Tag Archives: Leicester City

FA Cup: Chelsea enters semi-finals after Pedro’s extra time goal

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Pedro’s extra-time winner for Chelsea earned victory for the Blues at Leicester City and set up an FA Cup semi-final encounter against Southampton at Wembley.

Antonio Conte’s side were digging deep after being widely criticized for their midweek Champions League defeat in FC Barcelona to keep their hopes of silverware alive as they survived an attacking assault from The Foxes.

However, the Blues drew first blood through Alvaro Morata when the Spanish forward took Willian’s pass in his stride to beat Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel in composed fashion to give Chelsea the advantage just before half-time.

Still, the Foxes were able to get their equalizer when Jamie Vardy made amends for a poor headed miss when he pounced in a goalmouth scramble for a 76th minute equaliser.

The decisive moment then came just just before the interval in extra time when Chelsea substitute Pedro beat the onrushing Schmeichel to N’Golo Kante’s cross and headed in the winner.

“t was a tough game but we knew this,” Conte said after the game. “The last game at home [a 0-0 draw in January] we suffered a lot against Leicester.”

“We must be pleased. I saw a good performance and great character from my team. After the game in the Champions League, when we spent a lot of energy, they showed good heart to beat Leicester.”

Chelsea will play Southampton — who reached the last four by beating Wigan earlier on Sunday, while Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who won their respective quarter-finals on Saturday, will contest the other tie.

FA Cup quarter final results:

Swansea City 0 : 3 Tottenham

Wigan Athletic 0 : 2 Southampton

Man United 2 : 0 Brighton

Leicester City 1 : 2 Chelsea

Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez regrets reactions to failed City move

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Riyad Mahrez admits that he regrets his reactions after seeing his potential move to Manchester City fall through in the January transfer window.

Mahrez, 26, was absent for two Leicester City matches after missing out on a move to join the ranks of the Premier League leaders, who reportedly made a £60 million offer on deadline day two months ago.

However, the Algeria international denied he had been on strike after the disappointment of the failed move, but concedes he should have handled the situation better when he took a leave of absence from the Leicester squad.

“I was away from here because I needed some time to think, it was a difficult situation,” he said. “You’ll always have regrets but at that time I thought it was the best thing to do.”

“Manchester City is a good move for everyone but it is the past. It is behind me. If we start talking about this it’s like coming back to the transfer window and now I’m moving forward, trying to give my best for the team.”

Following his leave, Mahrez returned to action in Leicester’s 5-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side on February 10 and has played in all three matches since, including the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last Saturday, in which he scored a dramatic late free-kick to help his team steal a point.

He also added that he was grateful to his teammates who had stood by him when he returned.

“I spoke with the players, I spoke with the manager, I spoke with everyone. Everyone was OK, was good.”

“It was difficult, I’ve always been in contact with the club. The club handled it very well. When the team-mates and the club were behind me it was okay, it was very easy to come back here.”

On Wednesday, Leicester were forced to deny Mahrez had retired after hackers posted a message announcing he was quitting football on his Facebook page.

“I wasn’t bothered,” the player said about the case. “It won’t affect me, so I don’t know why they try to do that. I think everyone knew it had been hacked.”

Kevin De Bruyne: Man City playmaker looking forward to brief break

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Kevin de Bruyne says that Manchester City’s weary players are grateful for some time off before their next game against Leicester.

City boss Pep Guardiola, who saw his side draw 1-1 with Burnley on Saturday, has given his squad three days leave ahead of the game against the Foxes next weekend.

Benjamin Mendy, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, John Stones, David Silva, Fabian Delph and Phil Foden are all sidelined for City as the Manchester team is gradually plagued with injuries amidst a schedule packed with domestic fixtures.

“I was feeling it from the first minute,” said De Bruyne after the match at Burnley. “You feel great for 10 games, then you feel OK for 10 games and then the rest you feel like shit.”

On the other hand, De Bruyne, 26, has missed only three of City’s 39 games in all competitions as the Blues still chasing four trophies this season. His workload has been increased by David Silva’s personal circumstances and the sidelining of Yaya Toure, as the latter has been limited to only 89 minutes of Premier League football.

In his appearances, the playmaker has completed 2,975 minutes in a City colours, while also registering the most assists, crosses and through balls in the division and covering more ground than many players do in a season.

“You know, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ve only got 15 or 16 players available at the moment so we need to get through it,” added De Bruyne.

The week-long gap between fixtures is City’s longest since the November international break. They will host Leicester at the Etihad on Saturday.

“It will do us a lot of good,” said De Bruyne. “I’m going away, it doesn’t matter where!”

Leicester City eases past Fleetwood town thanks to VAR-awarded goal

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Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho became the first player to score a goal awarded by a video assistant referee (VAR) in English football as the Foxes beat Fleetwood in an FA Cup third-round replay by 2-0.

After the Nigerian striker opened the scoring with a routine strike from Islam Slimani’s pass, Iheanacho subsequently had a goal initially disallowed for offside from Riyad Mahrez’s through ball.

However, after referee Jonathan Moss liaised with the video official Mike Jones — who told him Nathan Pond’s trailing foot was keeping Iheanacho onside — the goal was finally awarded 67 seconds after it hit the back of the net.

This is the third time the VAR has been used as a trial in English football, all this month, after Brighton v Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and Chelsea v Arsenal in the League Cup; however, while the video referee was consulted in those games, they never used to reverse a decision.

Moss had already briefly spoken to the video official when Iheanacho had an earlier goal ruled out because the ball had crossed the byeline before Demarai Gray crossed it.

There were also a number of discussion regarding in-game incidents between both Moss and Jones such as when Leicester’s Vicente Iborra was pulled back in the box — which they decided not to award a penalty for — before Moss initially disallowed a second goal by the Nigerian for offside.

For the latter, Jones decided — correctly — that Pond was actually keeping him on-side, a decision that was easily missed in real time by the officials.

Moss has the option to watch the case again on a screen on the side of the pitch, had he wanted to — but in this case, he utilized the freedom to trust the video official.