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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Jamie Vardy scores three, Leicester stuns Manchester City at Etihad in wild fashion

Jamie Vardy added to the two goals he scored against West Bromwich Albion on the opening weekend as he looks to back up a 2019/20 season which he ended as the league’s top scorer with 23 goals.

By: AP | Manchester | Updated: September 28, 2020 12:51:25 pm
Jamie Vardy celebrates his hat-trick with the match ball. (Source: Reuters)

Jamie Vardy scored a hat trick containing two penalties as Leicester came from behind to stun hosts Manchester City in a wild 5-2 win and collect a third straight victory to open the Premier League season on Sunday.

City’s defense couldn’t handle the pace and movement of Vardy, who won two penalties — converting both of them — either side of a brilliant finish that saw him flick the ball home at the near post with a deft backheel.

Vardy added to the two goals he scored against West Bromwich Albion on the opening weekend as he looks to back up a 2019-20 season which he ended as the league’s top scorer with 23 goals.

James Maddison added a fourth for Leicester at Etihad Stadium by curling a shot into the top corner from 25 meters (yards) as City backed off the substitute, and Youri Tielemans converted a third penalty for his team in the 87th — by which time Vardy had been substituted.

“We tweaked it tactically today, knowing when we got the ball and played through their press we would get a few chances and we stuck them all away,” Vardy said.

“We have set up to infuriate them and it has worked a treat.”

Riyad Mahrez, a former Leicester player, gave City the lead in the fourth minute with an impressive strike and Nathan Ake pulled a goal back in the 84th for City, who lacked a presence up front with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus missing.

It was a concerning display by Pep Guardiola’s side, which was without a slew of other key players through injury and issues related to COVID-19, including Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.

It came six days after City looked so assured in beating Wolverhampton 3-1 in its first match of the season, but Guardiola’s team was picked off repeatedly on Sunday.

“It was a brilliant performance and result,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It has taken me 13 years to play that way. I’m very much about attacking and being aggressive. I always try to be positive but I need to think of other ways to get results in these games.”

Tottenham vs Premier League’s newly adopted interpretation of defensive handballs

Tottenham fell foul of the Premier League’s newly adopted interpretation of defensive handballs, conceding a penalty deep into stoppage time to draw 1-1 at home to Newcastle on Sunday.

A header by Newcastle substitute Andy Carroll struck the outstretched arm of Eric Dier — who was looking the other way — inside the area and the referee awarded a penalty after viewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Callum Wilson converted the spot kick in the seventh minute of added-on time, leading to Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho storming down the tunnel in disgust.

The Premier League has fallen in line with the rest of European soccer this season and applied the defensive handball ruling in a stricter way rather than judging it on intent. Like Robin Koch, Victor Lindelof, Matt Doherty, Neal Maupay and Joel Ward before him this season, Dier was adjudged to have made his body unnaturally bigger by having his arm out when it was hit by the ball.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said Saturday, after seeing his side lose 2-1 to a penalty awarded for handball, that the rule was “killing the game” and “destroying my enjoyment of the game of football.”

Asked if he thought the same, a clearly livid Mourinho said: “I prefer to give my money to charity than give my money to the FA (Football Association) and be fined.”

Lucas Moura had put Tottenham ahead in the 25th minute, tapping in at the back post after Harry Kane had driven the ball across the six-yard box.

Having set up all four of Son Heung-min’s goals in a big win at Southampton last weekend, Kane is already a quarter of the way to the assist record for a single season — held jointly by Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne — after just three rounds of games.

Tottenham should have been leading by a bigger margin at halftime against a lackluster Newcastle, with Son striking the post and crossbar with shots from outside the area and Kane forcing a series of impressive saves from goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle applied more pressure in the second half without ever seriously troubling Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, until the penalty.

Amid a busy schedule of games owing to his team’s involvement in Europa League qualifying, Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho took off Son at halftime and later said the South Korea forward had a hamstring injury.

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