VIDEO: Xherdan Shaqiri scores superb free kick

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Stoke City’s savior could well be Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Swiss magician curled home a magnificent free kick, with a little help from a deflection off the wall, to give the Potters the lead against Crystal Palace in a game Stoke simply had to win to have any chance of staying in the Premier League.

Watch the video above to see Shaqiri curl home a beauty for his first goal in nine games.

Premier League Preview: Leicester City vs. Stoke City

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
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  • Foxes unbeaten in five vs. Stoke
  • Drew 2-2 at the Potteries on Nov. 4
  • Leicester leads all-time 34W-34D-31L

Leicester City can rejoin the Top Seven with a win and help on Friday when it hosts relegation-threatened Stoke City (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Foxes sit eighth in the Premier League table, a point back of Burnley (The Clarets host Southampton on Saturday)

Stoke, meanwhile, is two points back of safety. The half-full glass says the Potters have only lost once since Paul Lambert took over as boss, but the half-empty one sees draws against Watford and Brighton to go a loss at Bournemouth.

What they’re saying

Leicester boss Claude Puel on Stoke’s fortunes: “Shaqiri can make the difference and at the moment they play well with a good fighting spirit. I think they play good football on the floor. When they recover the ball they try to get in behind and make good pressing on the opponent. Shaqiri has more freedom and plays between the lines and they are a good team at this moment.”

Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri on Paul Lambert’s style“He has a German mentality with his teams… I’m really glad he came here. With German teams they always sit together – there are no phones on the table. It’s brought us more together – when you eat together you have to speak more to other team-mates who you don’t normally speak to. It’s a good thing.”

Prediction

Phone ban or no, it will take improved communication to deal with Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and Adrien Silva. Leicester gets another win, 3-0.

Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke City: Cherries comeback complete

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  • Shaqiri opens scoring
  • Cherries go ninth with comeback
  • Stoke dips 18th

Lys Mousset and Joshua King led a home comeback to delight the Vitality Stadium crowd, as Bournemouth topped Stoke City 2-1 on Saturday.

Xherdan Shaqiri put Stoke ahead on a neat feed from new Potters midfielder Badou Ndiaye, but Paul Lambery’s men tossed away the lead in the second half.

Bournemouth goes ninth with 31 points, while Stoke dips into the drop zone on 24.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A very lively Stoke start could’ve seen a goal within four minutes had Steve Cook not darted to the line to defy Xherdan Shaqiri’s hard rip.

He didn’t deny the next one, as Stoke had a marker within five when new man Badou Ndiaye sent a delightful cross to the back post for Shaqiri to nod home.

Ndiaye just missed a debut goal in the 20th minute after a slick pass from Peter Crouch.

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Bournemouth was plenty lively, though, and Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas were among the Cherries prodding their club back into the fight.

Shaqiri’s long diagonal had a little too much zip for the outstretched legs of Peter Crouch akimbo, and it remains 1-0 at the hour mark.

Crouch then did meet a Shaqiri cross, but headed off the bar.

Yet it was Bournemouth who’d level and then go ahead, with substitutes scoring the goals.

First King found a rebound in the 70th minute, and then a more highlight-deserving goal coming from Mousset’s heading a free kick at the back post for his first PL goal in his 23rd league appearance.

PL AT HALF: Goals everywhere… but Old Trafford

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Five Premier League matches are at the break, with goals in every one but the one many expected a bevy of home markers.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 West Ham United

Glenn Murray scored on a 1v1 chance early, but Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored a beautiful equalizer in the 30th minute.

Leicester City 1-0 Swansea City

Jamie Vardy took a delightful feed from Kelechi Iheanacho to give the Foxes a deserved lead at the King Power Stadium.

Bournemouth 0-1 Stoke City

Badou Ndiaye has a near-goal, an assist, and a yellow card in a starring debut which saw him cue up Xherdan Shaqiri for an excellent headed goal.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Southampton

Ahmed Hegazi boosted a header home to open the scoring, but Saints promising midfielder Mario Lemina scored a peach to level the score.  Jack Stephens then made amends for losing Hegazi on the opener by scoring in an unlikely run of goals for the defender.

Manchester United 0-0 Huddersfield Town

The one match in which home goals seemed a certainty has seen nothing at either end, though United had a clear but unawarded penalty shout for Scott McTominay, starting for Paul Pogba.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City: Sakho keeps Eagles rising

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  • Shaqiri, Loftus-Cheek trade goals
  • Sakho nabs winner
  • Palace 2W-2D-2L in last six

Mamadou Sakho‘s late goal drove Crystal Palace to a 2-1 late win at Selhurst Park on Saturday, as the Roy Hodgson regroup is well and truly on in South London.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek canceled out Xherdan Shaqiri‘s first half goal within moments.

Palace now has eight points and can see safety for the first time this season. Stoke sits 15th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A slow start eventually saw Stoke City look superior, and Wayne Hennessey made a nice save on Xherdan Shaqiri 1v1.

At the other end, Lee Grant robbed James McArthur.

Roy Hodgson took McArthur off for Christian Benteke at the break. Could the big man make a difference in his second substitute appearance following a long layoff?

The aforementioned actors all played a role in a defining stanza of the match. Benteke lashed over goal moments before Shaqiri converted a chance at the other end.

Yet Palace battled back to equalize quickly through Loftus-Cheek. And Yohan Cabaye‘s late drive off the post allowed Sakho to snag three big points for the hosts.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]