Football Digest: Leicester go clear at the top
By Niall Clarke
- Football Round up
- Leicester go clear as Vardy pens new contract
- Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma suffers horrific injury in 1-1 draw with Manchester United
Leicester City moving five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League headlined an action packed weekend of football.
5000/1 and top of the league
The phenomenal story of Leicester City continued as the Foxes ran out 3-1 victors at the Ethiad stadium on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri’s side took the Citizens apart with beautiful counter attacking football with goals from Robert Huth and Riyad Mahrez giving the league leaders an unassailable lead. Sergio Aguero grabbed a late consolation to keep up his bid for the Golden Boot, but the day belonged to Leicester.
5000/1 were the odds at the start of the season of Leicester winning the Premier League. In book makers eyes, it was more likely that Piers Morgan would take over the Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager.
Leicester City’s success has proven that money doesn’t always provide the answer. The starting 11 that dismantled Manchester City cost a tenth of their opponents’, proving that team work and dedication are more important.
Jamie Vardy might not have been on the score-sheet on Saturday but he still managed to put an even bigger smile on the faces of the Leicester faithful. The striker penned a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2019- an extra piece of great news to add to the collection.
Zouma set for six months on side lines with injury
Kurt Zouma will face six months out of action because he requires surgery on the knee injury he suffered during the 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
The 21 year old twisted his knee as he landed awkwardly after contesting a high ball on Sunday. It has been confirmed by Chelsea Football Club he will require surgery and will be out for ‘approximately six months’.
The Frenchman will not only miss the rest of the Premier League season but will also be out of Euro 2016.
It is another blow to the Chelsea defence after it was confirmed that John Terry has not been offered an extension to his contract that runs out at the end of the season.
The Blues’ captain said he has not received contact from the club or manager Guus Hiddink about extending his deal.
Terry has been linked with possible moves to Qatar, the MLS and the ever growing Chinese Super League.
The game itself came to life around the hour mark when Jesse Lingard’s turn and shot gave the away side the lead. Diego Costa’s sixth goal in seven games rescued a point in stoppage time.
United are now six points off the top four whilst Chelsea remain in the bottom half of the table in 13th place.
Liverpool fan’s stage ticket price protest during 2-2 draw with Sunderland.
Liverpool might have squandered a two goal lead at home to Sunderland on Saturday but the main concern from the fans was the rising ticket prices for next season.
Thousands of the Anfield faithful walked out in the 77th minute in protest at the £77 top-priced ticket in the new main stand next term.
The walkout followed singing of the club anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ then chants of “enough is enough”.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who missed the game with appendicitis, believes it is in the best interest of everyone to find a solution to the problem.
“It’s not what we want,” said Klopp
“What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution.
“We don’t want people to leave the stadium before the game is finished.”
Premier League round-up
After Leicester’s stunning display kicked off the Premier League weekend, it was up to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to keep up the pace with the league leaders.
Spurs edged out a 1-0 win at home to Watford thanks to Kieran Trippier’s tap in off Dele Alli’s low cross.
On Sunday, Arsenal scored twice in 88 first-half seconds to defeat Bournemouth and move level on points with their North London rivals. Mesut Ozil blasted in the first with Alex Oxlade-Chaimberlain adding a second in quick succession.
Southampton kept up their European place bid with a 1-0 victory over West Ham at St.Mary’s. At the other end of the table, Aston Villa’s great escape might be under way after securing a 2-0 home win against Norwich.
Newcastle defeated West Brom 1-0, Everton took apart Stoke 3-0 at the Britannia, and Swansea vs Crystal Palace finished 1-1.
European football round up: Neville still in search of first Valencia win
Gary Neville’s Valencia nightmare continued as his side suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of struggling Real Betis.
The former England and Manchester United defender has not won a game with the Spanish club since taking over in December. Neville was called to resign after a 7-0 loss to Barcelona in midweek but insists he will not quit Valencia.
The former Manchester United skipper’s record in La Liga now shows four losses and five draws from nine games, as Betis secured only their second home league win of the season. Valencia are only four points clear of the drop zone.
Barcelona remain at the top of the pile after a 2-0 away victory at Levante. Luis Suarez bagged his 20th league goal of the season as the Catalan side moved three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the summit.
Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he will not leave Real Madrid until his contract expires in 2018. The Portuguese forward failed to get on the score-sheet as Zinedine Zidane’s side defeat Granada 2-1 at the weekend.
Paris Saint Germain’s bid for an unbeaten season continued as the French Champions overcame Marseille 2-1 to go 24 points clear at the top. Laurent Blanc’s side, who have not lost in 34 Ligue 1 games, are 13 matches away from an unbeaten league campaign.
In Germany, leaders Bayern Munich slipped to a goalless draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, but second placed Borussia Dortmund could not take advantage after their own goalless draw against Hertha Berlin.
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