Leicester pile misery on winless Huddersfield

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  • Leicester’s third win of the season
  • No win in 10 PL games for Huddersfield
  • Huddersfield haven’t scored more than once in a single game since February

Leicester City beat Huddersfield Town 3-1 on Saturday at the King Power Stadium with the Foxes fighting back from an early deficit.

Mathias Jorgensen had put Huddersfield ahead early but Leicester came flying back as Kelechi Iheanacho made it 1-1 in the first half, then James Maddison and Jamie Vardy scored one each in the second half.

Claude Puel‘s Leicester have now won three of their opening six games to start the season, while Huddersfield have yet to win this campaign and sit bottom of the Premier League table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Huddersfield took the lead early on as Jorgensen tapped home after a long throw-in caused havoc in the Leicester box. The Danish defender pounced to score his first goal for the club.

Vardy almost scored a beauty to put Leicester ahead as a clever chipped free kick from James Maddison found him in the box but he dragged a shot just wide.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Leicester went close with another free kick from Maddison but Huddersfield continued to threaten on the counter in a tight, tense encounter.

The longer the game went on, Leicester pinned Huddersfield back and Vardy had an effort saved by Jonas Lossl at the near post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Huddersfield’s Laurent Depoitre raced free in the second half but Maguire then appeared and prodded the ball away at the vital moment.

Leicester made Huddersfield pay for that missed chance.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Maddison curled a free kick up and over the wall and although Lossl got a hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out.

Vardy extended Leicester’s lead late on as he raced free from Iheanacho’s pass and dinked home to make it 3-1.

Game. Set. Match.

Watch Live: Man United, Man City, Liverpool in action at 10am ET

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Six Premier League games are coming your way at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Let’s see if the big boys can rotate their squads expertly after UEFA Champions League action a few days ago.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all four games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Liverpool vs. Southampton – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Cardiff City vs. Manchester City – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City vs. Huddersfield Town – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Wolves – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

What did we learn from PL Saturday?

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24 goals were scored across the seven Premier League games on Saturday, with plenty of drama and memorable moments dished out.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wins for Liverpool and Chelsea meant their 100 percent record remained intact, while Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal impressed as the top six all played.

[ MORE: 3 things learned, Spurs v Liverpool ]

Here’s a look at what we learned from a wild Saturday across the Premier League’s seven games.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Eden Hazard is otherworldly

We weren’t sure if Eden Hazard would be a Chelsea player by the time the 2018-19 season kicked off. Chelsea fans are sure glad he is.

The Belgian wizard scored a hat trick in their comeback 4-1 win against Cardiff on Saturday, with Hazard showing off his vast array of skills throughout as he dazzled defenders at will. He has been simply dazzling this season and unlike plenty of other stars who went deep in the World Cup, Hazard is showing no signs, so far, of any fatigue.

His new manager, Maurizio Sarri, rested him after he returned from the World Cup, with Hazard not starting either of their opening two games of the season. But five goals in his three starts means he now leads the Premier League in goals and Hazard looks at his very best and that rest seems to have paid off.

Speaking about Sarri’s new style of play, which has amassed five wins on the spin to open up the season, Hazard is enjoying life under the Italian coach.

“[Maurizio Sarri] just wants us to play and to find space between the lines so then Jorginho, Matteo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas can find us. We have a lot of freedom on the pitch, and at the moment when we try and do something it’s coming off,” Hazard said. “I’m always happy when I’m playing football I just want to do my best for this club who have done a lot for me. I’m always trying to do more – create more chances, score more goals, and today a hat-trick so I will try to do this more.”

More of the same please, Eden. If he can deliver, like he did in 2014-15 and 2016-17, then Chelsea will be serious title contenders this season.


United take care of business, answer critics

Jose Mourinho hasn’t been impressed with his recent critics but he can only do so much talking.

His team did the talking for him on Saturday as they beat red-hot Watford and made it back-to-back wins in the Premier League after back-to-back defeats. Okay, they’ve beaten Burnley and Watford away from home (tough places to go, in fairness) but there’s a chance for positivity to build at United in the coming months with an easier schedule of games coming up at home and abroad.

This United team will not wow you. They will not get you off your seat that often apart from David De Gea making a wonder-save or perhaps a crazy flick from Paul Pogba or volley from Alexis Sanchez.

But they are almost mechanical in the way they create chances and relentlessly grind down their opponents. United may not be serious title contenders this season (their defensive displays suggest that) but they proved they can hang in the top four battle and then try to win a trophy. We all know Mourinho is good at the latter and if he wins enough of those in the next few years, we will hear no more complaining from him. Well, at least for a few weeks.


Bournemouth can make top six challenge

The way Bournemouth set the tone and ruthlessly punished Leicester in the first half of their 4-2 win on Saturday proved that Eddie Howe‘s young side are growing up. Fast. Bournemouth raced into a 3-0 lead and their attacking trio of Ryan Fraser (two goals), Josh King (1 goal) and Callum Wilson (1 assist) tore apart Leicester’s cumbersome defensive line. At times over the past four years since they were promoted to the Premier League, you could argue that Howe’s side are lovely to watch but aren’t clinical enough. Yes, defensively they still leave a little to be desired (Leicester scoring twice late on proved that) but overall this Bournemouth team has the potential to do what Burnley did last season and challenge for a spot in Europe. Seriously.

They have a settled, balanced squad and every single player knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Do not underestimate how important that is. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. Howe has assembled a young, hungry group and one which players want to be part of instead of moving on at the first opportunity. With three wins and 10 points on the board, Bournemouth’s fans will be thinking they are a quarter of the way to the magic 40-point marker already. That is true. But they should also be aiming a lot higher than that this season.


Sluggish Spurs suffering

Mauricio Pochettino predicted this would happen and he had a look on his face which basically said ‘I told you so’ when speaking to the media after Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool.

[ MORE: Klopp hails Liverpool’s progress ]

The 2-1 scoreline didn’t tell the whole story. Tottenham were sloppy early on and Roberto Firmino could’ve scored twice inside three minutes. That trend continued at the end of the first half after a brief improvement, with Georginio Wijnaldum scoring the opener and Spurs didn’t really have an answer. Yes, Lucas Moura hit the post after a mazy run, but that was about it. Any result other than a defeat would’ve been way to kind on Tottenham despite their late flourish.

The main problem area was in midfield. Mousa Dembele, Harry Winks and Eric Dier couldn’t get out of the space in front of their own defense and kept having the ball nicked off them by Naby Keita, James Milner and Wijnaldum. On the rare occasion they did escape midfield with the ball, not having Dele Alli fit and available for this game was a huge blow. Alli’s ability to drift behind Kane and in-between the lines was badly missed as Christian Eriksen in a slightly deeper role just didn’t work out and Spurs’ entire pressing system faltered.

Spurs have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 2016, which is quite remarkable in itself. Pochettino must rally his troops ahead of the return of Dele and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from injury, but also rejuvenate a sluggish side which looks tired (Harry Kane and their two center backs, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in particular) after the vast majority of their starting lineup played at the World Cup for over a month.

Add in no new signings this summer and the constant issue with the stadium at White Hart Lane being delayed, and prophetic Poch has some big issues to sort out. He knew that anyway but he still hasn’t been able to address them. That is the most worrying thing for a team, and manager, who have always provided the correct answer when faced with adversity over the past three seasons. It is time for Spurs to do that again.


Zaha best player outside a top six club

It is the debate which has rumbled on for some time and it is why Crystal Palace keep giving Wilfried Zaha new deals as the big boys circle. But it is quite clear that in the PL he’s the best player not playing for a ‘top six’ team. That shouldn’t be an argument any more. It’s quite simple. Look at Exhibit A, above, as Zaha’s magnificent run and spanked finish led Palace to victory at Huddersfield on Saturday. Of the last 12 Premier League games that Zaha hasn’t been available for Palace, they’ve lost every single one of them. Case in point.

With Zaha’s brilliance comes greater scrutiny and he is targeted by defenders in the same vein as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard. The best players are the best because they find a way to get around the reducers and studs. Zaha’s complaints about his treatment are valid but as long as he keeps producing displays of the quality he has this season, he will be the number one target for opponents when they play Palace. The big boys will come calling again but isn’t in nice to see a player of his quality as the talisman for a club outside of the big boys? There’s something Alan Shearer or Matt Le Tissier-esque about Wilf.

Zaha leads Palace to victory at Huddersfield

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  • Zaha scores on return from injury
  • First win since opening day for Palace 
  • Huddersfield without a win this season

Crystal Palace secured a valuable away win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, with Wilfried Zaha‘s moment of magic the difference at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Zaha cut in from the left and rifled home a stunner to secure all three points for Palace, while Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy went close but his volley hit the post.

The win pushes Palace onto six points for the season, while Huddersfield remain on two points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

On his return from injury, Zaha looked sharp early on as he couldn’t connect with Andros Townsend in the box, with the away side causing Huddersfield plenty of problems.

The Ivorian winger then scored a Goal of the Season contender.

He cut in from the left and smashed a beauty into the far corner to give Palace the lead in fine fashion.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Before half time Zaha went close but failed to get power on his low effort, while at the other end Steve Mounie nodded just over.

After the break Huddersfield put Palace under plenty of pressure as Philip Billing fired over and the home fans got behind their team.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Huddersfield then hit the post as Aaron Mooy sent in a superb volley as the Terriers couldn’t finish the follow-up.

As the game closed out gaps opened up and James McArthur fired over from a good position and Zaha had an effort blocked.

But Palace edged the victory thanks to their main man Zaha.

Watch Live: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City at 10am ET

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Five Premier League games are coming your way at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday as the 2018-19 season returns after the international break.

Plenty of big boys are in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Manchester City host Fulham, Arsenal head to Newcastle, Chelsea host Cardiff, Bournemouth welcome Leicester and Crystal Palace travel to Huddersfield Town.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all four games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Manchester City vs. Fulham – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Chelsea vs. Cardiff City – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Bournemouth vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]