Leicester deny Ranieri’s Fulham victory

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  • Kamara put Fulham ahead
  • Maddison equalized
  • Fulham remain bottom of PL table
  • Leicester unbeaten in six games

Leicester City fought back to draw 1-1 at Fulham on Wednesday, as Claudio Ranieri had to settle for a point against his former team at Craven Cottage.

Aboubakar Kamara put Fulham ahead in the first half, but James Maddison equalized in the second half to grab a point for the Foxes.

Fulham move on to nine points for the season but stay bottom of the table, while Leicester remain in ninth place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

The first big chance of the game fell to Leicester as Kelechi Iheanacho was played in by James Maddison, but Sergio Rico stood tall and made a big save. Fulham responded well, as a free kick dropped down to Calum Chambers and his shot across goal was tipped wide superbly by Kasper Schmeichel.

At the other end Leicester threatened on the break and a cross into the box found Marc Albrighton, but his effort went over the bar.

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Leicester continued to create chances on the break and from set pieces, and skipper Wes Morgan nodded one of those on target but Rico saved as the Foxes battled their way into the game.

But it was Fulham who took the lead as Aleksandar Mitrovic flicked the ball forward and Kamara turned on the touchline and curled into the far corner to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Tom Cairney came on at half time for Fulham as the Cottagers sat back, soaked up pressure and hit Leicester on the break whenever they could.

Cairney smashed a shot inches wide as Fulham looked to try and seal the deal late on, but they couldn’t.

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Shinji Okazaki, one of Ranieri’s favorites in his Leicester days, pulled the ball back and Maddison rolled home his second goal in as many games to make it 1-1.

Maddison had a chance to win it late on but missed the target, and that would have been a little harsh on Fulham in an even encounter.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.