Kasper Schmeichel

Leicester City - Chelsea recap
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Barkley slides Chelsea into FA Cup semis; Pulisic gets treatment

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Ross Barkley’s second-half goal sent Chelsea into the FA Cup semifinals after a 1-0 defeat of Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Chelsea joins Manchester United and Arsenal in the semis, with Man City and Newcastle to decide the fourth entrant later Sunday.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic was fantastic in the win, though he was shown getting ice on his left calf following a 72nd-minute substitution.

Pulisic finished the day with two shots, a key pass, two fouls drawn, seven-of-12 duels won, and two dribbles completed.

[ LAMPARD: Pulisic can reach Salah, Sterling level ]

An early error from Billy Gilmour sprung a first-minute chance for Leicester that Willy Caballero collected in the six.

In-form Pulisic was lively early, drawing a 16th-minute free kick in the Leicester final third. His suboptimal header of Reece James’ service was caught by Kasper Schmeichel, however.

Pulisic forced a more difficult save out of Schmeichel before the half-hour mark, both teams looking prepared to score.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Jamie Vardy dragged a left-footed effort wide of goal off a partial breakway just before halftime, though Caballero may have had the angle covered.

Barkley put Chelsea ahead through a slick bit of work from Willian. The 26-year-old’s fourth goal of the season is his third to go with an assist in four FA Cup outings this season.

Caglar Soyuncu came close to equalizing in the 85th minute but he was denied a clear header by a closing-in Cesar Azpilicueta.

Barkley bungled a late 4-on-2 with an errant pass before challenging Schmeichel with a drive from outside the 18.

Schmeichel saves point for Leicester v. Brighton

Leicester - Brighton recap
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Kasper Schmeichel saved Neal Maupay’s first-half penalty as Leicester City’s poor second half of the season continued with a 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

The Foxes move to 55 points and will stay in the top three at least another week despite winning just once in their last seven outings.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Brighton moves six points clear of the drop zone ahead of a brutal run of fixtures.

LEICESTER CITY – BRIGHTON FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Foxes putting UCL hopes in jeopardy: Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes have been riding their incredible first half of the season for a long time and if they don’t wake up soon they may depart the Champions League places. 12-2-2 after 16 matchdays, Leicester’s since gone 4W-5D-6L. Two of the four wins are against a poor West Ham, another’s versus Newcastle and the fourth Aston Villa. Worse? Losses came to Norwich City, Burnley, and Saints. The excuses just aren’t there for a team that might just fritter away the UCL with matches still to come against Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton, and Arsenal.

Leicester has been asking Chelsea, Manchester United, or Wolves to send them into the Europa League instead of the UCL.

2. Schmeichel stars again: The penalty stop on Maupay was Schmeichel’s only save — there were only three between the two sides — but it was the moment of the match and guarantees third place for another week regardless of what Chelsea does against Man City on Thursday.

3. Ex-Chelsea teen impresses: Opta pointed out that Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey became the first teen in the PL era to play for two teams in the same campaign when he started for the Seagulls. The 19-year-old went 31 minutes off the bench for Chelsea against Arsenal on Dec. 29 before transferring south in January. The right back was a big threat and a determined man in his challenges as the match wore on.

Man of the Match

The center backs for both sides were the stars; Caglar Soyuncu and Lewis Dunk the top field players for Leicester and Brighton, respectively. But Schmeichel gets the honors for the penalty save and command of his area.


Leicester – Brighton recap

The Seagulls conceded first half possession to their hosts but had the more dangerous opportunities, none moreso than Aaron Connolly winning a penalty.

Unfortunately for Graham Potter’s safety-seeking side, Maupay’s substandard penalty was stymied by Kasper Schmeichel.

There was a double whammy when Adam Webster was forced off with injury before the half-hour mark, though having Shane Duffy as a replacement is a nice luxury.

There wasn’t a lot to like about the second half, and Brighton will be okay with that.

VIDEO: Premier League highlightsWatch full PL match replays ]

Premier League social media wrap: Liverpool, Leicester return

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Premier League sides are back training, albeit in small groups, and there are definitely some good vibes to be had in seeing the fellas on the pitch.

For this stroll around Premier League social media, we’ll start with one of two top teams who returned for their first days Wednesday: Liverpool and Manchester United.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

We’ll focus on Anfield, having learned a bit about United’s day from Harry Maguire.

Liverpool’s Andy Robertson has proven a few things over the coronavirus pause.

One is that he’s clearly aware of his role in the greater community, and that he feels a duty to help those in need.

Another, and we know this already, is that he loves banter.

That was on show when the left back posted a photo of him leaping for a ball, labeling it a wayward pass from teammate Joe Gomez.

We’ll let that headline a few tweets from the impending Premier League champions, including some wild hair to continue Chelsea’s trend from Tuesday.

 

Another top three side, Leicester City, is back at it as well.

James Maddison brought a little levity to the occasion by throwing some love to Ben Chilwell.. from a safe distance of course.

Let’s stay in Leicester for an example of the Tweet phrase that was so prevalent amongst PL player it might as well have been a hashtag.

How did it feel to be back? Good or great is the only answer.

We’ve chosen Kasper Schmeichel’s Tweet because his hair has reached ponytail length.

News away from the training pitch includes Chelsea backstop Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Athletic Bilbao product saluted former teammate and Basque living legend Aritz Aduriz on retiring from his legendary playing career.

Man City grabs late winner at Leicester City

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Gabriel Jesus‘ 80th-minute goal gave Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The three points give Man City 57 on the season, seven more than third-place Leicester City. Liverpool leads the league with 76 points and a match-in-hand.


Three things we learned

1. Ederson flashpoint: James Maddison swept a cross over the Man City back line and Iheanacho raced into the 18 to head it on goal. Iheanacho didn’t get much of it and Ederson did before his parry landed flush with Iheanacho’s chin. Social media was a buzz with cries for a red card, but it’s difficult to see what Ederson could’ve done other than allow Iheanacho to head home.

2. Moral victory for Leicester in loss: Brendan Rodgers‘ men were absolutely clobbered in three previous matches with their perceived top three rivals, but Leicester was good money for a point on Saturday. The Foxes should be encouraged despite the death of their top two hopes. Still holding a 10-point lead on fifth and sixth, Leicester may well focus a bit more on the FA Cup.

3. Striker swap pays off: Aguero had one goal ruled out for offside and saw his penalty saved by Ederson, and Guardiola’s decision to give Gabriel Jesus a run paid off within minutes. The soon-to-be 23-year-old Brazilian striker got his 10th goal of the PL season to go with five assists when he swept a low shot past Schmeichel. His 17 goals in all competitions have him four goals from equalling his best Man City campaign.

Man of the Match: Leicester fans won’t like it, but ex-Foxes star Riyad Mahrez was everywhere. He edges six-save Kasper Schmeichel, as well as Ricardo Pereira and Rodri.


Vardy let Man City off the hook for a giveaway that sent him 1v1 with Ederson, pushing a shot past the keeper but off the post.

Former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez forced Kasper Schmeichel into a parry at the other end.

Man City was all over the Foxes, and Rodri claimed a loose ball to set up a bounding Benjamin Mendy shot that led to a corner.

Mahrez set up De Bruyne for a shot near the top of the 18, but the Belgian struck wide of the near post.

The Foxes earned a dangerous free kick against the run of play, but James Maddison’s 29th-minute shot turned off the wall and into the hands of Ederson.

There was a 39th-minute flashpoint went Ederson went fists first into Kelechi Iheanacho‘s head in a bid to parry a Maddison cross. The Brazilian got the ball first, but Iheanacho spent a lot of time on the turf with a clear injury.

Aguero had the ball in the goal off a De Bruyne-led counter-attack but was a yard offside and the match soon met halftime.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Leicester came out of the team room with vigor, and Ederson had to stymy a 46th-minute cross from newly-introduced Harvey Barnes.

Aguero’s rough day continued when he saw his penalty saved by Schmeichel, but Jesus gave City all three points on a rough-and-tumble day in Leicester.

U.S. U-17 keeper Odunze learning from Schmeichel at Leicester City

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Leicester City’s huge secret was told to the world at the U-17 World Cup in Brazil, where imposing goalkeeper Chituru Odunze made several big saves in the United States’ quick exit from the group stage.

Odunze, who turned 17 last month, joined the Premier League outfit from the Vancouver Whitecaps last season, and is already getting some first team training time.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City v. Chelsea ]

This is all good news for a USMNT program which has a long history of goalkeepers shining at the top levels in Europe, including Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, Tim Howard, and now Zach Steffen.

Odunze admits to being pleased at the tests provided by Jamie Vardy and the Leicester attackers, but says he’s learning more from the expertise on show from a trio of wise first team goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Ward, and Eldin Jakupovic.

Schmeichel is a Premier League winner, Jakupovic a former regular PL starter with Hull City, and Ward helped Huddersfield Town to promotion during a loan from Liverpool. From Oddschecker’s Kristan Heneage:

“They’re all really good role models at the club, and they sort of take you under their wing. They’ve taught me to calm down and be confident in my abilities,” Odunze said. “Of course, there are little pieces of technical information they give me while we’re training, but a lot of the lasting information I get from them is mental.”

The 17-year-old has a monstrous frame, so learning from Schmeichel and company at such a young age while getting tested by the Foxes’ electric attackers is a great combination. He is 2W-2L at the U18 Premier League level.