LONDON: A brace from striker Jamie Vardy gave Leicester City a commanding 4-1 victory over basement side Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.
Youri Tielemans opened the scoring with a long-range strike that came from a Leicester corner in the 24th minute. The Belgian midfielder latched on to Christopher Schindler’s poor clearance to curl home a well-placed shot from 20 yards out.
Vardy doubled their lead three minutes after the break when he got on the end of a sublime cross from right back Ricardo Pereira that beat both the defenders, although there was a hint of offside when the striker made his run.
Huddersfield halved the lead four minutes later when midfielder Aaron Mooy converted a penalty after Caglar Soyuncu brought down Karlan Grant inside the box. The Australian sent goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way to make it 2-1.
However, James Maddison restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage with a freekick in the 79th minute. Goalkeeper Ben Hamer misjudged the trajectory and took a step to his right before realising too late that the shot was headed to his left.
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Vardy then sealed victory with a penalty five minutes later when Terence Kongolo fouled him after he had rounded the goalkeeper. It was his 104th goal for Leicester, going past former England striker Gary Lineker’s haul for the club.
The result moved Brendan Rodgers’s side to seventh in the standings with 47 points after 33 games, ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers on goal difference.
Milivojevic penalty seals Palace win at Newcastle
Crystal Palace all but banished any lingering relegation fears as captain Luka Milivojevic fired home a late penalty to secure a 1-0 Premier League victory at Newcastle on Saturday.
Newcastle were guilty of squandering too many chances and were punished when DeAndre Yedlin fouled Wilfried Zaha in the box in the 80th minute and spot-kick expert Milivojevic did the rest, beating keeper Martin Dubravka.
Palace held on for their first away win over Newcastle in nine attempts, a run stretching back to 1998.
It lifted Roy Hodgson’s side to 12th with 39 points, 11 ahead of third-bottom Cardiff City. Newcastle remained in danger, though, dropping to 15th with 35 points.
To make matters worse for the hosts they had Florian Lejeune taken off on a stretcher in the second half with a knee injury.
Defeat ended a run of five successive home league wins for Rafa Benitez’s side.
Palace played on the counter-attack throughout with Andros Townsend and Zaha a constant threat.
With 10 minutes remaining and Newcastle seeking to extend their impressive home run, another rapid Palace breakaway left the hosts exposed and Zaha skipped past Fabian Schar before being fouled by Yedlin.
Milivojevic has now scored 11 goals in all competitions this season, 10 of them from the penalty spot.
“This three points will guarantee (us staying up),” he said.
“Today our game over 90 minutes was very good. We controlled the game in the second half.”
Both sides had goals ruled out in a lively first half with Salomon Rondon denied for the hosts and James Tomkins, who also hobbled off late on, for Palace.
Huddersfield move closer to relegation, Burnley in trouble
Newcastle will be scratching their heads over their failure to pick up at least a point after having the lion’s share of possession and chances. They remain winless in 11 Premier League matches against London clubs this season.
“It’s a big disappointment because we had a lot of chances and lots of shots on goal but this is sometimes the kind of game you cannot win but it is important not to lose,” Benitez said.
“The most difficult one is the final third. We pushed and we attacked but we didn’t control the counter-attack the way we should have done.”
Impressive Burnley fight back to beat Bournemouth 3-1
Burnley made a big step towards securing Premier League survival after coming back from a goal down to beat Bournemouth 3-1 away as their striker Ashley Barnes scored at both ends in an action-packed contest on Saturday.
The result lifted Burnley into 14th place on 36 points from 33 games, eight above the relegation zone with 18th-placed Cardiff on 28 points from 32 matches. Bournemouth are 13th on 38 points from 33 games.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche praised his side who overcame a jittery start at the Vitality stadium.
“So many parts of the performance were strong today,” Dyche told the BBC. “There was no nervousness and we stayed clear-minded. There was a real calmness to our play.
“Twenty-four points since Christmas is a very strong return. We kept playing, we kept probing, we kept doing all the diligent things that we do well.
“It puts us in a much healthier situation than we were two games ago.”
The home side took a fourth-minute lead after Barnes headed into his own net but Burnley came roaring back as Chris Wood levelled with an 18th-minute header before Ashley Westwood swept in a shot from 13 metres barely two minutes later.
Both goals resulted from sloppy Bournemouth defending as their keeper Asmir Begovic misjudged an inswinging corner for the equaliser before Chris Mepham’s poor clearance gave Westwood time and space to fire the visitors ahead.
Callum Wilson missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise midway through the first half when he headed over the bar from close range before another Begovic howler allowed Barnes to score at the right end in the 57th minute.
Wood beat the indecisive Begovic to a deflected cross at the near post, as he turned swiftly and squared the ball back to his strike partner Barnes who rifled it confidently into an empty net from eight metres.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was unhappy with his team’s bloodless performance which stretched their winless home run to four games, leaving them with only one win from their last nine league outings.
“There were lots of elements from our performance today which wasn’t great,” said Howe.
“I have always backed our goalkeepers. Mistakes happen in football. Today we made numerous mistakes in areas we wouldn’t expect them to happen.
“We pride ourselves on our professionalism and our ability to never give up but it didn’t look like that today. We are on a difficult run and confidence is maybe a bit low but the season isn’t over yet.” REUTERS
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