Leicester City battle out of relegation, Chelsea 11 points clear on top
Leicester City 3-1 Liverpool
Leicester City goals: Jamie Vardy 28, Danny Drinkwater 39, Jamie Vardy 60
Liverpool goals: Phillippe Coutinho 68
In their first match since Foxes’ manager Claudio Ranieri was fired, current Premier League champions Leicester City defeated mighty titan EPL club Liverpool 3-1. Without Ranieri in charge, Leicester returned to form and gave a stunning performance of the kind that made them champions last season, recording their first league goals and first win of 2017. Last season’s top goal scorer for Leicester City, Jamie Vardy, scored the opening goal of the match, Danny Drinkwater scored the second, and Vardy scored the third for the Foxes. Liverpool’s only goal came from Phillippe Coutinho at 68.
Vardy put Leicester City in the lead in the 28th minute with his first Premier League goal since December. Danny Drinkwater made it 2-0 with a stunning volley just before halftime and Vardy headed Leicester's third on the hour as Liverpool died. Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho gave them a lifeline at 69 minutes. However the Foxes held on for their crucial victory that took them three places up the EPL Ladder out of danger to 15th. Leicester City returned to form in stunning fashion on Monday as Jamie Vardy scored twice in a 3-1 Premier League defeat of Liverpool that lifted the champions out of the relegation zone after Italian boss Ranieri was sacked due to five defeats in a row and no goals scored in 2017, Leicester produced a vibrant display against the Reds to the relief and delight of their fans. On the other hand, Liverpool seemed overwhelmed as their hopes of a top-four EPL finish suffered a massive setback.
"It feels good, we need to enjoy it while it lasts and build on this," Drinkwater said about Leicester’s surprise win. "You could call it a reaction, we have come under a bit of stick." Vardy talked about the Foxes’ amazing performance. "We've been working hard on everything we've been asked to do but it's not been happening. Tonight it all clicked." Leicester's players seemed inspired from the opening whistle. Liverpool seemed well-rested and fit after a two-week break and some warm weather training in Spain. The Red’s goalkeeper Simon Mignolet got off to a good start when he stopped a Robert Huth header. Okazaki's header was saved by Mignolet before England striker Vardy sent a volley at the Liverpool keeper from a high ball. Vardy was playing high up the pitch on Shakespeare's instructions in the 28th minute before drilling a powerful shot past Mignolet in Leicester's first goal for a long time Drinkwater launched a killer shot from 25 metres out that flashed into the net making the score 2-0 at the break.
After the break, Liverpool was unable to get re-inspired, and Leicester scored again on the hour when Vardy timed his jump perfectly to head in Christian Fuchs's cross making the score 3-0. Leicester's cheering fans chanted "3-0 to the champions" while calling the name of Ranieri remembering how their club took the league silverware by 10 points last season. Coutinho scored in the 69th minute but it was too late for Juergen Klopp's Liverpool side who have won only once in seven EPL games.
Foxes supporters enjoyed a brilliant performance from Leicester, who did what they used to do without Claudio Ranier as they harried and hassled Liverpool. Jamie Vardy responded with two expertly taken finishes, on either side of a memorable finish from Danny Drinkwater. The Foxes moved up to survival in 15th place on the table. After Jurgen Klopp’s side’s sluggish performance they stay 5th, a point behind Arsenal and a point ahead of Manchester United, both of whom have played a game less.
Leicester City's caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare made only one change from the side that took to the field for Ranieri's final game in last week's 2-1 loss to Sevilla in a Champions League Last-16 first leg tie bringing in Shinji Okazaki for Ahmed Musa.
Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Chilwell, King, Amartey, Slimani, Zieler, Gray, Ulloa.
Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho. Subs: Karius, Moreno, Klavan, Stewart, Alexander-Arnold, Origi, Woodburn.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Buy Premier League tickets from 1st4FootballTickets.com! Great legal, authentic, Leicester City tickets, Chelsea tickets, Arsenal tickets, Spurs tickets, Man Utd tickets, Everton tickets, and Liverpool tickets are available securely now online.
Chelsea surged 11 points clear on top of the England Premier League Table as their march towards the Premier League title continued at Swansea City's expense on Saturday. Tottenham Hotspur are in second, Manchester City are in third, Arsenal are in fourth, Liverpool are in fifth, Manchester United are in sixth, and Everton are in seventh. Antonio Conte's Chelsea side are 11 points ahead of Manchester City who have 13 games left. Italian Conte's side is sure to win the title this campaign unless a monumental loss of form costs him them title in his debut season in charge. Chelsea took a 19th-minute lead when Cesc Fabregas scored on his 300th Premier League appearance.
"It's important to continue this way. We need 29 points to be sure of winning the league," Conte told reporters. Chelsea's victory made it mathematically impossible for Leicester City to catch them as they are 39 points behind the leaders after their home clash with Liverpool on Monday. In other weekend games Crystal Palace enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park on Saturday taking them out of the relegation zone. Patrick van Aanholt's 34th-minute goal was enough to lift Palace to 17th place with 22 points, one ahead of Hull City, who drew 1-1 at home with Burnley. "The three points are important as it puts us in amongst the pack, out of the bottom three and a bit closer to Bournemouth," said Palace manager Big Sam Allardyce.
Boro have 22 points but are sliding towards the drop zone after nine league games without a win. Bournemouth are in the relegation battle after a 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion who are eighth. Everton continue to fight to catch the top four and beat bottom club Sunderland 2-0 to move within six points of fourth-placed Arsenal. Romelu Lukaku scored for Everton taking his tally for the season to 17, level at the top of the scoring charts with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. Sunderland's fourth defeat in six left them with 19 points. "There is a gap between us and the teams above us but there are still 12 games to go," Everton manager Ronald Koeman said. "You need to continue and get the momentum."