Andy King

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester City: Vardy deconstructs Pep’s men

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  • Foxes up 2-0 by 5′
  • Vardy hat trick
  • Kolarov scores free kick
  • WATCH: First three goals

Jamie Vardy‘s hat trick led Leicester City to a surprising 4-2 win over visiting Manchester City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium.

Andy King scored in the first half, where Vardy scooped his first two of the day before adding a third in the 78th minute. Aleksandar Kolarov‘s 81st minute free kick dirtied the clean sheet, and Nolito redirected one home in the 90th minute.

Man City will finish the weekend at least four points back of the top, and currently sit in fourth with 30 points. Leicester rises rises to 14th on 16 points.

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Manchester City was in a horrible spot in two blinks, as Vardy and Islam Slimani took advantage of John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov before the latter beat Claudio Bravo to make it 1-0 in the third minute.

Less than two minutes later, it was time for another. Andy King let loose with a shot from outside the 18 that a flying Bravo could only touch into his goal. 2-0 at the King Power. Scenes.

And Leicester saved its best for the third goal, as Riyad Mahrez made an otherworldly first touch assist on a diagonal ball over Stones’ head, and Vardy touched around Bravo to score it. Wow.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Guardiola doubled down on risk-taking tactics as the second half wore on. And why not? He was down 3-0.

On came Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling. Out went Kelechi Iheanacho and Jesus Navas. Yes, Yaya Toure as striker.

Yet it was Vardy who scored next, taking advantage of an out-to-lunch Stones to inch a tight-angled shot off the post and just over the line via Goal Decision System.

Kolarov made it 4-1 with a terrific free kick that curled to nestle inside the post behind the wall, then found Nolito for a goal in the final minute of scheduled time.

Matty James came into the match during stoppage time for his 100th Leicester experience, which came 570 days after an ACL tear ended his 99th.

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VIDEO: Jamie Vardy proud to win PL title with Leicester “brothers”

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The fairytale ending is complete for Leicester City, and would you believe it, the men responsible for the Foxes’ 2015-16 Premier League title — Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Drinkwater chief among them — are over the moon.

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Speaking in television interviews following Saturday’s 3-1 triumph over Everton and subsequent trophy-raising celebrations, Vardy (above video) and his teammates (below videos) all spoke glowingly of each and every one of their teammates, as well as the “Thinkerman” behind the most unlikely story in sports history, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri.

Leicester City feeling “nothing negative” after draw leaves top spot vulnerable

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said the “ball didn’t want to go in the net” despite four goals in a 2-2 draw against visiting West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

That’s because between prime chances for Jamie Vardy, Leonardo Ulloa and Wes Morgan, it could’ve been a blowout for the hosts.

[ MATCH RECAP: Leicester City 2-2 West Bromwich Albion ]

That’s how it goes sometimes, as crossbars struck and odd bounces combined with a feisty West Brom counterattack to leave Leicester wide open for a drop to second place.

The Foxes lead the Premier League by three points, with Spurs taking on West Ham on Wednesday with a chance to go top via superior goal differential.

The West Brom draw, however, doesn’t have Ranieri worried about the title fight.

“It is the same. I don’t see the title. I watch every match with my team and I want the best. Tonight we made a very good performance and I’m happy.

“Nothing negative. We tried to do everything and well done to my players. I love this, we never never give up. We always try the best in every situation. Every team plays football and we have to find the solution and try to win. It is important not to lose the match too as they could have counter attacked.”

There was disappointment from the players’ side. Here’s Andy King, one of Leicester’s goal scorers, from the BBC:

“We should have won the game. They only had a couple of shots and they scored. We have to pick ourselves up again and go on Saturday.

“We’ve got that belief, so we always thought we would score. It’s disappointing.”

Leicester still has a winnable run on the schedule, with Watford, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace up next. But how will they react if Wednesday night finds them looking up at a team for the first time this year?

Watch Live: Sunderland vs. Leicester City (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Boy, we have ourselves a relegation six-pointer on Saturday as Sunderland host Leicester City (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra) at the Stadium of Light.

This match will also be shown on NBCSN, as part of the Breakaway Show will will focus on the three big relegation battles.

Sunderland is two points above the relegation zone with three games left, while Leicester is three points off the bottom three with two games left as both sides have been in great form to drag themselves out of the drop zone in recent weeks. Dick Advocaat’s Black Cats have won two on the spin, while the Foxes have won six of their last seven and a win on Saturday would secure survival if other results go their way.

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Advocaat’s side finish with games against Arsenal and Chelsea, so they know a win at home to Leicester is a must if they want to stay up. Tension will be in the air.

In team news Sunderland bring in Liam Bridcutt and John O’Shea for the injured Jordi Gomez and Wes Brown, while Leicester make one change with Andy King coming in for Matty James.

LINEUPS

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Jones, Coates, O’Shea, Van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Bridcutt; Defoe, Graham, Wickham.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan; Albrighton, King, Cambiasso, Schlupp; Mahrez, Ulloa, Vardy.

Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea: Mourinho’s men inch closer to Premier League title

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Following their latest triumph, 3-1 over Leicester City on Wednesday, the 2014-15 Premier League title is so close that Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea players can practically taste it. As has been the case for much of the season, it was the prettiest performance from Mourinho’s Blues, but it was more than enough to get the job done.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

A pair of first-half substitutes necessitated by injuries — midfielder Andy King (19th minute) and defender Robert Huth (24th) — put Leicester behind the eight-ball from very early on, not only for Wednesday’s clash with league-leading Chelsea, but more so Saturday’s massive relegation battle against Newcastle United (Watch live on NBCSN an online via Live Extra, 7:45 am ET).

Leicester had a series of chances fall their way, in extremely quick succession, in the 40th minute. Petr Cech made a sprawling save of Paul Konchesky’s low, near-post shot, which was followed by a goal-mouth scramble where two more shots were blocked and snuffed out by Chelsea defenders.

Leicester’s breakthrough came with seconds remaining in first-half stoppage time, when Jamie Vardy’s left-sided cross eluded two Chelsea defenders at the top of the six-yard box and found Marc Albrighton, who slotted his first-time effort low and inside the far post, beating Cech for a 1-0 lead.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Leicester’s lead was short-lived, though, as Chelsea’s equalizer came shortly after the second-half restart. Branislav Ivanovic got the end line, cut the ball back to Didier Drogba near the corner of the six, and Drogba wrapped his right foot around the ball and guided it inside the same far post in which Albrighton had scored minutes earlier.

Leicester’s defense held firm the following half-hour, bending but not breaking, frequently seeing total relief in the form of chances created at the other end of the field. But the draw wasn’t meant to be for Nigel Pearson’s side, as John Terry broke the deadlock in the 79th minute. Gary Cahill flicked Cesc Fabregas’s corner kick to the far post, but Kasper Schmeichel made the save, only to see John Terry poke home the rebound from two yards out.

The goal was Terry’s 38th Premier League tally, tying the David Unsworth’s record for most PL goals scored by a defender.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The scoreline became extremely unflattering on Leicester just four minutes later, as Ramires hammered home powerful effort from just outside the penalty area, a swerving shot that Schmeichel had no chance to save.

With the three points, Chelsea move ever closer to clinching this year’s Premier League title, something they can do at Stamford Bridge with a victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday (Watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra, 8:30 am ET). As for Leicester, they hold a one-point lead on Sunderland, who currently occupy the final relegation place and have a game in hand.

LINEUPS

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth (De Laet 24′), Morgan, Albrighton, King (James 19′), Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy (Mahrez 77′), Ulloa

Goals: Albrighton (45+3′)

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian (Zouma 84′), Fabregas (Mikel 90′), Hazard (Cuadrado 88′), Drogba

Goals: Drogba (48′), Terry (79′), Ramires (83′)