of the Year Eden Hazard toldin Deutsche Nachrichtenmedien 04.03.2019 01:39
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After Leicester City claimed their first league title in the clubs 132-year history, Sky Sports reviews a memorable season for the Foxes. After a miraculous escape from relegation last season, Leicester were discounted by many at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign. A year of hardship was expected, but the Foxes have spent nine months defying the odds.Having arrived into the season as 5,000/1 outsiders, Leicester have achieved the impossible by claiming their maiden Premier League title. We look back at an incredible season for Claudio Ranieris Foxes... AugustResultsWon v Sunderland 4-2 (H), Won v West Ham 2-1 (A), Draw v Tottenham 1-1 (H), Draw v Bournemouth 1-1 (A)SummaryAt 3pm on August 8, Leicester City began their season as one of the favourites for relegation. At 3:25pm, the Foxes were 3-0 up against Sunderland with Riyad Mahrez getting his sensational season off to a blistering start with two quick-fire goals after Jamie Vardy had opened the scoring. Marc Albrighton added another as Leicester claimed an impressive 4-2 win, before heading to Upton Park a week later. Riyad Mahrez helped Leicester to an opening day win over Sunderland Buoyed by their opening day win over Arsenal at the Emirates, West Ham were expected to ease to a comfortable win over Ranieris men, but another impressive performance saw Leicester head into half-time with a two-goal lead. Dimitri Payet netted 10 minutes into the second half but the Foxes held on and moved to the top of the Premier League table, before draws with Tottenham and Bournemouth consolidated their unbeaten start to the season.Key momentAfter scoring four goals in three games, Mahrezs wonderful start to the season had reportedly attracted teams across Europe, but Ranieri held on to the future Player of the Year after issuing a warning to those potential suitors: We wont sell him so its much better if they dont ask.What they said Claudio Ranieri says Kasabians Fire inspired his players Ranieris appointment was initially ridiculed by many, but an impressive start silenced the Italians doubters. His secret? I told my players, When you go on the pitch and you hear the song Fire from Kasabian, that means they want warriors. I want to see them as warriors for the fans.SeptemberResultsWon v Aston Villa 3-2 (H), Draw v Stoke 2-2 (A), Lost v Arsenal 2-5 (H)SummaryHaving returned from an international break, Leicesters unbeaten start to the season looked to be under threat, with Aston Villa taking a 2-0 lead after 63 minutes at the King Power Stadium.However, a sensational comeback led by goals from Ritchie de Laet and Vardy had seemingly salvaged a point, before Nathan Dyer struck on 89 minutes to claim all three points for Leicester in a pulsating affair. Nathan Dyer heads past Brad Guzan to complete a memorable comeback against Aston Villa Another fightback followed a week later when Mahrez and Vardy scored to claim a draw at Stoke, who had earlier led 2-0. Their unbeaten record would eventually grind to a halt following Arsenals 5-2 thrashing of them at the King Power, but Leicester would still occupy a top-six position - and were crucially eight points clear of the relegation zone heading into October.Key momentDyers winner at the King Power Stadium sent shockwaves around the Premier League, and offered a warning to those considering taking Leicester lightly. A brave header - one which briefly knocked the Swansea loanee out cold - was representative of the fighting spirit that would typify Leicesters battle-hardened approach.What they said Jamie Vardy said Leicesters start to games was becoming tiring Despite two impressive comebacks, Vardy issued a warning to his fellow players ahead of October: Its becoming tiring. We have to go a few goals down to start playing. We need to be starting as were finishing games - its as simple as that, and not leave ourselves a mountain to climb.OctoberResultsWon v Norwich 1-2 (A), Draw v Southampton 2-2 (A), Won v Crystal Palace 1-0 (H), Won v West Brom 2-3 (A)SummaryTheir month got off to an excellent start with a 2-1 win on October 3 at Norwich; a win that moved Leicester up to fourth in the table. Leicester secured a 2-1 win over Norwich at the beginning of October After a two-week international break, a theme running through Leicesters season re-emerged with a 2-2 draw at Southampton - their third comeback in five games, meaning they had recouped five points from losing positions.Vardy scored in his seventh successive Premier League game to down Crystal Palace at the King Power, before the ex-Fleetwood striker netted again a week later as the Foxes claimed a 3-2 win at West Brom, with the impressive Mahrez bagging a brace in the space of seven second-half minutes.Key moment Vardy scored in his eighth consecutive Premier League game at West Brom Vardy scored in his eighth successive Premier League game in the win at the Hawthorns, joining Daniel Sturridge and Ruud van Nistelrooy in an exclusive club of strikers to have achieved that feat. The Dutchmans record of 10 was in sight. Its important Jamie Vardy continues to work for the team, said Ranieri.What they said Ranieri treats his Leicester players Danny Simpson, Dyer, Mark Schwarzer and Marc Albrighton to pizza Ranieri had promised to treat his players to a pizza if they kept a clean sheet, which came against Crystal Palace: I think the most important ingredient is team spirit. The second most, is enjoyment.And maybe on the top - a little bit of luck. Its like the salt on the top! The fans are the tomatoes. Without tomatoes, you have no pizza.NovemberResultsWon v Watford 2-1 (H), Won v Newcastle 0-3 (A), Draw v Manchester United 1-1 (H)SummaryNGolo Kante was proving to be a superb acquisition for Leicester, and he grabbed his first goal of the season in a 2-1 win against Watford, with Vardy extending his scoring run to nine consecutive games.The frontman would score again in a comprehensive 3-0 victory over struggling Newcastle to level Van Nistelrooys record, with the Dutchmans former club Manchester United the next team up for the high-flying Foxes. Vardy broke the goalscoring record in front of the Sky Sports cameras Vardy duly obliged and wrote his name into Premier League history by becoming the first player to score in 11 successive games, but a 1-1 draw prevented Leicester from leapfrogging Manchester City at the top of the table; with just goal difference separating the two sides.Key moment Vardy broke Ruud van Nistelrooys goal record against Manchester United Its 11, its heaven for Jamie Vardy! Hold the back page, hold the front page - a Leicester player has smashed the record, bellowed Martin Tyler after Vardy squeezed the ball past David de Gea on November 28.The King Power reached a crescendo of noise as fans began to dream of their first-ever league title.What they said Ranieri was full of praise for his record-breaking striker Vardy If I let it get to me, it would have affected my performance, Vardy told Saturday Night Football. So Ive just been keeping my head down and concentrating. It was just another game we wanted to get three points in.DecemberResultsWon v Swansea 0-3 (A), Won v Chelsea 2-1 (H), Won v Everton 2-3 (A), Lost v Liverpool 1-0 (A), Draw v Manchester City 0-0 (H)SummaryTalk of Mahrez as Player of the Year began to gather pace as the Algerian netted a hat-trick in the 3-0 win at Swansea; propelling Leicester to the top of the Premier League.Leicester then ramped the pressure up on Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after a 2-1 win at the King Power, before ensuring that they would top the league at Christmas following a 3-2 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Leicester players celebrate Riyad Mahrezs stunning goal The Foxes fell to only their second defeat of the campaign with a 1-0 loss at Liverpool on Boxing Day, before responding with a goalless draw at home to Manchester City. Arsenal headed into 2016 as league leaders, but Leicesters charge showed little sign of faltering.Key moment Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City scores his teams second goal Mahrez jinked past Cesar Azpilicueta and arrowed a sumptuous strike beyond a helpless Thibaut Courtois, leaving reigning champions Chelsea hovering above the relegation zone. Mourinho would be sacked three days later.What they said NGolo Kante is one of the signings of the season, says Thierry Henry What Leicester have done is a fairy tale. Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and NGolo Kante, who is one of the signings of the season, have all been playing so well, said Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry.The belief they have to beat anyone put in front of them is incredible. Leicester City are a great example to other clubs that dont perhaps have the riches available to clubs in the top six. JanuaryResultsDraw v Bournemouth 0-0 (H), Won v Tottenham 0-1 (A), Draw v Aston Villa 1-1 (A), Won v Stoke 3-0 (H)SummaryThe New Year got off to a frustrating start as the usually-reliable Mahrez missed a penalty as Leicester drew 0-0 with Bournemouth, before Leicester secured an enormous result at White Hart Lane as Robert Huth headed the Foxes to a 1-0 win over title rivals Tottenham. Robert Huth heads Leicesters winner against Tottenham A draw at Villa Park would send Leicester back to the top of the Premier League, with the competition becoming their only focus following their 2-0 defeat to Spurs in the FA Cup four days later.An emphatic return to form then saw Leicester see off Stoke 3-0 at the King Power to send Ranieris men three points clear at the top. The impossible became possible.Key moment Demarai Gray joined Leicester in the January transfer window The January transfer window threatened to disturb Leicesters cohesive unit, but Ranieri emerged on the other side with his squad intact. Mahrez and Vardy were linked with moves away, but the duo committed to the cause - and were joined by new signings Daniel Amartey and Demarai Gray.What they said Ranieri was keen to become the craziest man in the Premier League It is a crazy league because, if it was a normal league, Leicester would not be at the top, said Ranieri.I want to be the most crazy man and team in the Premier League.FebruaryResultsWon v Liverpool 2-0 (H), Won v Manchester City 1-3 (A), Lost v Arsenal 2-1 (A), Won v Norwich 1-0 (H)SummaryIn arguably the most eventful month of Leicesters season, the Foxes secured a magnificent 2-0 win over Jurgen Klopps Liverpool - with Vardy once again stealing the spotlight with a contender for goal of the season; a 20-yard volley that flew past a sprawling Simon Mignolet.The league leaders then stunned Manchester City four days later with a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, with Huths two goals sandwiching a super strike from Mahrez, who ended an 11-hour goal drought. Leicester celebrate scoring against Man City Having picked up 28 points on their travels this season, Leicester headed to title rivals Arsenal with confidence - but suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat after Danny Welbeck netted an injury-time winner.Ranieris men bounced back with a late goal of their own, Leonardo Ulloa scoring in the 89th minute against lowly Norwich to send Leicester five points clear of Tottenham and Arsenal.Key moment Iain Dowie cant hold in his excitement after Vardy scores a wonder goal for Leicester against Liverpool In a monumental month for Leicester, its difficult to choose one highlight - but Vardys goal against Liverpool created an electric atmosphere inside the King Power. The Leicester fans continued with their we are staying up chants, but they knew a greater achievement was in reach.What they saidSpeculation continued over the long-term future of Mahrez, forcing Ranieri to issue the winger with a firm warning: If Riyad plays well he continues to play. If he thinks about other teams he comes with me on the bench.MarchResultsDraw 2-2 v West Brom (H), Won v Watford 1-0 (A), Won v Newcastle 1-0 (H), Won v Crystal Palace 0-1 (A)SummaryCraig Gardner struck a superb free-kick to help West Brom to a 2-2 draw at the King Power, which gave Tottenham the chance to go top - but West Ham claimed a 1-0 win over Spurs to keep Leicester at the top of the pile. Shinji Okazaki scored with an overhead kick against Newcastle Seen by many as the moment Leicester won the title, Mahrez scored his 15th goal of the season to beat Watford 1-0 at Vicarage Road on March 5, with successive wins against Newcastle and Crystal Palace further strengthening their title bid.Having failed to keep a clean sheet in their first 11 games, the win at Palace saw Leicester claim their fourth shutout in five games. Theyre underestimated defensively. Theyre tight and its difficult to create against them, said an admiring Alan Pardew.Key moment Mahrez scored a hugely important goal at Watford Mahrezs goal at Vicarage Road broke the deadlock in a cagey game, and sent Leicester 11 points clear of fifth-placed West Ham as they closed in on their Champions League ambitions.The Algerian hobbled off with a hamstring injury which threatened to disrupt Leicesters title charge, but Ranieri allayed fears by claiming he was just tired and had a little cramp.What they said Vardy was praised by Joachim Low after scoring in Englands win over Germany We did watch him and he is a spectacular player, Germany boss Joachim Low said of Vardy after scoring in Englands 3-2 friendly win over Germany.He is a player who is straightforward and is always looking to find the gap in the defence and get in behind the defence. That is where it hurts the most and I think that is one of his biggest qualities.April / MayResultsWon v Southampton 1-0 (H), Won v Sunderland 0-2 (A), Draw v West Ham 2-2 (H), Won v Swansea 4-0 (H), Draw v Man Utd 1-1 (A)SummaryLeicester claimed their fourth successive 1-0 win, with captain Wes Morgan scoring against Southampton, before Vardy scored twice to down Sunderland 2-0 - their fifth successive clean sheet. Vardy reacts after referee Jonathan Moss showed him his second yellow card for simulation A controversial game on April 17 with West Ham saw Ulloa score a last-minute penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw, after goalscorer Vardy was given a second yellow card for diving. The latters unsavoury reaction to referee Jon Moss decision would earn him a further one-game ban.The Foxes got back to winning ways in style, thumping Swansea 4-0 at the King Power as Ulloa deputised for the suspended Vardy with two goals. They missed out on the chance to confirm the title when they could only draw 1-1 away at Manchester United, but they didnt have long to wait for glory to be theirs as Tottenham could only draw at Chelsea the following day.Key moment Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year award Following a sensational season, Mahrez - nominated alongside Vardy and Kante - claimed the PFA Player of the Year award. Without my team-mates I wouldnt get this award, the former Le Havre player said.Its extra special because if the players vote for me its because theyve seen Ive been great this year so Im happy.What they saidWe dont want Tottenham to win the Premier League, the fans, the club and the players, the 2014/15 Player of the Year Eden Hazard told Chelseas club website. Watch the Leicester players celebrate as they were confirmed as Premier League champions In football you never know, we hope for Leicester because they deserve to be champions but we will see. 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The Italian side scored twice in a four-minute span in the second half to defeat former stars from S.LONDON - FIFA Vice-President Jeffrey Webb condemned "deep rooted racism" in Italy on Wednesday after Mario Balotelli was racially abused while training with the national team. A year after spearheading the strengthening of FIFAs discrimination sanctions, Webb is frustrated that some countries including Italy and Spain are not showing the commitment required to the fight against racism. "National associations obviously really have to not just talk about zero tolerance — they have to put action behind it," Webb told The Associated Press in an interview in London. "If you look at some of the decisions that have been taken in Spain and Italy definitely thats cause for concern." Balotelli, who is black, faced racist chants again on Wednesday morning in Italy — this time at the national teams World Cup training base in Florence. "Unfortunately, it just shows the deep rooted racism and prejudice that exists obviously in the Italian community and society at large," said Webb, who heads FIFAs task force against discrimination. "It is a fight, it is a challenge." And a challenge to ensure every country adopts the penalties adopted by FIFA last MMay, including minimum five-game bans for racist abuse by players, and point deductions or relegation for serious incidents in the stands.dddddddddddd In Spain, Villarreals only sanction last month was a 12,000 euro ($16,000) fine from the league after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves, rather than any partial stadium closure for the next game. "We have seen national associations taking decisions and they have not implemented what FIFA has adopted or what UEFA has adopted (including a minimum 10-game ban for racism)," said Webb, who is also CONCACAF president. "In those cases now we have got to make sure that those regulations go down to the national associations — and the national associations hold the clubs accountable." To Webb, Spanish football remains in a state of denial about the extent of racism and the need to show a commitment to eradicating the scourge on the game in the home of the world and European champions. "Its obviously very much deep-rooted," he said of the situation in Spain, adding later: "In many countries its not high on the agenda." ___ Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris ' ' '