EPL

Premier League Review: Vardy shines as Leicester cruise past Aston Villa

By Sports Desk December 08, 2019

Leicester City registered a club-record eighth Premier League win a row with a resounding 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa on Sunday.

The result – aided by a Jamie Vardy brace – means Brendan Rodgers' side go back to within eight points of leaders Liverpool and sees them open a six-point advantage over Manchester City following their defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

Sheffield United's impressive return to the top flight continued as they came from behind to beat Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road, while Newcastle United left it late to scrape past Southampton by the same scoreline.

In the day's final game, Diogo Jota scored twice as Wolves and Brighton and Hove Albion played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium.

 

Foxes maintain sensational run

Vardy's stunning streak continued as he became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League games since he previously achieved the feat himself in 2015.

The 32-year-old claimed goals in a record-breaking 11 matches in a row during Leicester's remarkable title-winning campaign and is now threatening to match or even improve upon that landmark.

He put Leicester ahead at Villa Park before Kelechi Iheanacho doubled the Foxes' advantage from close range.

Jack Grealish suggested the hosts could stage a comeback when he scored on the stroke of half-time, but Jonny Evans and Vardy's second sealed yet another three points for Rodgers' relentless side.

Blades bounce back to overcome Canaries

Sheffield United remain unbeaten away from home in this season's Premier League after a narrow victory over Norwich City.

Alexander Tettey had given the hosts a first-half lead, but Chris Wilder's side bounced back after the break courtesy of goals from Enda Stevens and George Baldock.

The Canaries thought they had been handed an opportunity to claw their way back into the game when Chris Basham was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Kenny McLean, only for a VAR review to downgrade the dismissal to a yellow card.

The result moves the Blades up to eighth, while Daniel Farke's side remain four points away from safety in 19th.

Jota double seals away point for Wolves

Wolves stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games after a draw with Brighton that saw all four goals scored in the first half.

Jota put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute after playing a one-two with Raul Jimenez before the hosts turned the game on its head with two goals in 96 seconds.

First, Neal Maupay drew Graham Potter's side level and then Davy Propper put them ahead with a fine header from Leandro Trossard's cross.

Jota ensured a share of the spoils a minute before the interval, though, turning inside the penalty area and firing past Mat Ryan.

Magpies' revival continues with hard-fought win

Jonjo Shelvey scored for a third consecutive game as Newcastle made it four wins from their past six in the Premier League with a late victory over Southampton.

The Saints went ahead courtesy of Danny Ings' fifth goal in as many games seven minutes into the second half, but Shelvey restored parity in the 68th minute.

Federico Fernandez had the final say, firing in from close range after Sean Longstaff's shot was parried by goalkeeper Alex McCarthy with three minutes of normal time to go.

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    Jurgen Klopp applauded Liverpool for securing a "dominant" 2-0 win in what he viewed as one of their most captivating matches against Manchester United.

    Virgil van Dijk's 14th-minute header and Mohamed Salah's stoppage-time sealer saw off the Red Devils at Anfield on Sunday and sent Liverpool 16 points clear atop the Premier League.

    Roberto Firmino had a goal disallowed following a VAR review midway through the first half but the hosts made the result safe when Salah chased down Alisson's long ball, held off Daniel James and completed a scintillating counter-attack.

    "It was a really good game, one of the best derbies we have played for sure," Klopp said.

    "Very dominant in most periods of the game. I didn't like too much in the first half, the last five or seven minutes. Nothing happened really, just we weren't as dominant as before.

    "And obviously the last 10-15, maybe, of the game. Okay, [it was] an exception."

    "The start to the second half was absolutely brutal," Klopp continued. "We jumped in and had three, four chances at least. Didn't score and then it's how it always is... the opponent has the chance to come back.

    "We had to defend and the organisation was okay. We defended with a lot of passion, a big heart and stuff like this. Carried as well by the atmosphere, which was great.

    "And then the last situation of the game - Alisson Becker, what an assist. Mo Salah, what a goal. There was a sprint duel of two really quick boys and Mo used his massive experience. A big relief in that moment."

    Liverpool fans sang gleefully about their team's apparent title destiny after full-time and Klopp welcomed the sense of excitement.

    "If our fans could not be in a good mood now that would be really strange," he said.

    "Of course they are allowed to dream, sing, whatever they want, as long as they do their job as well when we play. All fine. We will not be part of that party yet, but it's no problem - we know our job."

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    Spain international Alcacer has had a peculiar time at Dortmund. He managed to score 18 times in the Bundesliga last season even though he only started 11 matches, while he has five top-flight goals this term despite only six of his 11 appearances coming as a starter. While he is a completely different type of forward to Rashford, he does represent a kind of attacker United simply do not have, in that he is a poacher. Following the arrival of Erling Haaland – apparently a target of Solskjaer's before he joined BVB – Alcacer might be attainable.

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    Mariano Diaz (Real Madrid)

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    In 2018, Bakambu cost Beijing Guoan €40million, the release fee in his contract with previous club Villarreal. The DR Congo striker had enjoyed a solid three-year spell at the Yellow Submarine, with his combination of athleticism, ability on the ball and finishing making him standout as a potential target for bigger clubs. He has continued to score on a regular basis in China and is starting to attract interest from Europe again, with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid apparently keeping tabs on him. United could do a lot worse than the former France youth international.

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    Martinelli helped fill the void left by suspended team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against the high-flying Blades, the teenage forward scoring his second league goal in his fourth start in the competition.

    With Aubameyang also ruled out of the games against Chelsea and Bournemouth, Arteta acknowledged the importance of others stepping up.

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    "Every player has a chance to start. He is in the squad," Arteta said. "We will assess who is in best condition to play in who is training well and we'll make the decision based on that.

    "I was very impressed with him. Everything I've seen in training I really liked and I think he's grown a lot in terms of his loan and the environment he was working in."

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