Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

State of the USMNT: A focus on Jurgen Klinsmann and his future

1 Comment

After the first batch of the final round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers ended in two defeats for the U.S. national team, plus their final game of 2016 in the books, now seems like a good time to discuss where the USMNT is at.

[ MORE: Klinsmann takes full responsibility following Costa Rica blowout ]

In a two-part series, ProSoccerTalk’s writers will discuss the players and the coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, and assess the current state of the USMNT.

Here, we focus on coach Klinsmann.


After the 0-2 start to the Hex, is it time for Sunil Gulati to cut ties with Klinsmann?

Matt Reed: I personally believed it was time to give Klinsmann the boot after the Mexico playoff loss in 2015 but there’s been many instances where the German has held on by the skin of his teeth. Losing two important matches in the Hex and conceding six goals in the process is beyond disastrous though, and while I won’t be surprised if Gulati rides this out, I just don’t see any logic in keeping a manager that has lost his locker room.

Joe Prince-Wright: At this point it is a legitimate question but I won’t believe it until I see it. U.S. Soccer has given Klinsmann so much time to turn things around and build something sustainable but there’s been very little progress, if any, over his five years in charge. If they get rid of him, they have to have somebody lined up. Gulati has got a big decision to make but I think Klinsmann stays until next March at least. If he doesn’t get at least 4 points from the next two qualifiers, Klinsmann has to go.

Nick Mendola: I feel I’m probably among the last to pull the chute here, as Klinsmann as technical director has given me a lot more pause. If Gulati did it, I would not think twice or blame him. But the U.S. will qualify for Russia, I believe that, regardless of coach.

Kyle Bonn: Absolutely. That performance was brutal, and not just by the players on the field. Jermaine Jones had no business starting, especially after his abysmal performance against Mexico. Timmy Chandler may be playing well for his club, but so has DeAndre Yedlin, and he didn’t even get a chance. Somehow, Klinsmann didn’t make a sub until down 2-0 in the 70th minute. The players looked lost, uninspired, and without direction. As Brian Sciaretta put it on Twitter, it is a hard fact that every player with the USMNT right now is playing worse for the national team than he is for his club, and with such a collective sag in form, that’s on the coach.

Andy Edwards: If you didn’t think it was time to cut ties (or at least consider doing so) after 2014 and/or 2015, you’ve married yourself to the idea of Klinsmann being in charge through 2018. You probably put the blame on the players, or the system, or whatever excuse he provided that day/week/month/year, so now you have to live with him.

Eric Scatamacchia: Going into these two matches I thought Klinsmann had figured out the best tactics for this team, but he made some head-scratching decisions against Mexico and Costa Rica. The 3-5-2 (or 3-4-3) against Mexico was a huge mistake, as evidenced by Klinsmann’s decision to switch to a 4-4-2 in the first half. The selection of Timmy Chandler over DeAndre Yedlin at right back and the decision to play Matt Besler out of position at left back instead of playing Fabian Johnson on the backline were both curious choices. Firing Klinsmann would be a huge decision with potentially damaging ramifications as the U.S. fights for a World Cup spot, but I think it’s definitely time to take a close look at Klinsmann’s status.


Many names have been thrown about in the event that Klinsmann is sacked. Which manager deserves the next shot to coach the USMNT? 

Matt: I think it shows desperation that Bruce Arena’s name has been thrown into the ring, but honestly the U.S. is in a desperate position. I don’t think that Honduras and Panama (the USMNT’s next two opponents) are world beaters but they are more than capable of knicking points away from the U.S. In the long-term I’d like to see someone like Jesse Marsch, Caleb Porter or Greg Berhalter get an opportunity but for now someone with experience like Arena would likely be enough to get the USMNT back to the World Cup.

Joe: I’m really not sure. I like the idea of Bruce Arena coming in on an interim basis. He will guide the USA through a rough patch. After that… Peter Vermes or Sigi Schmid? Both are American and have vast MLS experience but there really are a lack of top notch candidates available. That’s probably why Klinsmann is still in a job.

Nick: I really hope it’s not Bruce Arena, as it was reported last night he was lined up as a fallback option. I don’t want to rehash old times.

Yet if the move was done now, I would want it to be someone with international experience (Sam Allardyce doesn’t count). I don’t want to see an inexperience coach sorting out what it’s like to deal with the calendar, etc. Miguel Herrera, Marcelo Bielsa, Vicente del Bosque.

Kyle: Bruce Arena is the most experienced and the most deserving. There has been pining for Dominic Kinnear as well, who would be a decent – if not uninspiring – choice. Jesse Marsch could be had, and I would support that decision, although he seems slightly green for such a dire situation and his teams have come up small in big games in the recent past.

Andy: Bruce Arena is the knee-jerk answer, because he’s been there before (taken a team further than Klinsmann or Bob Bradley at a World Cup), and could walk into the job and stabilize the camp in a day. He’d get the most out of a talent-rich player, and the players would play for him. Keep in mind: we’re not talking about hiring Klinsmann’s replacement (2018 and beyond) here, only the one who’d finish out this cycle and maximize every aspect of the program/team at the World Cup. It’s pretty clear they quit on Klinsmann Tuesday night, and there’s no coming back from that.

Eric: Oscar Pareja would be my choice. Pareja’s success with developing youth talent has been well documented during his time at FC Dallas and his talents would be a fit for what the U.S. needs. The U.S. has a number of young players showing a lot of promise and Pareja is the best candidate to unlock that potential.


Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones were noticeably displeased with the 3-5-2 to start the Mexico match, but was Klinsmann’s bigger issue his tactics or player selection? 

Matt: I just think both players are nearing if not past their primes. It may not be a popular answer but Klinsmann needs to move in a different direction in the center of the park. The U.S. was completely overwhelmed in these past two matches, and that spells disaster every time when you can’t control the midfield. Healthy options like Sacha Kljestan and Danny Williams could potentially provide a spark come March but there’s a long gap between matches so things can certainly change.

Joe: Mixture of both. Look, the players are partly accountable too. Klinsmann can only do so much but chucking them into a 3-5-2 (he called it a 3-4-3 but whatever) before their biggest game of the Hex against Mexico is just the latest in a long line of tactical mishaps. Klinsmann has had many of his tactical decisions questioned over the years and although he can argue he can only do so much with the players he has, he’s not getting the best out of them and isn’t building an identity about this team.

Nick: If you asked this question 48 hours ago, I would’ve given you a different answer. After watching Jones and Bradley play another woof-worthy match on Tuesday, I wonder if any formation would’ve worked with them in the middle. That said, if I had to choose one, it would be player selection. Timmy Chandler and Matt Besler were tricky calls.

Kyle: It’s tactical. Klinsmann had no business producing such an experiment in such an important and meaningful game. The players had little time to develop the tactical direction, and it showed. Bradley said after that they received very little tactical instruction. The change in formation made an immediate impact. How could he get it so wrong?

Andy: The players just about pick themselves at this point, in my eyes. For the first time in a long time, there are players all over the field not only playing meaningful minutes for their club sides, but doing so at a high level. The lineup just about picked itself against Mexico, yet Klinsmann decided he was too clever for conventional logic, that he could outsmart everyone else, and we know how that played out. Juan Carlos Osorio went into that game with two separate game plans, prepared for the USMNT to play two different ways, and dictated the one that would work best two seconds after kickoff. Bradley and Jones had to plead with Klinsmann to change to something they’d played before after 25 minutes. Just think about that.

Eric: Bradley and Jones looked out of sorts in the 3-5-2, but even when the team switched to a 4-4-2, and played in the more familiar formation for more than a game and a half, Bradley and Jones still failed to make an impact. Both players have been huge parts of the USMNT for years, but these last two matches show it could be time to make some changes.


The central midfield continued to look overwhelmed on Tuesday night, particularly Jones. Was there any way to justify Klinsmann’s infatuation with playing the Rapids midfielder for over 70 minutes? 

Matt: For me, Jones should’ve been off the field at halftime. The USMNT was in a situation where they were only down one goal and a spark like Sacha Kljestan could have at least given the illusion that Klinsmann cared about getting a result. There’s no way that from what I saw from Jones in the first half that he was going to wow anybody after the break.

Joe: No. I think Jones is done. Look, he has quality but he’s just too erratic and it looks like the latest bout of injuries has hampered him massively.

Nick: Well, the match was over and Jones already picked up the yellow that would keep him out of March’s match versus Honduras. That’s all I got.

Kyle: Absolutely not. Sacha Kljestan should have started, and at the VERY least should have come on at halftime. What on Earth was Klinsmann seeing in Jones that could have possibly justified his inclusion in the team, let alone left on the field until the game was lost?

Andy: You try telling Jones he’s not playing, or he’s coming off the field before the final whistle. The problem isn’t so much that he played, or how long he played, but that he’s asked, at the age of 35, to play as part of a midfield-two. He will gladly run himself into the ground if you ask him to, because he knows no other way to play, but you’re clearly not utilizing him to his full ability.

Eric: Simply put, no. Jones hadn’t started a match since July 4 and it showed. To start him in two matches within five days was a poor decision from Klinsmann. His faith in Jones can be understood with the number of times Jones has come up big in important spots for the U.S., but he is not the player he once was and Klinsmann must recognize that. I would have loved to see Sasha Kljestan getting on the ball in the midfield and helping connect the midfield to the forwards.


Christian Pulisic continues to be one of the USMNT’s bright stars in the attack. Did Klinsmann completely concede the match after taking off the Borussia Dortmund man?

Matt: The match was already likely gone but to take off your best player at that point definitely showed a “throwing in the towel” mentality. That moment right there was really the tipping point for me on the night. Just infuriating.

Joe: It was a situation where he didn’t want Pulisic to suffer and be scarred by this experience. Every time he got on the ball I sat up and took notice. He was clearly the USA’s most potent attacking threat.

Nick: Simply put, yep. With Chandler, Jones, Besler, Gonzalez, Bradley all struggling, he took off an electric player who wasn’t being supplied the ball. What a brutal choice.

Kyle: What to do down 2-0 in a must-win game? Why, sub off your best player, of course! I’m not so sure it was Klinsmann conceding the match as much as it was him – in typical Klinsmann fashion – blaming someone totally undeserving of blame.

Andy: Indefensible. For 160 minutes against Mexico and Costa Rica, he was the best player on the field.

Eric: It was an odd decision from Klinsmann. The U.S. was down 2-0 at the time of the substitution and the game was not out of reach. Pulisic was by far the best midfielder for the U.S. against Costa Rica and his departure took away what little hope the team had of scoring.


The absence of Geoff Cameron was certainly a big blow to the U.S. backline. What were your thoughts on Klinsmann’s decisions at the back? Should DeAndre Yedlin have been included in the starting XI?

Matt: Obviously you couldn’t have the same backline from the Centenario because of Cameron’s injury but John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Fabian Johnson were all confident when working together earlier this year. I thought Timmy Chandler did well at times but Yedlin has been so good at club level it really begs the question as to why he wasn’t out there. Also, why play Besler out of position when you have Johnson in the team? Klinsmann could have just as easily used someone else on the wing like Lynden Gooch, Julian Green and even Graham Zusi available and then slid Johnson into LB.

Joe: When I heard the news Cameron wouldn’t make it through injury, I feared the worst for the USA. John Brooks got plenty of the plaudits this summer for his Copa America displays but Cameron was alongside him, using his experience to guide him throughout he held things together. Cameron was a machine. Brooks had been so shaky before that and has been over the past two games without Cameron. Their partnership at center back is key for the USMNT. I would’ve liked to have seen Yedlin start at right back and a flat back four in both games was necessary. That said, I can kind of understand why Klinsmann went with three at the back against Mexico because we saw how easy Gonzalez and Brooks were exposed against Costa Rica. The USA’s strongest back four is clearly: Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson.

Nick: Yedlin should’ve absolutely started, and I would’ve liked to see Fabian Johnson at left back. I don’t think Sacha Kljestan wins the game for the Yanks, but I would’ve liked to see him out there. Also, why not try Steve Birnbaum over Gonzalez for the second match?

Kyle: I can completely understand Chandler’s inclusion in the Mexico game, considering his recent club form. But after it became apparent that his form would not carry over to the national setup this time around, how could Jurgen justify sticking with Chandler? The loss of Cameron hurt, but it did not excuse the results. Brooks is a valuable piece to this national team, and Omar has also been playing well and has put in good performances in the past. Yet, they appeared completely disjointed and on their own. Clearly, the coach is unable to bring cohesion to the defensive line.

Andy: Whoever Klinsmann picked in defense, they would have been stranded on an island and emergency-defending all night long. There’s not many players in the world who can do that for 90 minutes straight, against any level of competition, and not end up looking like the USMNT did on Tuesday. A solid defensive performance is more than just the players on the backline.

Eric: I think Omar Gonzalez was the right decision at center back although he certainly didn’t have a great 2-game performance. Yedlin should have been the starter at right back. He hasn’t done anything to have his starting spot taken away and to give it to Chandler seemed unwarranted. Chandler may be having a great Bundesliga season, but he hadn’t played with the USMNT in months and his performances with country have not been up to his club standard. Yedlin is more familiar with the U.S. players and system and should have been the starting right back.

NBC Sports Premier League schedule

4 Comments

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

1 Comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.