Leicester stretch unbeaten run, Pulis under pressure

#1
Leicester City extended their unbeaten run
on Saturday with a draw at Stoke while
struggling West Brom’s winless run
stretched to nine league matches against
10-man Huddersfield, cranking up the
pressure on manager Tony Pulis.
With five of the top six sides not in action
until Sunday, the focus was on the battle
lower down the Premier League table
before Liverpool were due to kick off in the
late match against struggling West Ham.
In the early game, former England striker
Peter Crouch came off the bench to rescue a
point for Stoke City in a 2-2 draw, denying
new Leicester manager Claude Puel another
victory after he won his first match at the
helm against Everton last week.
The 2015-16 Premier League champions
are now unbeaten in six games in all
competitions after early season struggles
but will be disappointed they twice let their
lead slip, and in the end were indebted to
goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who made a
fantastic flying stop in the dying seconds.
Leicester parted company with Craig
Shakespeare last month after slipping into
the relegation zone but have recovered
strongly under caretaker boss Michael
Appleton and ex-Southampton manager
Puel.
“I am happy with the attitude of my players,
it was a good game, good intensity and
passion,” said Puel.
“We had a lot of chances today. It is difficult
to accept one point but Kasper saved well at
the end so then OK, we take a point. It is an
encouraging game which is important for
the future.”
Huddersfield stunner
Huddersfield’s Rajiv van La Parra broke the
deadlock at home to West Brom, lighting up
a match devoid of real quality with a
stunning strike on the stroke of the interval
that lifts them up to 10th.
West Brom, struggling for goals, have not
won a Premier League match since mid-
August and remain just two points clear of
the relegation zone, with Pulis’s proud
record of never being relegated under
threat.
Huddersfield were forced to play for more
than half an hour with 10 men after
Christopher Schindler was shown a second
yellow card, prompting three substitutions
from Pulis but the visitors failed to force an
equaliser.
“The fact they went down to 10 men
should’ve meant the game swung in our
favour but we couldn’t find the goal,” said
West Brom defender Jonny Evans
“It’s been a while since our last win but we
keep our heads up into the international
break.”
Elsewhere, Sean Dyche’s Burnley extended
their impressive unbeaten away record
with a 1-0 win at Southampton courtesy of
a late strike from substitute Sam Vokes to
climb to sixth in the table.
With three wins and two draws, Burnley
have already won more games and points
on the road than they amassed in the
whole of 2016-17, when they garnered just
seven.
“Fantastic,” said Dyche, who has been
linked with the vacant Everton job. “The
two that came on up front were a credit to
their professionalism. They came on and
really affected the game today and Sam
Vokes’s header was a fantastic finish. What
a header.
“I am delighted to be where we are but
there are a lot of challenges coming our
way and the group know we will have to
work hard for every point we get.”
Brighton earned three points at struggling
Swansea with a first-half goal from Glenn
Murray and a Steve Cook strike in added
time gave Bournemouth a 1-0 win at
Newcastle that lifted them out of the
relegation zone.
West Ham host Liverpool in the late evening
kick-off on Saturday. Alex Oxlade-
Chamberlain was set to start for the first
time in the league since his move from
Arsenal while Sadio Mane makes his
comeback from injury.
On Sunday, leaders Manchester City host
Arsenal while second-placed Manchester
United travel to Chelsea.
Tottenham, on a high after their historic 3-1
Champions League win against Real Madrid,
host bottom-placed Crystal Palace.
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