Leicester City Pay Emotional Tribute To Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Newcastle United Boost Survival Bid


Under Vichai’s ownership, Leicester won the Premier League in 2016, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders.

On Friday, Leicester announced plans to erect a statue of Vichai at the stadium and the club honoured the charismatic owner with a poignant tribute video and a two-minute silence prior to kick-off.

Vichai’s son Aiyawatt laid a wreath and tears flowed around the King Power as fans held up scarves with the slogan ‘Forever in our hearts’.

There was also applause in the 60th minute to mark Vichai’s age when he died.

Leicester, who beat Cardiff 1-0 in their first game following Vichai’s death, had flown many of their squad to Thailand for part of the owner’s funeral.

Claude Puel’s side shrugged off any fatigue with a dominant display against Burnley, but they couldn’t find what would have been a fitting winner.

“It was difficult with a lot of emotion around the game. We were unlucky but I was proud of the players’ performance because they gave their best in this situation,” Puel said.

“There was a lot of emotion. It was a tough week to prepare this game without training sessions and a long journey to Bangkok. 

“The players compensated with desire. I hope we can continue this response to honour our chairman.”

At St James’ Park, Newcastle sealed a second successive league win for the first time in nine months.

Salomon Rondon scored his first Premier League goal for Newcastle when the on-loan West Brom striker netted from close range in the seventh minute.

Bournemouth lost Adam Smith to a serious knee injury that left the defender needing oxygen during eight minutes of treatment before he was carried off.

Rondon doubled Newcastle’s advantage five minutes before half-time, heading in from Kenedy’s cross.

Jefferson Lerma reduced the deficit with his first goal for Bournemouth in first half stoppage-time, but Newcastle held on to move away from the relegation zone.

– Under fire –

Huddersfield remain in the bottom three after West Ham salvaged a 1-1 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium.

David Wagner’s side went ahead in the sixth minute when Alex Pritchard drove his shot past West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

But Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson levelled for West Ham with his third goal in his last two games in the 74th minute.

Southampton have gone eight league games without a win after Watford snatched a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.

Mark Hughes’ team, thrashed 6-1 by Manchester City last weekend, took the lead in the 20th minute when Manolo Gabbiadini struck for his first goal of the season.

It was Southampton’s first league goal in open play for 615 minutes.

Referee Simon Hooper was under fire when Southampton’s Charlie Austin had a second-half goal controversially ruled out for offside against Maya Yoshida, who was stood near the ball but did not touch it.

Watford’s Jose Holebas added to Southampton’s frustration with an 82nd-minute equaliser that took a big deflection off Southampton’s Cedric Soares.

“It’s ridiculous. We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out. The officials cost us two points,” Austin fumed. 

“They said it was offside, that is a joke. People go on about VAR, if this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need.”

Sol Bamba’s last-gasp goal gave struggling Cardiff a 2-1 win over 10-man Brighton.

Neil Warnock’s side marked their manager’s 100th game in charge of the Welsh club with only their second league victory this season.



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Jose Mourinho Reveals Board Backing After Manchester United’s Stunning Win Over Newcastle


Afterwards, Mourinho admitted he needed an unofficial ‘vote of confidence’ from a board member, believed to be executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, before the game to know he could discount a newspaper report that he would be sacked this weekend, regardless of the result against Premier League strugglers Newcastle.

“The ones that read the papers, that are connected with social media, they thought maybe I had gone,” said Mourinho.

“If I hadn’t had an SMS from my board not to read (the papers) I would have been convinced too,” he added.

But 10 minutes into the visit of lowly Newcastle perhaps even Woodward was re-thinking his position.

The visitors’ goals resulted from appalling defending from a United side that has looked weak in that department all season, both coming from Newcastle throw-ins which would have been dealt with by an organised defence.

In the seventh minute, Ayoze Perez played a routine through-ball inside full-back Young and Kenedy easily beat him, for skill and pace, before finishing ruthlessly.

Barely three minutes later, it was Jonjo Shelvey who collected a throw-in, his cross beating Eric Bailly’s half-hearted attempt to clear and landing at the feet of Yoshinori Muto who evaded Young before turning to beat David De Gea.

Mourinho, who had sent Juan Mata on after just 19 minutes, sprinted down the tunnel at half-time and made further changes, bringing on Marouane Fellaini and playing Paul Pogba in a deeper role to have him see more of the ball.

– ‘Not about me’ –

But Pogba’s early shot was only parried by Martin Dubravka, the ball falling to Nemanja Matic who somehow cleared the open goal from six yards with a miss which summed up United’s woes.

Mourinho’s men, however, got back into the game with 20 minutes left when, after Anthony Martial was tripped on the edge of the box, Mata planted a magnificent free-kick past the Newcastle wall and into the corner of the net.

The comeback continued six minutes later when Martial received a header from Pogba, played a one-two with his French teammate featuring a clever Pogba back-heel, before scoring with a precise finish from 15 yards.

Sanchez’s winner also saw United supporters, who had been muted in their backing for Mourinho to that point, sing his name out loud around Old Trafford.

“I’m amazed by that but I don’t want that,” he said. “If I could tell them please don’t do it, I would say that.”

The former Chelsea manager added: “I think this is not about me, it is about the football club, the club they love and about the club we represent with all the honour and dignity but I’m amazed by that. 

“At half-time we were losing 2-0 and the fans were magnificent to the team.”



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Arsenal On The Rise Under Unai Emery As Newcastle United Lose Again


New-era Arsenal continue to be a work in progress, but they made it three straight Premier League wins under Unai Emery with a 2-1 victory at struggling Newcastle United on Saturday. It was far from pretty from the visitors, who were forced to weather an early storm from their winless hosts. But once Rafa Benitez’s side quickly ran out of attacking ideas and intent, the Gunners took an increasingly firm stranglehold to post their best run of league results for more than five months thanks to goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil in the space of nine minutes early in the second-half.

It was another tough 90 minutes to endure for Spanish manager Benitez, whose side remain in the bottom three with a single point, equalling their lowest tally after five games of a Premier League season.

But England manager Gareth Southgate would have been equally frustrated watching two international hopefuls at St James’ Park, as midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was an unused substitute after his recent injury layoff, while centre-back Jamaal Lascelles failed to reappear for the second half after sustaining a thigh problem.

Arsenal still clearly need time to acclimatise to the demands of new manager Emery following the end of Arsene Wenger’s near 22-year reign, but they secured victory with enough to spare to suggest they are heading in the right direction under the 46-year-old Spaniard, who himself put in a fair shift while patrolling his technical area with the kind of high-intensity effort he wants from his players out on the pitch.

Following further supporter protests against the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley outside the ground prior to kick-off, Benitez’s side failed to make the most of their early dominance.

Once again, Gunners goalkeeper Petr Cech looked ill at ease with the ball at his feet in his new ‘sweeper-keeper’ role, with questions very much remaining over the Arsenal skipper’s ability to play out from the back.

In mitigation, Cech saved well from Jacob Murphy’s header midway through the first half, but the home team fell away and were undone by two fine finishes shortly after the interval.

Xhaka broke the deadlock with a sublime 49th-minute free-kick which found the top corner after Federico Fernandez had fouled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 25 yards from goal.

Former Germany international midfielder Ozil, whose influence grew as the contest wore on, settled matters just before the hour, side-footing home from the edge of the area after Alexandre Lacazette’s initial shot was blocked by Fernandez.

Newcastle famously fought back from four goals down at half-time to earn a 4-4 draw against the Gunners here seven years ago, but there was never remotely a suggestion they could overturn half that deficit.

Defender Ciaran Clark did reduce the arrears with a header from Fernandez’s injury-time cross, but it failed to prevent Emery’s side gaining further momentum as Arsenal secured back-to-back league away wins for the first time in 16 months.



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Chelsea Leave It Late As DeAndre Yedlin Own Goal Kills Off Newcastle


Newcastle responded with a goal from Joselu in a rare attack and looked set to steal a point before Chelsea’s last-gasp winner made it three successive victories for the Blues.

Benitez will say his approach was justified and it acknowledged the gap in quality between the two squads.

Before this game he earmarked Sarri’s team as genuine title candidates and even gave them the edge over Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal, so Benitez was never likely to go toe-to-toe with Chelsea.

Jorginho, a player Benitez bought while he was in charge of Napoli, prompted intelligently in midfield and Hazard, starting for the first time this season, twisted and turned as he probed for a gap in Newcastle’s defence that often featured nine men in front of keeper Martin Dubravka.

But too often, Chelsea failed to find a way through and were particularly frustrated in the first 45 minutes.

Hazard placed two shots wide, while Antonio Rudiger and Pedro was also off-target before Pedro finally forced Dubravka to make a save. 

– Dramatic finish –

It was a satisfying half for Benitez, who saw his side create two opportunities on the break when Kepa Arrizabalaga had to save from Jacob Murphy and Salomon Rondon wasted an excellent chance by heading wide.

At the interval, Newcastle must have sensed they could collect at least a point, a target that appeared to be more difficult before the start when Benitez was forced to rule out two of his most influential players, Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey.

The official line was that both were injured, although there were unconfirmed rumours that a training ground argument between Lascelles and Benitez had prompted the manager to leave him out.

Benitez insisted, however, “Shelvey has been playing with pain, we tell him you cannot carry on with pain because it will stop him. Jamaal came in with ankle problem.”

It meant four of Newcastle’s summer signings were starting a game for the first time in a line-up and two of them — Schar and Federico Fernandez — were at the heart of Newcastle’s defence.

Both performed well, particularly in the second half when the pattern was the same but Chelsea delivered more crosses towards Alvaro Morata as they started to run out of patience.

Rudiger almost made the breakthrough when he powered a shot against the bar in the 72nd minute, shortly before Hazard’s penalty.

Even the most optimistic Newcastle supporter must have feared the worst, but Joselu’s 83rd minute header offered them hope before Chelsea won it in dramatic fashion.



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Dele Alli Header Helps Tottenham Sink Newcastle United


The World Cup Golden Boot winner has now gone 14 games spanning 988 minutes without scoring in the opening month of the campaign, though on this occasion, it mattered little.

The season kicked-off to the backdrop of a protest staged by hundreds of Newcastle fans outside the nearby branch of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

Ashley, the club’s notoriously parsimonious billionaire owner, saw fit to spend 90 million pounds (10.6 million euros, 11.5 million dollars) on the ailing department store group House of Fraser. Meanwhile, his Magpies posted a net transfer profit of 20 million pounds, despite the arrival of seven new signings, the most expensive of which, Japanese international forward Yoshinori Muto, cost 9.5m pounds from German side Mainz.

— Deft header —

Tottenham fans appear rather less dissatisfied, despite their club failing to make a single addition to Pochettino’s squad since the end of last season. 

Such inactivity proved no impediment as the visitors rode their luck to seal a repeat of their opening day victory at St James’ Park 12 months ago.

The visitors took an eighth-minute lead when Christian Eriksen’s corner was headed towards goal by Davinson Sanchez, allowing fellow defender Vertonghen to find the net off the underside of the bar with a deft glancing header which crossed the line before Martin Dubravka was able to claw the ball back.

Newcastle were level within three minutes when Sanchez and Vertonghen were caught ball-watching as Matt Ritchie sent over an inviting centre from the right which Joselu headed into the bottom corner of the net past an exposed Hugo Lloris. 

With momentum on their side and a full-house roaring them on, Benitez’s side looked set to build from a position of strength.

But thanks to more questionable defending, their parity lasted just seven minutes.

Tottenham‘s second goal was simple in its construction and should have been comfortably dealt with.

Newcastle allowed Alli a free run at the far post to send a precise header back across Dubravka into the far corner from Serge Aurier’s inviting cross, which was whipped in from the right.

An increasingly open second period surprisingly failed to produce further addition to the score, as both goalkeepers excelled. 

Dubravka saved well to deny Alli when the midfielder deflected Kane’s mis-hit shot towards goal.

Newcastle’s Slovakian keeper provided an even better stop to keep out a well-struck effort from Moussa Sissoko.

Not to be outdone at the other end, Lloris stood up well to block Ayoze Perez’s shot. 

The Frenchman was fortunate, however, as Kenedy’s control let the Brazilian down at a crucial point, when a more assured first touch would have put the on-loan Chelsea midfielder in on goal. 

Mo Diame and substitute Salomon Rondon both struck the woodwork as Newcastle pressed for what would have been a fully deserved equaliser, but Tottenham held firm.



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Newcastle United Sign Salomon Rondon On Loan, Dwight Gayle Heads To West Brom


English Premier League: Newcastle United Sign Salomon Rondon On Loan, Dwight Gayle Heads To West Brom


Rondon is a fifth summer recruit for Newcastle United © AFP


Newcastle United have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Venezuelan international Salomon Rondon on a season-long loan deal with Dwight Gayle heading in the opposite direction to West Bromwich Albion. Rondon scored 24 Premier League goals since joining the Baggies three years ago, but couldn’t prevent West Brom’s relegation to the Championship last season. “When we were looking for options up front, we knew how important experience would be. Salomon has been in the Premier League for a while and he knows how demanding it is,” Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said in a club statement. Gayle shone in helping Newcastle gain promotion back to the Premier League in 2016/17, but scored just six times in 35 appearances in the top flight last season.

Benitez and the Newcastle fans’ frustration at owner Mike Ashley’s refusal to match the big spending of their Premier League competitors has continued for another transfer window as Ashley refused to meet West Brom’s asking price for a permanent transfer.

However, Rondon is a fifth summer recruit after the arrivals of Martin Dubravka, Kenedy, Ki Sung-Yeung, Fabian Schar and Yoshinori Muto.

“The clubs were talking for a long time and now I’m focused on the season to help my teammates to get the points to do well this season,” said Rondon.

“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and I knew about the interest of the gaffer, so I’m happy to be here.”






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Former Newcastle Youth Coach Guilty Of 36 Sexual Abuse Charges


Former Newcastle United youth team coach George Ormond was on Tuesday found guilty of 36 sexual offences against young men and boys between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s. Ormond, who was a coach at the Montagu and North Fenham boys’ club which fed players to the Premier League club, was found guilty after a five-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court of abuse against 18 victims. All the victims were under the age of 18. “To many of his victims he was a figure of authority, trust and influence,” said Gary Buckley of the Crown Prosecution Service.

“Instead of nurturing and supporting them, he exploited his role to subject them to sexual abuse,” he added.

The jury convicted Ormond, 62, of 35 counts of indecent assault and one of indecency against a child, but cleared him of one charge of buggery.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Ormond was the first person to be charged as part of Operation Tide, a police investigation set up late last year to look into allegations of historic child sex abuse at football clubs in the northeast of England.

The scale of abuse among youth football teams came to light in 2016, when a string of ex-footballers, including England internationals, told of the crimes inflicted upon them, including years of being repeatedly raped.

Former football trainer Barry Bennell was in February sentenced to 30 years in prison for abusing 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991, with the judge branding him “sheer evil”.



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