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Puel, Schmeichel fume at referee after Leicester loss to Arsenal

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While the world looked on at the performance by Mesut Ozil in awe, Leicester City manager Claude Puel and Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel were left stewing after the match at a first-half decision which they believed changed the game completely.

Had the referee awarded a penalty for a Rob Holding handball in the first half with Leicester City up 1-0, the game would likely have turned out very differently. Holding, already on a yellow card, would have likely been sent off and Leicester City would have a chance from the spot to go up 2-0.

“I think [the first half was] our best half since the beginning of the season,” Puel said after the match. “We deserved to score more goals and make the difference in the first half. I didn’t understand why the referee didn’t whistle for the penalty, because in this moment it was a penalty, it was a second yellow card and so a sending off for the Arsenal player. This situation can change the finality of the game.”

Puel said that once the call was not made, and Arsenal was able to equalize before the break, Leicester City’s level of play dropped enough for the Gunners to pounce.

“I regret a little our beginning of the second half. We lost a lot of balls and we gave them the ball too easily to put us under pressure, but we have had the chances to score and to be leading in the game with the header from Ndidi. A lot of regret in this game because we showed a lot of quality and we were not lucky with the refereeing decision.”

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was in agreement with his manager about the key first-half decision. “We got no help from the official,” Schmeichel said. “I’ve never seen a clearer penalty. It’s tough to take because we were so good in the first half but in the second we’ve got to do a lot better than we did.”

At halftime, the replay showed the ball clearly hitting Holding’s forearm while above his head. However, the NBC studio crew argued that the penalty was not called because Holding’s arm was hit into the ball by the Leicester City attacker who attempted a header, and that although his arm was above his head, it was not in an unnatural position due to the natural human instinct to balance the body while jumping into the air.

Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City: Ozil conjures magic in Gunners victory

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They say Mesut Ozil is one of the best players in the Premier League, when he wants to be. He wanted to be on Monday afternoon.

The Gunners captain scored the opener, and he truly shone while orchestrating two of the most brilliantly constructed goals of the Premier League season to help Arsenal shake off an early Hector Bellerin own-goal to earn a 3-1 victory at the Emirates.

Leicester City attacked well from the onset and would go ahead just seconds past the half-hour mark as they push down the left. Ben Chilwell burst down the flank past Alexandre Lacazette and behind Hector Bellerin just enough that as Bellerin hoped to recover, Chilwell’s cross clipped Bellerin’s foot and into the back of the net, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno already diving the wrong way to stop the cross.

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Arsenal surged into the asencency after falling behind, and nearly found an equalizer shortly after. A long ball was just out of reach for a streaking Alex Iwobi behind the defensive line, Granit Xhaka came close on a long-range free-kick, Aaron Ramsey whiffed on a free header at the near post on a corner, and Iwobi’s effort from the right was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Eventually, the pressure would prove fruitful and the Gunners would equalize just before the break. As the Gunners looked to build out of the back, Mesut Ozil charged through the midfield on the ball, and after spraying it right to Bellerin, he got the ball right back in front of net and had plenty of space for a one-touch finish on the run.
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After the break, Arsenal had a big chance as Lacazette’s shot pinged around and fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan whose scissor kick swerved across the face of goal and just wide of the left post. Still, Leicester proved pesky and nearly put themselves back in front in the 58th minute as Wilfred Ndidi headed a corner straight into the crossbar.

That would prove costly, as Arsenal took advantage minutes later. With the Gunners on the ball in the attacking third, Ozil threaded an absolutely delicious through-ball for Bellerin that completely unlocked the Leicester City back line, and the Spaniard simply tapped across to substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the goal.

The Gunners would do even better three minutes later on one of the prettiest goals we’ve seen this Premier League season. Bellerin sent the ball into the mixer with Ozil waiting at the top of the box. The German international let the ball go through his legs, dummying to Lacazette who touched right back to Ozil on the run past the Leicester City back line. With Arsenal now through, Ozil produced a delicious chip over a charging Schmeichel to Aubameyang waiting to finish a simple tap-in for his second goal of the evening.

Arsenal probably should have had a fourth, but Lacazette’s look on the doorstep was smothered well by Schmeichel. That was the last serious action of the game, as the Gunners cruised to victory.

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The win pushed Arsenal up to fourth in the Premier League table, even on 21 points with Tottenham and Chelsea, and ahead of their West London rivals on goal differential. Leicester City, meanwhile, remained stuck in 11th on 12 points for the season.

Report: Man United struggles put De Gea future in jeopardy

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Much of the focus at Manchester United has been on the strenuous relationship between Jose Mourinho and French midfielder Paul Pogba. Turns out, he might not be the only player disillusioned with the current environment.

According to a report by James Ducker of The Telegraph, Manchester United is “facing a serious battle” to convince goalkeeper David De Gea to stay beyond the end of his contract, which expires this coming summer with a team option for one more year. With such a short time left on his current deal, the report states that talks regarding an extension have reached an “impasse” leaving United wondering if they will either lose him for nothing in the summer of 2020 or be forced to sell him cheaply at the end of this season.

The report says that Manchester United’s inability to consistently challenge for trophies is the main reason for De Gea’s mood towards the club, and with Manchester United in 8th place after the club’s worst-ever Premier League start through seven matches, that doesn’t appear to be changing this season at this point.

De Gea has been the subject of endless rumors linking him with a move away from Old Trafford for years, and it has been confirmed in the past that he was close to a move to Real Madrid on numerous occasions. Madrid now has two long-term goalkeepers in Thibaut Courtois and Keylor Navas, but there would be plenty of potential suitors for one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League for years.

However, could it potentially be in Manchester United’s favor to move on from a goalkeeper potentially in decline? De Gea was below his standards this summer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and it was surprising to see him earn a spot on the PFA Team of the Season last year over players like Ederson, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford, or Kasper Schmeichel. De Gea is only 27 years old, extremely young for a goalkeeper, but with the performances suggesting a possible decline could be on its way, it’s not terribly surprising the club is standing firm in contract negotiations.

Sigurdsson’s stunner wins it for Everton at Leicester

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  • Richarlison scores 4th PL goal
  • Leicester skipper Morgan sent off
  • Ricardo grabs first Leicester goal
  • Sigurdsson scores 50th PL goal

Everton beat 10-man Leicester City 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, with the Toffees securing back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time this season.

Richarlison gave Everton the lead but Ricardo Pereira‘s superb goal made it 1-1 before the break. Wes Morgan was then sent off after picking up a second yellow card and Everton won it thanks to a stunner from distance from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

With the win Everton move up to 10th on 12 points, while Leicester sit in ninth with 12 points.

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After a bright start from Leicester, it was Everton who took the lead after a moment of magic from Bernard.

The Brazilian playmaker, making his first PL start, cut in from the left and dinked the ball to the back post for Richarlison to finish.

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Everton kept pouring forward and Richarlison crossed for Sigurdsson who looked to be bundled over as he was about to tap in but no penalty kick was given. The game continued in an end-to-end fashion as Jamie Vardy nodded wide and Theo Walcott had a shot tipped over.

Walcott then went down easily under pressure from Harry Maguire and at the other end Vardy raced free after a long ball over the top but got his finish all wrong. Leicester then equalized on the break, as they cleared a corner from Everton and Ricardo popped up on the left flank before cutting inside and sending a finish past Jordan Pickford at the near post. 1-1.

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In the second half Everton looked dangerous on the break as Walcott forced Kasper Schmeichel into a stop down low.

Leicester were reduced to 10 men as Morgan received his second yellow card for taking down Richarlison for a third time during the game.

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Sigurdsson slammed a shot towards the bottom corner which Schmeichel tipped wide as Everton pushed hard for a winner.

Moments later Sigurdsson won it for Everton as he turned superbly in the middle of the pitch and belted home a wonderful effort into the top corner from over 30 yards out.

A goal worthy of winning any game, even though Daniel Amarety should have equalized for Leicester but he got his finish all wrong.

Leicester City tops punchless Newcastle United

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  • Yedlin concedes penalty
  • Vardy converts from spot
  • Maguire heads Maddison corner home

Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire scored as Leicester City waltzed past punchless Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

USMNT back DeAndre Yedlin conceded a penalty for Newcastle, who was unlucky not to earn a chance of their own when Ayoze Perez was blocked by Maguire.

Leicester is now 7th, three points back of the Top Four, while Newcastle remains 18th with just two points.

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There were chances inside of five minutes for both teams, with Ayoze Perez’s shot blocked by Leicester and Kelechi Iheanacho grounding a shot to Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka.

Leicester had all of the play for the next 10 minutes, but Joselu had the next best chance when he dribbled toward the end line but the Spaniard’s indecisiveness and favor of his left-footed only led to a corner kick.

Mohamed Diame headed just wide from Christian Atsu‘s left wing cross in the 22nd minute.

Maguire, who was the force in stopping Joselu’s earlier chance, forced Dubravka into conceding a corner kick at the other end in the 28th minute.

DeAndre Yedlin conceded a 29th minute penalty, leaping to block a shot with his arm. Dubravka went the right way but couldn’t reach Vardy’s penalty kick.

Jonjo Shelvey thought he’d caught Kasper Schmeichel off his line from within the Newcastle half, but the Leicester keeper tracked back to slap down the effort.

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Ayoze Perez looked to have won a penalty on a Maguire block in the 50th minute, but perhaps his exaggerated reaction dissuaded a call from Simon Hooper.

Leicester City underlined the win with a James Maddison corner for Maguire to head past Dubravka.