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.

Tottenham edge past gutsy Newcastle

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  • Vertonghen put Spurs ahead
  • Joselu equalized soon after
  • Dele Alli scores winner
  • Rondon hits bar on debut

Tottenham Hotspur beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Spurs battling to victory with several of their stars playing after just a few days of preseason training following the World Cup.

Jan Vertonghen gave Spurs the lead but Joselu equalized with a lovely header, then Alli also scored a header at the back post to cap a wild spell in the first half.

Spurs held on for the win despite late Newcastle pressure as Mauricio Pochettino side started off their new season with a win. And, oh yeah, Harry Kane still hasn’t scored in August.

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Spurs took an early lead as Vertonghen nodded home at the back post, with the goal awarded via goal-line technology.

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Yet Newcastle responded right away as Joselu finished Matt Ritchie’s cross superbly to send St James’ Park wild.

Soon they were deflated once again as Serge Aurier surged forwar22685224d and crossed for Alli to nod home and restore Tottenham’s lead.

Three goals in seven first half minutes opened the first Saturday of the new season in style.

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Mohamed Diame smashed the outside of the post in the second half after a wonderful piece of control, as Newcastle pushed to get back into the game.

Kenedy was then played in with a wonderful pass but got his first tough all wrong as Lloris smothered the chance.

And Lloris then saved well from Ayoze Perez from a tight angle.

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Spurs threatened to add another on the break late on but Newcastle were also creating chances. Their best fell to new loan signing Salomon Rondon but his shot deflected onto the crossbar when he was played through.

Tottenham held on for victory as they started the second-straight PL campaign with a victory at Newcastle.

Benitez non-committal on Newcastle future, saying team needs to buy

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Rafa Benitez has earned some chatter as a Premier League Manager of the Year candidate after guiding Newcastle United to safety one years after leading them back from the Championship.

Many thought he wouldn’t follow the team down a division after rallying Newcastle but falling two points shy of safety in 2015-16, but the Magpies won the Championship and are now in position to fight for a top half finish in this season’s Premier League.

[ MORE: Mourinho rips forwards after loss ]

But owner Mike Ashley hasn’t inspired confidence in his club in some time, and struck a confusing figure when big Benitez fan Amanda Staveley tried to buy the club late last year with the aim of leading the Magpies back into the European conversation.

Now the toast of the town, Benitez holds a lot of the momentum when it comes to his position at St. James’ Park. He’s not sure what’s coming next, even with the two sides discussing a new deal, and here’s what he said when asked whether he wants to stay next season.

“That is a tricky question. I said in an interview the other day I decided to stay because of the potential, the fans and the city. Then we have to do what we have to do.”

“But if you want to go to another level, you need more quality.”

Ashley has sold many of Newcastle’s best assets dating back to James Milner and including Yohan Cabaye, Andy Carroll, and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Benitez arguably would’ve had Newcastle competing for seventh if Ashley had sanctioned a striker purchase greater than the $6 million Joselu buy in August, then Islam Slimani on loan in January.

He’s coaxed career seasons out of Mohamed Diame, DeAndre Yedlin, Paul Dummett, and Kenedy (the last name on loan from Chelsea). It would be interesting to see what he’d be able to do with a nice transfer kitty.

Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle: No problems at Anfield

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  • Salah scores 32nd of season
  • Mane notches 14th
  • Reds reclaim second

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah led Liverpool to an easy-enough win in the Premier League.

This time it was a 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Anfield, sending the Reds second before Manchester United plays Crystal Palace on Monday.

Liverpool and Manchester United meet up on March 10 at Old Trafford.

Newcastle remains in the thick of the relegation race, and will play a huge six-pointer versus Southampton on March 10.

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Liverpool started with heavy possession as expected, and Sadio Mane was on the doorstep to a goal within five minutes.

Mohamed Salah hammered a volley off Paul Dummett in the 12th minute as the Reds continued to knock at the door.

Salah then attempted a wild shot from an acute angle that nearly beat Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to the near post, but the backstop tipped it wide of the goal.

A horrific giveaway by DeAndre Yedlin looked to have set Liverpool up for its opener, but Florian Lejeune closed down Salah before the Egyptian could score yet another goal.

The Magpies had a moment or two around the half hour mark, including a lashing over the goal by Dwight Gayle, who’s had a moment or two himself versus Liverpool.

Salah got his goal in the 40th minute off an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain-led break, taking his feed and potting behind Martin Dubravka.

Loris Karius made an outstanding save on Mohamed Diame at the start of stoppage time.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain remained a danger, and a 53rd minute break forced another timely intervention from Newcastle to thwart Roberto Firmino.

Mane soon put the Reds ahead by two, with a 56th minute goal, Firmino cueing up the Senegalese sensation for another Liverpool marker.

Aside from a Joselu penalty shout, there wasn’t much to cheer about the final 20 minutes for either side.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Magpies swipe point

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  • Newcastle leads through Diame
  • Palace levels, then dominates
  • Palace with points in 13 of 15
  • Magpies host Man Utd next

Luka Milivojevic‘s second half penalty was all Crystal Palace could manage despite a dominant second half which saw them draw Newcastle United 1-1 on Sunday at Selhurst Park.

Mohamed Diame scored for Newcastle in the draw which has the Magpies in 16th, a point above the drop zone.

Palace is 14th, three points above 18th place Stoke City.

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Wilfried Zaha had an early chance provided by Luka Milivojevic, but Jamaal Lascelles and Newcastle backstop Karlo Darlow stopped the 2nd minute opportunity.

Jonjo Shelvey presided over a fifth minute free kick, dead center from 35 yards out, and a decent ball led to Wayne Hennessey collecting a Dwight Gayle shot.

Kenedy found Matt Ritchie in the 13th minute, but the Scot popped a tepid shot into Hennessey’s arms. The goalkeeper had to make a better save when DeAndre Yedlin‘s cross was sliced on goal by Ayoze Perez.

The Magpies went ahead through Diame after the 20 minute mark, and Palace will not enjoy the replays of Kenedy’s corner kick sailing through the 18 for the Senegalese midfielder to slot home.

Palace bungled a chance to level through Zaha, as he punched his shot off a player and out of play. It wasn’t quite Raheem Sterling’s Saturday miss at Burnley, but it was not good.

Hennessey then stopped Kenedy before making a quality flying stop on Perez.

Christian Benteke then couldn’t adapt when Darlow’s slapped save appeared near his lap in the goal mouth. It looked an awful sitter.

Cabaye cut a low shot to Darlow moments before the break.

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Palace had a great start to the second half, though a Newcastle counter attack, 2v1 with Kenedy and Perez, was frittered away by the hesitant Brazilian.

Ciaran Clark had a hold of Benteke’s shirt, and the linesman awarded a penalty to Palace in the 54th minute. Milivojevic’s attempt was mostly blocked by Darlow, but the ball hit the bar and bounded across the line.

The momentum was fully in Palace’s favor from that point forward, Benteke a constant threat.

Christian Atsu set Isaac Hayden up for a rare Newcastle second half attempt, but Hennessey stopped to collect the low drive.

Palace looked to have won it, but Newcastle’s defenders made consecutive goal mouth clearances from Clark to bail out Darlow.

Atsu curled a shot wide against the run of play near the end of stoppage time.