Mahrez magic steers Leicester to first win in five league games

Wilson grabs point for Bournemouth

LEICESTER: Huddersfield Town’s Danish goalkeeper Jonas Lossl (C) punches the ball clear during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Huddersfield Town at King Power Stadium in Leicester, yesterday. – AFP

LEICESTER CITY: Riyad Mahrez scored one and set up another as Leicester City strolled to a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League yesterday. In a tepid first half, Wilfred Ndidi came closest to scoring, but sliced wide from a good position after Islam Slimani had caused problems on his return to the side. After the break, the game came to life, as Mahrez brilliantly volleyed home in the 53rd minute, before Slimani deftly added a second seven minutes later for his first league goal of the season.

Huddersfield had just one shot on target all match as they struggled to get going, while Leicester gave a run out to new signing Adrien Silva after he was given clearance to play. Marc Albrighton netted a late third to seal a victory that sees Leicester stay eighth, while Huddersfield remain 11th despite their first defeat in five.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth twice came from behind to draw a thrilling south coast derby with Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 at the Amex Stadium in the first Premier League game of the year. Bournemouth began the game in a precarious position five points worse off than last New Year’s Day. They got off to the worst possible start in the fifth minute when Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert rounded off a flowing move by squeezing the ball in at the far post for his second goal of the season.

The goal was Brighton’s fastest ever in the Premier League. However, it was far from one-way traffic and both keepers were kept busy before Steve Cook equalised against the club where he began his career with a clever back-flick header from a corner on 33 minutes.

Glenn Murray also scored against his former side to restore Brighton’s lead at the start of the second half and the home side should have had a third when man of the match Jose Izquierdo shot instead of passed to Davy Propper, who was perfectly placed to score.

Bournemouth took full advantage and, after Jordan Ibe hit a post, equalised for the second time after a protracted scramble in the area from another corner. The ball eventually fell to Callum Wilson who stuck out a boot to divert the ball into the net.

The result left both teams hovering above the relegation zone. Cook said: “Normally when you score twice away from home you expect to win but I think it was a fair result and completed a good Christmas for us.”

Brighton manager Chris Hughton said he was delighted to see his side score twice for the first time in 11 games but was unhappy at twice conceding from set pieces. “It was a game that on chances we should have won,” he said.
Hughton refused to elaborate when asked about speculation the club were keen to sign Celtic striker Moussa Dembele. “I am aware of the speculation but that is all it is,” he said. – Reuters

This article was published on 01/01/2018