Leicester’s Champions League bid complicated by loss to Newcastle
Sports Desk, May 7 (EFE).- Leicester City’s aspirations for Champions League play in 2021-2022 suffered a setback Friday as the Foxes fell 2-4 to Newcastle United at King Power Stadium.
Now third in the Premier League on 63 points, Leicester will end their season with matches against second-place Manchester United, Chelsea – fourth with a game in hand – and Tottenham Hotspur, who are in the hunt for a top-six finish.
The Foxes are just 2 points ahead of Chelsea and 5 better than West Ham United.
For Newcastle, who have spent much of the season hovering just above the drop zone, the result means a 12-point cushion over 18th-place Fulham.
The hosts had 69 percent possession and outshot the Magpies 25-14, yet the visitors looked the more dangerous side until the final 10 minutes.
Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez headed wide off a Jonjo Shelvey free-kick in the 14th minute before Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was tested by a shot from Allan Saint-Maximin.
A lapse by Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu opened the door for Joe Willock to put the visitors ahead in the 22nd minute with his fourth goal in as many games.
Three minutes later, Wesley Fofana forced a save from Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka.
The Foxes went behind 0-2 in the 34th minute on a goal by Paul Dummett, who beat Schmeichel with a powerful header off a corner.
Dubravka had to be on his toes to stop Kelechi Iheanacho from pulling one back for the home side a minute later and did well to deny Jamie Vardy shortly before half-time.
James Maddison headed onto the top of the Newcastle net three minutes into the second half and watched as his promising free kick was deflected wide in the 54th minute.
Forced to take risks, Leicester were caught at the other end of the pitch by a deep ball to Callum Wilson, who drew Schmeichel off his line and fired into the empty net to make it 0-3 in the 64th minute.
Wilson added a second goal nine minutes later and the game looked to be over until the Foxes roared to life in the 80th minute with a goal by Marc Albrighton, who bested Dubravka with a tremendous strike into the top corner.
Iheanacho cut the deficit in half in the 87th minute with an assist from sub Ayoze Perez. It was the Nigerian’s 14th goal in his last 16 games for club and country.
Despite the daunting odds, Leicester continued to press and only a great stop by Dubravka prevented Perez from bringing the Foxes to within a goal in stoppage time. EFE jv/dr