Leicester City - Crystal Palace recap
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Leicester City snaps out of funk to pound Palace

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Leicester City is in the win column for the first time since the Premier League came back from the coronavirus pause.

The Foxes beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday at the King Power Stadium, the club and its star striker getting out of respective and collective ruts.

LEICESTER CITY – CRYSTAL PALACE FULL MATCH REPLAY

Jamie Vardy had a rough day for 76 minutes but, as good strikers do, made the most of two late chances off Harvey Barnes passes after Kelechi Iheanacho broke the deadlock just after halftime.

Leicester keeps hold of third place in moving onto 58 points, while Palace’s 42 points and three-goal loss sends it behind 12th place Newcastle on goal differential.

Leicester visits Arsenal on Tuesday before running for the finish line versus Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United.


Three things we learned

1. Brendan Rodgers needed that: Leicester still may fall out of the top four but they have it all in front of them to defend the house. Part of that battle is beating the two lowest challengers on the schedule — Bournemouth and Palace — and they did that well on Saturday despite the absence of James Maddison. The other part of the equation is four top seven challengers. Can they get enough points to return to the UCL?

2. Vardy’s sleepy party still a success: Jamie Vardy did not have a great game despite getting into a number of glorious positions. He did, however, retake sole possession of first place the Golden Boot race when he scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season late at the KP (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 19 and plays later Saturday).

Vardy reaches the 20-goal mark for the third time in his Premier League career, the marker his 100th in the competition. Can the 33-year-old find enough magic to hold off all comers?

3. Palace prepared for vacation: Safe and deprived of European hopes by their big loss to Liverpool, Roy Hodgson’s Eagles just didn’t have much fire on Saturday. Perhaps it’s unfair to say they didn’t have the desperation of Leicester, but that’s how it looked on the pitch in Leicester.

Man of the Match

Youri Tielemans — Barnes was very good with two assists but Tielemans deserved better than his lone assist for another tidy and occasionally spectacular day in the heart of the action. He was credited with two key passes, four tackles, and the drawing of three fouls (SofaScore).


Leicester City – Crystal Palace recap

Kelechi Iheanacho couldn’t quite get on the end of an eighth-minute cross as the Foxes looked better than the visitors at the outset.

Leicester City’s James Justin saw a deflected shot pound the crossbar and fired wide with a second chance moments later.

Jamie Vardy was played into the box by Youri Tielemans’ fine pass in the 17th minute, but the Premier League Golden Boot race leader’s pass back into the mix was blocked by Mamadou Sakho.

Ayoze Perez nearly had it 1-0 when Christian Benteke did a poor job clearing a corner kick, but Sakho made a terrific block near the penalty spot.

Luka Milivojevic spun a free kick just wide of the upper 90 in the 32nd minute, Palace edging into the match.

Vardy’s difficult run of form continued with a poor first touch while turning into the box, a chance he often turns into a goal.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Leicester went ahead through Iheanacho. Tielemans got a rightful assist when Iheanacho took advantage of a sleeping Vicente Guaita to poke the ball home in the 49th minute.

Vardy missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 but then got the job done moments later when Sakho slipped and allowed Harvey Barnes to feed the 20-goal man on the doorstep.

Wilfried Zaha blew a chance to make it interesting late when he popped a terrific Andros Townsend cross over the frame.

Barnes slipped a delightful pass to Vardy for a trademark cutting run and finish for 3-0.

Everton beat stumbling Leicester

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Everton edged past Leicester City with a 2-1 win as the Foxes continue to drop points and are in real danger of dropping out of the Champions League positions.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton scored twice early through Richarlison and a Gyfli Sigurdsson penalty kick and even though Kelechi Icheanacho pulled one back for Leicester right at the start of the second half, they couldn’t find an equalizer.

Everton are unbeaten since the restart and move up to 11th on 44 points as they are well in the Europa League mix. Leicester could slip to fourth and have Man United, Chelsea and Wolves breathing down their necks.


Three things we learned

1. Leicester in freefall: They’ve won one of their last eight Premier League games and have been knocked out of both cup competitions, as well as just four wins in their last 16 in the PL. They won eight-straight through October and November and looked nailed on to finish in the top four, as at one point they had a 14-point gap over the fifth-place team. Leicester are really falling away and are now just three points above Man United and Wolves who are hunting them down. Brendan Rodgers’ side were woeful in the first half and although they improved in the second, it wasn’t enough. They have lost their balance in midfield and spark in attack.

2. Everton smart defensively: The big improvement has been defensively and Ancelotti has sharpened up the Toffees. They look more streetwise and have a settled back four which is getting the job done. Going forward they have attacking weapons to hurt teams, so as long as they don’t make defensive mistakes they will win a lot of games. It may not be the most exciting style to watch but boy is it getting results. Everton have lost three of Ancelotti’s 14 games in charge and those were away at Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. They look solid.

3. Vardy hardly had a kick: Vardy played in a cross to Perez in stoppage time and that was about all he did. Vardy, 33, has run out of steam after his amazing start to the season and has only scored in two of his last 16 outings for the Foxes. That is a big reason why they are in freefall and Vardy just isn’t getting in the right areas of the pitch.

Man of the Match

Michael Keane – Dominant display as he helped win the penalty kick and marshalled the backline expertly under intense pressure in the second half. Probably up there to win the PL comeback player of the year award, if there was such a thing. Proper old school center half.


Everton struck early as Richarlison put them ahead after some great work from youngster Anthony Gordon. Played in down the left, Gordon picked out Richarlison on the penalty spot and the Brazilian swept home to make it 1-0.

Six minutes later the Toffees doubled their lead as Lucas Digne whipped in a free kick which saw Michael Keane and Wilfred Ndidi battle for the ball in the penalty box and a penalty kick was awarded for a handball on Ndidi after plenty of deliberation from VAR. Sigurdsson calmly slotted home the spot kick to make it 2-0.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was then played in superbly over the top by Gordon but Caglar Soyuncu did brilliantly to put him under pressure at the crucial moment as a big chance came and went for Everton.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Digne’s shot deflected off James Justin and Kasper Schmeichel scrambled to claw it away as Everton almost made it 3-0.

Iheanacho then made it 2-1 as he bundled home after Everton failed to clear. Another half time sub, James Maddison, caused all kinds of problems and Michael Keane almost scored an own goal as Jordan Pickford allowed a cross to slip through his grasp but Keane hacked the ball off the line.

Iheanacho then brought the ball down but fired over when he was off balance, as Leicester totally dominated the second half.

In stoppage time Jamie Vardy set up Ayoze Perez and his effort flashed wide as Mason Holgate got a crucial block on the effort and Everton held on to secure a big three points and pile more pressure on Leicester.

Barkley slides Chelsea into FA Cup semis; Pulisic gets treatment

Leicester City - Chelsea recap
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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.

FA Cup quarterfinals: Big boys all away and favored

FA Cup quarterfinal preview
Photo by Visionhaus
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The FA Cup will produce its final four participants this weekend, with all of the favorites away from home.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

All of the visitors are favored according to DraftKings, with the slimmest margin being Chelsea (+148) at Leicester City (+180) but the congested league schedule and uncertain legs make anything possible this weekend in England.


Norwich City v. Manchester United

12:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The visitors are three wins away from rejoining Arsenal atop the FA Cup’s list of all-time winners. The Red Devils are -245, second-biggest favorites to their Mancunian rivals, and swept Norwich 3-1 and 4-0 this season. The former win came at Carrow Road.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to rest Fred and Scott McTominay in a blowout defeat of Sheffield United at midweek, so expect a real challenge for Norwich’s weary Canaries.

The last-place hosts are the latest team to boast the possibility of going to the second-tier for league play and the Europa League to boot. That ends here in a close one: 2-1 Man Utd.

Sheffield United v. Arsenal

8 a.m. ET Sunday

Chris Wilder’s Blades struggled against Newcastle and Manchester United, but will find a more uneven foe in Mikel Arteta’s visiting Gunners.

Arsenal is +140 to win the next step in pursuit of a record 14th FA Cup, but Bramall Lane is a decent hike from North London and the Gunners and already saw an Arsenal loss to Blades this year.

Sheffield United then drew Arteta’s men at the Emirates to take four-of-six points from Arsenal this PL season. This one might be grimy, but we like Arsenal by a 2-1 score.

Leicester City v. Chelsea

11 a.m. ET Sunday

You just know Brendan Rodgers would love to get a trophy after his former clubs, Liverpool and Celtic, have both collected league honors this Spring.

Leicester has not been anywhere near the incredible form it showed during the first half of the year and it’s Champions League credentials have somewhat predictable taken a big hit. The Foxes can thank Kasper Schmeichel for their latest point, but look destined to lose hold of third in the PL soon enough.

Chelsea’s coming off a Christian Pulisic-inspired big win over Man City but also has two more days rest than Frank Lampard’s Blues.

Perhaps that explains the near toss-up odds despite the better-rested Foxes in the cozy confines of the King Power Stadium. Chelsea’s inconsistency might rear its head again and we’ll call Schmeichel the difference as Leicester wins in penalty kicks.

FA Cup quarterfinal preview
LEICESTER – FEBRUARY 01: N’Golo Kanté of Chelsea and Hamza Choudhury of Leicester City (Photo by Visionhaus)

Newcastle United v. Manchester City

1:30 p.m. ET Sunday

This checks only a couple of promising boxes for Newcastle: The one that has them at St. James’ Park for the third-straight match of the restart and the one that claims one day’s more rest.

All that and DraftKings still has them as the underdog of the week at +1300.

Both Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden were injured Wednesday versus Villa, and Man City is without Sergio Aguero.

City was stung deeply by Chelsea and Pep Guardiola is an ornery man looking for his third bit of silverware this year and a guard of honor due Liverpool at the Etihad next week.

Throw in Newcastle’s 2-2 draw against Man City at St. James’ Park earlier this season, probably the result that signaled the massive task of chasing Liverpool, and Guardiola has every reason to have his men ready to roar. Man City 4-1.

FA Cup quarterfinals schedule, how to watch

  • Stream LiveESPN+
  • When: Saturday and Sunday

FA Cup semifinal draw

  • When: Halftime of Newcastle-Man City on Sunday
  • Time: Approximately 2:20 p.m. ET

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 ]