattle Sounders. They love an Open Cup, don’t they?
Andy Edwards: FC Dallas. Semifinalists in 2014, it’s Oscar Pareja’s easiest route to a trophy in an unbelievably tough Western Conference.
Nicholas Mendola: New England Revolution.
Kyle Lynch: Seattle Sounders have dominated the Open Cup as of late, and they can do it again.
Duncan Day: Portland Timbers. They’ve made a few promising international acquisitions to put them in better playoff position, and I think Caleb Porter will see ideal result outside of league play.
Kyle Bonn: LA Galaxy.

Supporters’ Shield winners

JPW: LA Galaxy. Arena’s boys will kick on after Gerrard’s arrival.
Edwards: Seattle Sounders. Full season No. 2 for Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey will (somehow) be better than the first.
Mendola: New England Revolution, though look out for Toronto if they get steady play between the sticks.
Lynch: LA Galaxy. They won the league last season and aren’t looking back.
Day: NYCFC. Once Lampard comes to town I expect a surge from these guys. They have the capability to strengthen their squad before the window closes if the need dictates.
Bonn: Seattle Sounders are the favorite here, and with each team owning up to a heavy weakness, they’re the good pick.

MLS Cup matchup and winners

JPW: LA Galaxy vs. Toronto. Toronto to win. Bold statement, I know, but I’m feeling it.
Edwards: Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew SC. Gregg Berhalter’s side is the most complete team in the Eastern Conference, capable of winning home-field advantage in the playoffs, and they’ll have learned from last year’s disappointment.
Mendola: Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy, because the fix is in!
Lynch: LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution. The Cup goes back to Hollywood.
Day: LA Galaxy 2-3 Orlando City SC: Orlando makes its way into the East finals against Toronto and manages a slim-margined win. Kaka really proves his worth in the playoffs.
Bonn: Toronto may not win the Supporters’ Shield, and they may not even get a #1 seed, but come playoff time they’ll have had a full season to play together, and will likely be a team geared for a playoff setting. It’s why I picked them in the Open Cup, and why I’ll pick them to get here. Toronto and Seattle, and the Sounders win it.

source: Getty Images
Sebastian Giovinco, Juventus (and now, Toronto FC)

MVP

JPW: Sebastian Giovinco. How they managed to get the “Atomic Ant” I don’t know, but I’m glad they did. Wonderful talent.
Edwards: Obafemi Martins. Dempsey will miss a month for the Gold Cup, and Martins showed last year he can carry the team when he’s not around.
Mendola: Michael Bradley. The new TFC captain has a wealth of talent in front of him and a better defense than you think.
Lynch: David Villa. The Spanish legend leads New York City to the playoffs.
Day: Sebastian Giovinco. I believe he has the opportunity to be the most dangerous player in MLS due to his combination of pace and skill. He will produce a fair amount of both goals and assists, and that’s where he will set himself apart in the MVP race.
Bonn: Giovinco. What a signing.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | USMNT ]

Newcomer of the Year (including returning MLSers)

JPW: Jozy Altidore. Expect the big man to find the back of the net regularly. Man, I’m bullish on Toronto this year, huh?
Edwards: Jozy Altidore. Once we put our USMNTers-should-be-in-Europe biases aside, we all agree he’s going to score a hundred goals this season, right?
Mendola: David Villa. It almost feels like cheating to write this, as he’ll be going well with Mix Diskerud and company before he even gets the aid of Frank Lampard.
Lynch: David Villa. Even though he’s 33, the MLS rookie will light it up.
Day: Octavio Rivero of Vancouver Whitecaps. Goal leader of the Chilean Primera Division last year, he has buried 20 goals in his past 33 appearances. With Kenny Miller gone for good, Rivero looks to be the new target man for the Caps, whose midfield should mesh well with the Uruguayan.
Bonn: Frank Lampard is going to be monstrous for NYCFC, because he clearly has a ton left in the tank, but he’s only got a half year to make an impact. If Giovinco’s the MVP, he’d obviously qualify here as well.

source:
David Villa has been the leading man for NYCFC so far.

Golden Boot winner

JPW: David Villa. I think the Spanish veteran will rip MLS defenses apart. Clinical and from the Robbie Keane school of finishing.
Edwards: Obafemi Martins.
Mendola: Josmer Volmy Altidore.
Lynch: Villa, Villa, Villa. As you can see, I think David Villa is going to be good. Really good.
Day: David Villa. The best forward talent in MLS, Villa scored a solid amount of goals last year (15 in all competitions) with Atletico Madrid as the No.2 man to Diego Costa, so a big goal tally in MLS should naturally suit the Spaniard.
Bonn: Dom Dwyer.

Who’s the Lee Nguyen-esque (veteran) Breakout Player of the year?

JPW: Nat Borchers leading Portland’s defense. I expect the Timbers to have an impressive season.
Edwards: Bernardo Anor. Quick — tell me what team Anor plays for. If you don’t know now, you will be April or May. Can’t believe Berhalter let him go.
Mendola: Sam Cronin, Colorado Rapids.
Day: Benny Feilhaber. Sporting KC have a good squad as usual, and Dom Dwyer will likely serve as the team’s main impact player still, while Feilhaber will build off one of his best seasons in MLS on a similar but smaller scale than Nguyen did.
Bonn: I’m not so sure this is a breakout, but I love Jamison Olave back at RSL. Their new-look defense is well put together.

Who’s the Gyasi Zardes-esque (young) Breakout Player of the year?

JPW: Umm…Tony Taylor for NYCFC?
Edwards: Luis Gil. We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Gil to have the breakout year. This is finally it.
Mendola: Thomas McNamara of New York City FC. He showed plenty of promise for Chivas USA last season before a crushing injury. If he can get get on and stay on the field in NYC, he will shine.
Lynch: Erik Palmer-Brown. The 17 year old is one of America’s brightest prospects, and this could be the year he becomes a household name in MLS.
Day: Patrick Mullins, NYCFC. The former New England Revolution players showed great flashes of skills for the Revs. Mullins could provide an immediate impact, especially with the service of Mix and Lampard.
Bonn: Love me some Khiry Shelton.

Cascadia Cup winners

JPW: Seattle Sounders will just edge out Portland and Vancouver. Expect it to be a tight race up in the Pacific Northwest.
Edwards: Vancouver Whitecaps.
Mendola: Vancouver Whitecaps. Carl Robinson is doing things, man.
Lynch: It’s a toss-up, but I’m taking the Portland Timbers.
Day: The Whitecaps are set to extend their recent streak and success against Seattle and Portland, but may not enjoy a better league finish than both the Timbers and Sounders.
Bonn: This is going to be FUN this year…but when isn’t it? I’m going with the boring pick of Seattle simply because of my pick to get them the Shield, but it will be close. The other two teams are very much improved.

source: Getty Images
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard

Better first six months in MLS — Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard?

JPW: Steven Gerrard. He can slot into LA seamlessly, while NYCFC will hit plenty of speed bumps along the way during their inaugural season as a club.
Edwards: Lampard. His team will need him to do more from day one, and I still don’t know how Gerrard is going to fit into that Galaxy team.
Mendola: Lampard. Honestly, it feels like Lampard has more left in the tank, or at least in his legs. Maybe it all comes down to who finishes more, Nemec and Villa or Keane and Zardes, but I think Lampard is better at this stage in his career.
Lynch: Lampard’s great form for Manchester City carries over to New York City.
Day: Both will be coming off Premier League seasons, so I wouldn’t expect very quick impacts, but over the course of the year, I see David Villa and Lampard combining to create the best attacking combo in MLS, with the Chelsea great enjoying top-notch performances.
Bonn: Gerrard is beyond his best and Lampard is looking sluggish down the stretch after a full year in the Premier League. Father Time has stricken both, but Lampard still has more left in the tank. I like him more once he returns from England.

Greater points tally — New York City FC or Orlando City SC?

JPW: New York City FC. Having the likes of David Villa, Frank Lampard and Mix around will win you plenty of points. I’m pretty confident Jason Kreis’ boys will make the playoffs.
Edwards: New York City FC. The trust I have in Jason Kreis outweighs the questions that come with the Frank Lampard saga, but only by a little.
Mendola: New York City FC. And they’ll make the playoffs.
Lynch: New York City FC. I fully expect to see a playoff game at Yankee Stadium this season.
Day: New York City FC has the greater point tally. I don’t think Orlando will have that flashy of a regular season, but in the playoffs, their Designated Players will start to flourish in critical situations.
Bonn: Liking NYCFC. They may be somewhat even through the first half, but Lampard will make a significant difference.

[ WATCH: Diskerud hits a screamer from 20 yards ]

Will Toronto FC (finally) make the playoffs?

JPW: Yes. 100 percent. Gulp… I hope I’m right but with players like they have, it’s difficult to see them not making it and going deep.
Edwards: No. 3 seed behind the Crew and Revolution.
Mendola: Yes.
Lynch: This is the year, Toronto. Jozy Altidore scores some big goals and Toronto FC find themselves in the postseason.
Day: Toronto is poised to be a big contender in the East because I think the additions of Jozy and Giovinco will also help spur Bradley’s play, making for an especially dynamic group.
Bonn: Absolutely. They’re much better put together this time around. They might sputter early, but they’ll get it together.

[ REPORT: Orlando City using Kaka to lure Mario Balotelli to MLS ]

source:
Joze Altidore, Toronto FC

Jozy Altidore — over/under Jermain Defoe’s 2014 goal tally (11 in 19 games)?

JPW: Over. Jozy will rip it up.
Edwards: Over, by nearly 10.
Mendola: Over, if only because Giovinco and Bradley will be in Toronto all year, and Defoe had to deal with the World Cup absence of Bradley.
Lynch: Jozy Altidore finds the form that made him one of America’s most feared strikers, and scores at least 15 times for Toronto.
Day: Very close if you’re looking at the number goals per game. But Jozy will probably play a few more games, and I expect his tally to be around 20.
Bonn: Over. In the first half of the season.

[ WATCH: Bradley, Giovinco combine for Altidore’s first TFC goal ]

More goals/assists combined — Kaka or Sebastian Giovinco?

JPW: Giovinco. I still think he’s an incredible addition and will become a star of MLS for many years to come.
Edwards: Kaka. Caveat: If healthy, Kaka is the 2015 MVP. Let’s not forget this is the 2007 World Player of the Year, arguably the best player in the world for a time.
Mendola: Giovinco. Sorry, Kaka fans, but as bizarre as this sounds he has far more to prove this season.
Lynch: Giovinco is teaming up with Michael Bradley in the midfield and Jozy Altidore up top, while Kaka is walking into a brand new club. I’ll take the Italian, and look for Giovinco’s name to be near the top of the MVP discussion  as well.
Day: Giovinco. The ex-Juve man will work well with Jozy and Bradley, while Kaka will tend to be more of a one-man show.
Bonn: Giovinco. Kaka is nice but, at his age, nowhere near a Sebastian Giovinco in his prime.

Who misses the playoffs in the West?

JPW: Colorado, Vancouver, FC Dallas and San Jose.
Edwards: Colorado, San Jose, Houston and Real Salt Lake.
Mendola: San Jose, Colorado, Portland and Houston.
Lynch: San Jose, Colorado, Real Salt Lake and Vancouver.
Day: San Jose, Houston, FC Dallas and Colorado.
Bonn: San Jose, Vancouver, Colorado, Portland. Tough pick here. Will be very, very tight.

First head coach fired

JPW: Tough to say. I’m thinking Colorado continue to struggle and Pablo Mastreoni will be out. Legend of MLS, but not sure the Rapids will flourish once again this season.
Edwards: Frank Klopas in Montreal. Joey Saputo has the track record for having a quick trigger finger, and if Klopas don’t make the playoffs in the East, he’s out.
Mendola: Caleb Porter. I’m kidding, because I don’t think Portland will pull the trigger during another disappointing year. i think there’s something to be said for no one being fired this season. Lot of new faces, lot of established ones. Jesse Marsch?
Lynch: Ben Olsen’s entire playing and coaching career has been in the nation’s capital, but if DC United start slow, he could be the first to go.
Day: We’ll see if any team sinks way below expectations that warrants a quickly-decided firing, but by the end of the season, it may be Fire coach Frank Yallop under scrutiny.
Bonn: Frank Klopas is going to struggle at Montreal, and I think he’s the first to go.

NBC Sports Premier League schedule

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The new NBC Sports Premier League schedule for the 2019-20 season has been released, with time and dates for the upcoming matchweeks confirmed and here’s how you can watch it all live on TV in the USA.

[ WATCH: Premier League video ] 

With games spread out across multiple days and many in separate time slots, there are lots of changes to your regular schedule as the league returns on June 17 after being suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Games will be played in empty stadiums and at home venues.

The full TV schedule for the games this month are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com, the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold and the new Peacock streaming service from NBC.

Below is the new schedule for the Premier League on NBC Sports from June 17 to July 22 , as we will release the dates and times for the final matchweek of the 2019-20 season when they become available and how to watch them in the USA.


Premier League: How to watch, schedule in USA (all times EST)

Matchday 29

Wednesday, June 17: Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United
Wednesday, June 17: Man City 3-0 Arsenal

Matchday 30

Friday, June 19: Norwich 0-3 Southampton
Friday, June 19: Tottenham 1-1 Man United
Saturday, June 20: Watford 1-1 Leicester
Saturday, June 20: Brighton 2-1 Arsenal
Saturday, June 20: West Ham 0-2 Wolves
Saturday, June 20: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Sunday, June 21: Newcastle 3-0 Sheffield United
Sunday, June 21: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
Sunday, June 21: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Monday, June 22: Man City 5-0 Burnley

Matchday 31

Tuesday, June 23: Leicester 0-0 Brighton
Tuesday, June 23: Tottenham 2-0 West Ham
Wednesday, June 24: Man United 3-0 Sheffield United
Wednesday, June 24: Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa
Wednesday, June 24: Norwich 0-1 Everton
Wednesday, June 24: Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth
Wednesday, June 24: Liverpool 4-0 Palace
Thursday, June 25: Southampton 0-2 Arsenal
Thursday, June 25: Burnley 1-0 Watford
Thursday, June 25: Chelsea 2-1 Man City

Matchday 32

Saturday, June 27: Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves
Sunday, June 28: Watford 1-3 Southampton
Monday, June 29: Crystal Palace 0-1 Burnley
Tuesday, June 30: Brighton 0-3 Man United
Wednesday, July 1: Everton 2-1 Leicester
Wednesday, July 1: Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle
Wednesday, July 1: Arsenal 4-0 Norwich
Wednesday, July 1: West Ham 3-2 Chelsea
Thursday, July 2: Sheffield United 3-1 Tottenham
Thursday, July 2: Man City 4-0 Liverpool

Matchday 33

Saturday, July 4: Norwich City 0-1 Brighton
Saturday, July 4: Leicester 3-0 Crystal Palace
Saturday, July 4: Man United 5-2 Bournemouth
Saturday, July 4: Wolves 0-2 Arsenal
Saturday, July 4: Chelsea 3-0 Watford
Sunday, July 5: Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United
Sunday, July 5: Newcastle United 2-2 West Ham
Sunday, July 5: Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa
Sunday, July 5: Southampton 1-0 Man City
Monday, July 6: Tottenham 1-0 Everton

Matchday 34

Tuesday, July 7: Crystal Palace 2-3 Chelsea
Tuesday, July 7: Watford 2-1 Norwich City
Tuesday, July 7: Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City
Wednesday, July 8: Man City 5-0 Newcastle
Wednesday, July 8: Sheffield United 1-0 Wolves
Wednesday, July 8: West Ham 0-1 Burnley
Wednesday, July 8: Brighton 1-3 Liverpool
Thursday, July 9: Bournemouth 0-0 Tottenham
Thursday, July 9: Everton 1-1 Southampton
Thursday, July 9: Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

Matchday 35

Saturday, July 11: Norwich City 0-4 West Ham
Saturday, July 11: Watford 2-1 Newcastle United
Saturday, July 11: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Saturday, July 11: Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea
Saturday, July 11: Brighton 0-5 Manchester City
Sunday, July 12: Wolves 3-0 Everton
Sunday, July 12: Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace
Sunday, July 12: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal
Sunday, July 12: Bournemouth 4-1 Leicester City
Monday, July 13: Man United v. Southampton, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN

Matchday 36

Tuesday, July 14: Chelsea v. Norwich, 3:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Burnley v. Wolves, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Man City v. Bournemouth, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Newcastle v. Tottenham, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Arsenal v. Liverpool, 3:15 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Everton v. Aston Villa, 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Leicester v Sheffield United, 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Crystal Palace v. Man United, 3:15 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Southampton v. Brighton, 3:15 p.m. ET
Friday, July 17: West Ham v. Watford, 3 p.m. ET

Matchday 37

Saturday, July 18: Norwich City v. Burnley, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, July 19: Bournemouth v. Southampton, 9 a.m. ET
Sunday, July 19: Tottenham v. Leicester, 11 a.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Brighton v. Newcastle, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Sheffield United v. Everton, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Wolves v. Crystal Palace, 3:15 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 21: Watford v. Man City, 1 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 21: Aston Villa v. Arsenal, 3:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 22: Man United v. West Ham, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 22: Liverpool v. Chelsea, 3:15 p.m. ET

Premier League standings

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The Premier League is back a three month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. Below you will find a reminder of the Premier League standings as we get back to business.

[ MORE: Latest PL TV schedule ]

With three matchweeks remaining in the 2019-20 Premier League season, there is plenty to play for up and down the league and the standings are extremely tight.

Liverpool have wrapped up the Premier League in stunning fashion over Man City, with the reigning champions and current second-place side eager to focus on cup competitions.

Three of the top four should stay there unless Leicester City’s form dips considerably, but the race for fourth and fifth should be fierce. We may know whether fifth is a Champions League place after scheduled June 8-10 meetings to hear Man City’s appeal over its European ban.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

With between nine and 10 matches left for everyone and eighth potentially being a Europa League spot, all the teams between fourth and 11th still have European hopes in the balance. That would change should Norwich City or Newcastle win the FA Cup, so call it 13 clubs.

The action is going to come fast and often, with the league putting together a staggered schedule of kickoff times that will make matches even more of an all-weekend affair.

Below are the Premier League standings in full, as we will updated them throughout the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

PREMIER LEAGUE STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Liverpool 35 30 3 2 76 27 49 17-1-0 13-2-2 93
 Manchester City 35 23 3 9 91 34 57 13-2-2 10-1-7 72
 Chelsea 35 18 6 11 63 49 14 9-3-5 9-3-6 60
 Leicester City 35 17 8 10 65 36 29 10-4-3 7-4-7 59
 Manchester United 34 16 10 8 59 33 26 10-5-2 6-5-6 58
 Wolves 35 14 13 8 48 37 11 7-7-4 7-6-4 55
 Sheffield United 35 14 12 9 38 33 5 10-3-5 4-9-4 54
 Tottenham Hotspur 35 14 10 11 54 45 9 11-3-4 3-7-7 52
 Arsenal 35 12 14 9 51 44 7 8-6-3 4-8-6 50
 Burnley 35 14 8 13 39 47 -8 8-3-6 6-5-7 50
 Everton 35 12 9 14 41 52 -11 8-6-3 4-3-11 45
 Southampton 34 13 5 16 43 56 -13 5-2-10 8-3-6 44
 Newcastle United 35 11 10 14 36 52 -16 6-8-3 5-2-11 43
 Crystal Palace 35 11 9 15 30 45 -15 6-4-7 5-5-8 42
 Brighton & Hove Albion 35 8 12 15 36 52 -16 5-6-7 3-6-8 36
 West Ham United 35 9 7 19 44 59 -15 5-3-9 4-4-10 34
 Watford 35 8 10 17 33 54 -21 6-6-6 2-4-11 34

 Bournemouth 35 8 7 20 36 60 -24 5-6-7 3-1-13 31
 Aston Villa 35 8 6 21 38 65 -27 6-3-9 2-3-12 30
 Norwich City 35 5 6 24 26 67 -41 4-3-11 1-3-13 21

Leicester ‘too soft, lacked courage’ after stunning collapse at Bournemouth

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Leicester ‘lacked courage’ according to reaction from their manager and captain as an inquest was held in the aftermath of their stunning collapse at Bournemouth on Sunday.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

The Foxes led 1-0 at half time but a few minutes of madness saw them make huge errors, have Caglar Soyuncu sent off and concede four goals as they lost 4-1 at relegation-threatened Bournemouth and are now in real danger of not qualifying for the Champions League.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game in an interview, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers shared his reaction lambasted his side for their unbelievable collapse at Bournemouth

“We lacked courage in the second half, to take the ball,” Rodgers said. “We had good opportunities and decent control in the first half. They changed their shape a little bit. For the first 15 minutes you’ve got to grind it out. They’ve got nothing to lose and have to come after the game. You’ve got to grind it out in football sometimes. You can always play fantastic football. That first 15 minutes we did that but we weren’t making quick enough angles, weren’t taking responsibility on the ball. We concede the penalty, which is then, okay, we get to 1-1. But we still have to show a greater mentality in the game. It is something that surprised me, to be honest. In all the time I’ve been here I mentioned in the week about the strength of mentality in this team. But second half we were too soft in too many ways. That was the big disappointment. To end up losing 4-1, it was a big surprise, especially after the first half.”

Leicester captain and goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, made a huge error for the first goal as he smashed the ball against Wilfred Ndidi from a goal kick and that set off the entire collapse.

“It is obviously not good enough from us. It is a good wake up call for us and hopefully it’s there in time,” Schmeichel said. “We’re accountable. I’m very, very sorry to our fans for that second half particularly. It starts with me on that goal kick because it changes the game.”

Schmeichel then went on to say that the collapse shouldn’t happen and questioned the focus and work ethic of his teammates.

“This is football. These things can happen. They shouldn’t but they can do. We are going to have to reflect on that and make a positive out of it. We are going to have to work a hell of a lot harder than we did second half if we want to achieve anything this season. It is an eye-opener. It doesn’t matter who you are playing against in the Premier League, if you don’t run, track your runners, if you don’t win your tackles or have the courage to have the ball, like we didn’t have second half, then anyone can beat you.”

With Sheffield United, Tottenham and Chelsea left to play, Leicester finish the season by playing three teams around them in the table.

Rodgers admits he has learned a lot about his team from this defeat and it is a big opportunity missed in their hunt for the Champions League.

“I think it is a great learning game for me and looking at the team because I think everyone is classifying us being up there and we have shown great talent to be up there but we still have much to do. In terms of being up there consistently and showing again that you need to see the likes of that through,” Rodgers said. “It was a big opportunity. The door was wide open to jump up into third place. To have that level of performance in the second half, it shows we have a lot of work to do.”

Bournemouth stun self-destructing Leicester

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Bournemouth stunned Leicester City to secure a remarkable 4-1 comeback win as Brendan Rodgers’ side led at half time but hit the self-destruct button in the second half.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Jamie Vardy gave Leicester the lead but a few minutes of madness cost Leicester dear. Kasper Schmeichel gave away a penalty kick which Junior Stanislas scored to make it 1-1 and 60 seconds later Bournemouth went 2-1 up as Dominic Solanke slotted home as Schmeichel should have done better. Stanislas deflected effort made it 3-1 and then Solanke made it 4-1 as Bournemouth ran riot and Leicester totally unravelled.

The win moves Bournemouth on to 31 points, three points from safety with three games to go, while Leicester sit in fourth on 59 points.


Three things we learned, Bournemouth – Leicester

1. Bournemouth up for the fight: This was the first time in two years Bournemouth came from behind to win a Premier League game and boy did they time it to perfection. Howe’s young side made the most of awful errors from Leicester and you could see them grow in confidence throughout the second half. This is a huge result for Bournemouth in their relegation scrap as they now face Man City, Southampton and Everton in their final three games of the Premier League season. Two wins from those three games should keep them up as they battle with Watford, West Ham and Aston Villa to try and stay up. At half time they looked relegated. At full time they looked anything but.

2. Leicester implode to leave Champions League dream in tatters: Brendan Rodgers watched on in disbelief as his side collapsed in the second half to leave their Champions League dream. Three minutes of madness saw a mistake from Schmeichel led to a penalty kick, then Soyuncu got himself sent off for lashing out as the Foxes just lost the plot. This has been coming. They haven’t played well for months and both Man United and Chelsea look better set to finish third and fourth. If Leicester don’t qualify for the Champions League it will be one of the biggest collapses in PL history. After 24 games of the season, they were 14 points ahead of Man United. Tomorrow they could fall two points behind Man United. Leicester face Sheffield United, Tottenham and Man United in their final three games and the way they are playing, and now without the suspended Soyuncu, they could easily lose all three.

3. Bournemouth have belief: Sure, they were given this win by Leicester but Bournemouth grabbed the opportunity with both hands. This is a massive boost in their relegation battle. They have to get at least six points from their last three games but that is doable. West Ham and Watford square off on Friday and ahead of their big South Coast derby against Southampton on Sunday, there is huge belief Bournemouth can drag themselves out of trouble.

Man of the Match


Early on Bournemouth whipped in some good crosses but Callum Wilson just couldn’t connect in the box as the hosts started well.

Ayoze Perez and Kelechi Iheanacho went close as Leicester woke up and a mistake from Dan Gosling then allowed Leicester to open the scoring.

Iheanacho’s effort was flicked off the line but Vardy was waiting to pounce and tap home his 23rd goal of the season, as the ultimate fox in the box put the Foxes 1-0 up.

Danjuma with a terrible ball back and set up Vardy as Nathan Ake deflected his shot over the bar. Ake injured himself with that block as Steve Cook replaced him, while at the other end Kasper Schmeichel kept out David Brooks’ fine effort.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Bournemouth put pressure on Leicester and Cook clipped a low ball to the back post which just evaded Wilson.

Out of nothing, Kasper Schmeichel smashed the ball against Wilfred Ndidi from a goal kick and the ball bounced to Wilson who was brought down by Ndidi and a penalty kick was awarded. Stanislas slotted home to make it 1-1 and moments later Bournemouth were ahead.

Solanke was played in and his low shot squirmed under Schemeichel and just over the line, as Bournemouth’s players went wild and in the aftermath it got even better as Caglar Soyuncu was sent off after a mad moment which saw him kick Callum Wilson while he was on the floor in the net.

Late on Bournemouth went 3-1 up as Stanislas’ shot deflected off two Leicester defenders and in, then it got even better as Solanke poked home his second and Bournemouth’s fourth to complete a truly remarkable comeback.

Sub Sam Surridge could have scored twice as he hit the bar and headed over as Leicester totally gave up.