Leicester City 3-0 Newcastle United: Foxes continue incredible revival

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Leicester City have spent 140 days at the bottom of the standings this season but have peaked at the perfect time as they sealed their fifth win in six games at home against Newcastle Untied on Saturday.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

The Foxes prevailed 3-0 at the King Power Stadium after a sensational start which saw them go 2-0 up after 17 minutes with goals from Leonardo Ulloa and Wes Morgan. Ulloa added another at the start of the second half against an awful Newcastle outfit who played with 10-men for over 30 minutes after Mike Williamson was sent off. Daryl Janmaat was also red-carded in stoppage time, as the Magpies finished the match with nine-men and their season hit a new low.

Leicester has all the momentum as they continue to climb clear of the bottom three, while Newcastle is on a eight-game losing streak. With the win the Foxes moved onto 34 points and are four points clear of the drop zone, while the Magpies are just two places and a point ahead of Leicester.

 [ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Leicester flew out of the traps and Newcastle gave the ball away from the kick off and a move down the Foxes’ left saw Jeffrey Schlupp win them a corner. Marc Albrighton whipped the ball in and Ulloa headed home at the near post to send the home fans wild. 1-0 to Leicester after just 38 seconds.

Newcastle responded well after going behind as patient build up play saw Ayoze Perez get free on the right hand side of the box but he fired his shot wide of the far post. The Spaniard looked lively but Newcastle failed to capitalize on some dangerous moments and were soon 2-0 down.

In the 17th minute a free kick from Albrighton on the left flank took out the entire Newcastle defense and Leicester’s captain Morgan prodded home. 2-0, as the dream start continued. Newcastle went close through Emmanuel Riviere’s snapshot which clipped the side-netting but John Carver’s side looked shell-shocked after an awful opening.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time Newcastle had a great chance to pull one back as Perez played in Riviere but the French attacker slipped at the crucial moment, much to the amusement, and relief, of the home fans.

After the break it took Leicester just three minutes to make it 3-0 as Riviere shoved Marcin Wasilewski in the back as a corner kick came in. Ulloa stepped up and slammed home a penalty kick. 3-0, lights out for Newcastle.

Leicester were all over Newcastle and Schlupp’s cutback was dragged wide by Albrighton when he should have at least hit the target. Ulloa had a header well saved by Tim Krul. Newcastle’s afternoon took a turn for the worst when Williamson clattered into Vardy and was shown a second yellow, as the remainder of the game played out with the Magpies in damage limitation mode.

Janmaat was also shown a second yellow late on for fouling Vardy and the away fans continued to shown their unrest towards owner Mike Ashley as their side were 17 points ahead of Leicester two months ago. Eight defeats later and the Foxes are just one point behind and Newcastle is in real danger of dropping into the bottom three.

LINEUPS

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Wasilewski (De Laet, 68′), Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, Cambiasso (Hammond, 74′), James, Mahrez, Schlupp, Ulloa (Kramaric, 78′), Vardy

Goals: Ulloa (1′, 48′), Walker (17′)

Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett, Gutierrez, R.Taylor (De Jong, 58′), Colback, Sissoko, Riviere (Anita, 64′), Perez (Armstrong, 74′)

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.