Daily Archives: February 15, 2016

Arsenal takes down Leicester, title race goes on

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Leicester City began their match against Arsenal as sole title favourites, but their 2-1 defeat thanks to Danny Welbeck’s last minute goal blew the title wide open.

League top scorer Jamie Vardy opened the scoreboard late in the first half, converting a penalty after being brought down by Nacho Monreal in the box.

Signs of trouble appeared for the Foxes as Arsenal began the second half with intensity, and fouls began to stack for both teams.

Theo Walcott, coming in for Frances Coquelin equalized with a side-foot finish from an Olivier Giroud knockdown, setting the stage for a nail-biting final 20 minutes.

But having been reduced to just 10 men after Danny Simpson was awarded a second yellow card, Leicester looks set to hold out for a draw that would feel like a victory for Ranieri’s side.

Then, at the last minute of injury time, Danny Welbeck glanced Mesut Ozil’s free kick past a brilliant Kasper Schmeichel, and the entire Emirates stadium erupted with delight.

The last minute goal denies Leicester City’s opportunity to distance themselves from other Premier League title competitors, shortening their gap to just two points from both Arsenal and Tottenham.

Nevertheless, given their performance the entire season – and provided if they could continue said performance, the defeat would only be a small setback for the Foxes.

Russell Westbrook, Western Conference shines in All-stars

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As the final buzzer rang, all eyes were on Kobe Bryant as the Lakers veteran embraced his teammates and received a standing ovation from all around.

And so, the NBA legend had played his last All-Stars game, helping the Western Conference win by 196 to 73 and finishing with 10 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

Held in Toronto, it was the first NBA game outside of the U.S., and also is one of the highest scoring ones.

Otherwise, it was business as usual in the All-stars match, with tonnes of slam dunks and mesmerizing downtown nets.

“It was fun.” Bryant said.

“I had a blast playing with those guys, laughing and joking with them on the bench.”

West coach Gregg Popovich likens Bryant’s departure as “passing the torch” to the younger generation of NBA players.

Meanwhile, Thunders’ Russell Westbrook took the honour of MVP, for the second time, winning a six of possible 12 votes.

The point guard poured in a team-high of 31 points, as well as taking eight rebounds, five assists and steals in just 22 minutes. Still, it was a slight decrease from his 41 points last year as a reserve.

“I was honestly surprised I won it again,” Westbrook said. “I was very surprised to have my name called.”

“I’m happy and blessed to be in the game again and for the opportunity.”

Team GB fails to reach Winter Olympics qualifiers

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Great Britain has lost the opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics once again after a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Italy.

Held in Cortina, the hosts took the first period with pace and power that overwhelmed the Great Britain team, taking a 3-0 lead.

Italy, standing at rank 18 extended the score gap in the second period before goals from Ashley Tait and David Clarke scored and shortened the gap to two.

However, the squadra azzurra strove to retake their lead before the final period, and when defenceman Alexander Gellert made it 5-2 the game was all but over, and Italy took home the decisive game.

Home fans wildly celebrated Gellert’s goal, who was in turn thrilled by the experience of representing his own country.

Gellert’s goal was greeted by a huge roar from his home fans and he was thrilled by the experience of representing his country on home ice.

“I feel really lucky to be able to play here with this great support from the fans,” he said.

“Thanks to the GB fans as well – they really got some electricity into the building.”

As Italy looks forward to travelling to Norway for the Olympic qualifiers, Team GB would return home having never qualified for the multinational competition since 1948.