Unbeaten Leicester hit back for Stoke draw

first_img The Foxes went into this game second in the table and with their boss Claudio Ranieri having promised to buy them pizza if they kept the first clean sheet of their impressive campaign. They showed little appetite for that in a poor first-half performance before once again producing a comeback to salvage something from the game – just as they have done in their last three league fixtures. Stoke, meanwhile, must reflect on a great opportunity missed to get a monkey off their back as they remain winless and in the relegation zone. They had settled into the game quickly and went 1-0 up when Marko Arnautovic deftly turned away from Ritchie De Laet on the left flank, cut inside and delivered a wonderful through ball for Bojan. The Spaniard stroked home his first goal of the season gleefully, his celebration showing his relief at being back on the scoresheet after the nightmare he has endured since sustaining a serious knee injury in January. Soon after, Stoke had another goal. Ex-Potters man Robert Huth allowed Jack Butland’s long kick upfield to bounce past him and Morgan then made a complete hash of an attempt to play the ball back to his goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Walters, who had dashed past Huth, seized on the loose ball and side-footed in – a moment for him to savour, coming on his return to the matchday squad after a second bid for him from Norwich was rejected. Stoke were almost in again as Walters and Marco van Ginkel just failed to touch in a Geoff Cameron cross, before Butland produced a great save to turn N’Golo Kante’s shot around the post. High-flying Leicester maintained their unbeaten start to the season as a second-half fightback secured them a 2-2 draw at Stoke, denying the Potters their first 2015-16 Barclays Premier League win. Things suddenly became less comfortable for Stoke shortly after the restart as Arnautovic bundled over Danny Drinkwater and Mahrez fired in the resulting penalty, his fifth goal of the season. The in-form Butland then pulled off another fine stop to keep out Vardy’s shot before Xherdan Shaqiri fired across Schmeichel’s goal. Vardy then drew things level with his fourth goal of the season, holding off Erik Pieters and scuffing a shot beyond Butland. Stoke threatened again as Cameron headed wide and Schmiechel kept out a Shaqiri free-kick. Vardy then almost won it at the death but his shot went narrowly wide. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Is this really happening again? Leicester 2 down at halftime are back on level terms.” – Gary Lineker, as always, is left surprised by Leicester, one way or another. PLAYER RATINGS Stoke Jack Butland: 8 (out of 10) Glen Johnson: 6 Erik Pieters: 6 Geoff Cameron: 6 Marc Wilson: 6 Glenn Whelan: 6 Marco van Ginkel: 6 Marko Arnautovic: 6 Xherdan Shaqiri: 6 Bojan Krkic: 7 Jonathan Walters: 6 Subs Peter Crouch: 6 Stephen Ireland: 6 Peter Odemwingie: 6 Leicester Kasper Schmeichel: 7 Ritchie De Laet: 6 Robert Huth: 6 Wes Morgan: 6 Jeff Schlupp: 6 N’Golo Kante: 6 Danny Drinkwater: 6 Gokhan Inler: 5 Riyad Mahrez: 7 Jamie Vardy: 8 Shinji Okazaki: 6 Subs Marc Albrighton: 6 Leonardo Ulloa: 6 Andy King: 6 STAR PLAYER Jamie Vardy: The England forward continues to impress. Was a key man in Leicester’s second-half comeback, and almost added to his equaliser with a late winner, shooting just wide. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Bojan Krkic: Hands on head and smiling broadly, the playmaker had a look of pure joy – mixed with a fair degree of relief – as he celebrated after scoring. Will be hoping his injury problems are now well and truly behind him. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Stoke boss Mark Hughes appeared furious at his team not getting a free-kick in the build-up to Leicester’s leveller, but will surely be most livid at the Potters throwing away the opportunity to chalk up their first league win of 2015-16. Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, while pleased to come away with a point and keep the momentum going, may be annoyed that again his men had to come from behind to get a result. A consolation on that front is that he will not have to act on his pre-match promise of buying his players pizza if they kept a clean sheet. MOAN OF THE MATCH Leicester are yet to register a shut-out this term and had the added incentive going into this contest of the reward of food – but you would not know it judging by the way Robert Huth, a former Stoke player no less, and Foxes captain Wes Morgan conducted themselves in the build-up to Stoke’s second goal. Sloppy. WHO’S UP NEXT Fulham v Stoke (Capital One Cup, September 22) Leicester v West Ham (Capital One Cup, September 22) The hosts had been firmly in control, taking the lead in the 13th minute when the fit-again Bojan Krkic – making his first league start in eight months – slotted home, before Jonathan Walters pounced on a Wes Morgan error to make it 2-0 seven minutes later. But Leicester reduced the deficit in the 51st minute through Riyad Mahrez’s penalty and Jamie Vardy then notched the equaliser in the 69th. Press Associationlast_img read more

Eagles FC edge Uitvlugt Warriors as the game makes a welcome return to ground

first_imgROUND two of the GFF/NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power U-17 Intra-Association League in the West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) kicked off last Saturday at the Uitvlugt Community Centre ground after an absence of a number of years.WDFA president Orin Ferrier disclosed that the association were able to gain access to the ground, following a series of meetings with the management of Uitvlugt Estate, part of the GUYSUCO family.Eagles celebrated the return of the game to this once popular venue which would have also hosted international matches with an exciting victory over neighbours, Uitvlugt Warriors 3-2.Eagles FC of Stewartville have continued their winnings ways and are the only unbeaten team, following the first round of this league. Their first round encounter against Uitvlugt also ended 3-2 in their favour.Charles Benn in the 41st minute, Telbert Baptiste in the 46th and Romel Medas in the 60th minute were the players rocking the back of the net for Eagles, as they stormed back in style to erase a two-goal deficit in the first half and snatch full points.Home team Uitvlugt backed by their fans had felt that they were somewhat comfortable after running away 2-0 leaders through goals from Malcolm Dainty in the 2nd minute and Travis Fraser in the 14th minute.The first-half comfort for the Warriors was however cut short on 41 minutes, when Eagles fired in the first of three unanswered goals.Hurry-ATE won the first match of this second phase via walkover from Pouderoyen FC who failed to show up. Matches will continue next week.last_img read more

Late Comeback Gives Hope for Top Four in EPL

first_imgChelsea staged a remarkable late revival to snatch a controversial victory at relegation-threatened Cardiff City and ease the intensifying pressure on boss Maurizio Sarri.Ponderous and painfully slow, Chelsea controlled possession but did little with it as they were comfortably shackled by a disciplined Cardiff side during a goalless first half.The hosts took the lead less than a minute into the second period thanks to Victor Camarasa’s delicate curling volley, prompting cries of “we want Sarri out” from Chelsea’s travelling fans. With five minutes left, Cezar Azpilicueta nodded in an equaliser from a clearly offside position and then, in added time, substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed the winner to break Cardiff hearts.The result is a major blow to Cardiff’s bid for Premier League survival, leaving them five points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.For Chelsea, however, it is a major reprieve for their hopes of securing Champions League football next season, keeping them within a point of Manchester United in fourth place.And nobody will be feeling more relieved than Sarri after he faced repeated calls to be sacked from the travelling supporters.The Italian was already under pressure before this match, with a run of four defeats from five away matches and fans growing frustrated with the patient, arguably overly pragmatic style of football known as ‘Sarriball’.They vented their anger on several occasions at Cardiff City Stadium, and justifiably so given their side’s largely toothless display.Sarri had decided to rest two of his most important players, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, who both joined Callum Hudson-Odoi on the bench despite the clamour to hand the 18-year-old winger his first Premier League start following his impressive recent debut for England.Hazard’s creativity and Hudson-Odoi’s dynamism would have been useful for Chelsea in a sterile start to the game, as they dominated possession but at a walking pace.Once again, Gonzalo Higuain cut a forlorn figure up front, dropping deep in search of the ball and often outnumbered by Cardiff’s swarming defence.Added to that, there was no penetration from a midfield three of Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Jorginho, whose second-half substitution was met with ironic cheers from the travelling supporters.But it was Sarri for whom they reserved their most stinging vitriol, mocking ‘Sarriball’ and demanding the Italian’s sacking in a string of furious chants.Chelsea’s players pressed forward in search of an equaliser as the second half wore on, but there was little conviction or genuine threat against a Cardiff side who had conceded 57 goals in their previous 30 matches.That was until the 84th minute when Marcos Alonso flicked on a cross to Azpilicueta, who was a foot offside but allowed to head in from close range, much to the rage of the Cardiff crowd.A draw would still not have been much use to Chelsea’s hopes of a top-four finish, and they got their full reprieve when Willian swung an injury-time cross to the back post, where substitute Loftus-Cheek headed in powerfully to spark celebrations in the away end – and a huge sigh of relief from Sarri.While Sarri reflected on his lucky escape, his counterpart Neil Warnock exploded with indignation.This was a result which could have huge ramifications for Cardiff’s bid for Premier League survival, and referee Craig Pawson’s controversial late decisions were fuel to the flames of Warnock’s fury.His side were playing catch-up before a ball had been kicked, as Burnley and Southampton’s wins on Saturday had left the Bluebirds five points adrift of safety.But before the late drama here, Cardiff were on the cusp of a fourth win from seven Premier League matches which would have done wonders for their aim of avoiding relegation.This would have been their most notable scalp of the season and, although it was against a Chelsea side playing well short of their potential, Cardiff deserved credit for the way in which they negated their opponents with a diligent and well-drilled display.They were content to allow Chelsea the ball for long periods, while carrying a threat on the break with Josh Murphy a livewire on the right wing.And although Cardiff are not renowned for aesthetically pleasing football, their goal was a thing of beauty, Camarasa barely breaking stride as he swept in a curling volley just inside the Chelsea penalty area.It was to prove in vain, with Azpilicueta’s goal from an offside position incurring the wrath of the home crowd.The mood darkened further still when Pawson showed Antonio Rudiger a yellow card for bringing down Kenneth Zohore as he bore down on goal, with the home fans believing the offence warranted a sending off.And then the final blow came in added time as Loftus-Cheek headed in the winner, leaving Cardiff’s dumbstruck players and fans wondering how they had been denied a precious victory, and cursing the controversial calls which contributed to the late turnaround.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more