Simon Mignolet conceded and then saved a late penalty as Liverpool clung on for a 3-2 win over Leicester City in a pulsating Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.The Belgian keeper fouled Vardy with a mistimed fly-kick when desperately trying to clear his lines but, having been booked, got up to parry the England striker’s spot-kick as Liverpool clung on in a game where they twice enjoyed two-goal leads.Mignolet has now saved five of the past eight penalties he’s faced.“I count points, not penalty saves,” the goalkeeper said afterwards.The visitors dominated the first half and opened the scoring through Mo Salah’s far-post header from Philippe Coutinho’s cross a minute after the Egyptian missed a sitter. The goal was Salah’s sixth of the season.Coutinho looked back to his best and increased the lead with a curled 25-metre free-kick inside Casper Schmeichel’s post on 23 minutes but Liverpool conceded just before the break when Shinji Okazaki converted a knockdown despite strong appeals for a foul on the keeper.Goals flow at both ends whenever Liverpool play and no sooner had Jordan Henderson restored their two-goal advantage than Vardy headed Leicester’s second before spurning the chance of an equaliser.Even then, Leicester could have had another penalty when Can handled.
Manchester United must recover quickly from their shock 1-0 defeat by West Bromwich Albion as they try to seal a second-placed finish in the Premier League and an FA Cup triumph, midfielder Juan Mata has said.United’s first loss at home in the league since December handed the title to rivals Manchester City with five games to spare. However, Mata believes the team cannot wallow in defeat as they prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.“Second position was not done before the game,” Mata told United’s website. http://www.manutd.com “It was not done even if we won. It is even more important for the next games and we know we have to compete until the last week.“It’s been a long season but we need to make sure we can compete until the end, that we keep that second position and we fight for being in another FA Cup final and try to win it.”United lost 2-0 to Spurs when the two sides met in the Premier League at Wembley in January.Before their cup clash, United travel to 11th-placed Bournemouth in the league on Wednesday while Tottenham face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday.
Hosts Russia beat Spain 4-3 on penalties on Sunday to advance to the World Cup quarter-finals where they will face either Denmark or Croatia.Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev saved Koke’s and Iago Aspas’ spot kicks in their first ever penalty shootout to send the hosts through following a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.Spain, who have never beaten a host at World Cups or Euros, went ahead after 12 minutes when 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich bundled into Spain captain Sergio Ramos at the far post, knocking a free kick in with his heel for the 10th own goal of the tournament.The 2010 world champions controlled the game with their slick passing but did little more, failing to create another scoring chance in the first half.Russia looked equally toothless up front, with Aleksandr Golovin’s curled effort their only noteworthy opportunity until Gerard Pique’s handball gave them a chance to level with a penalty in the 42nd minute.Forward Artem Dzyuba buried it for his third goal of the tournament, sending Spain keeper David de Gea the wrong way to equalise and awaken the subdued 78,000 crowd in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.The game lacked pace and tempo even after the break with both teams cautious not concede too much space and the Russians playing without an out-and-out striker after the substitution of Dzyuba.Despite 75 percent possession, Spain’s famed tiki-taka passing game rarely carried them into the box and they had to wait until the 85th minute to test Akinfeev with a low drive from substitute Andres Iniesta.Having long run out of steam and with several players cramping, Russia were reduced to desperately defending in extra time as Spain, who played more than four times the number of passes their opponents did, still struggled to slice open the Russian defence.Akinfeev came to the rescue again to deny Rodrigo after his fine sprint in the second half of extra time before becoming a national hero by saving the two spot kicks to send the hosts past the former world champions.
The wife of Spain’s World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas, Sara Carbonero, has announced that she has undergone surgery for cancer just three weeks after the goalkeeper suffered a heart attack.Casillas, who made 167 appearances for Spain and 725 for boyhood club Real Madrid before departing in 2015, fell ill during a training session with his current club, FC Porto.Carbonero, with whom Casillas has two children, announced via her Instagram page that she had undergone successful surgery on ovarian cancer.“We hadn’t yet recovered from the scare when life has once again surprised us,” she wrote in a post late on Tuesday.“This time it was my turn, this six letter word that I still have trouble writing. A few days ago I had a checkup and the doctors saw a malignant tumour in my ovary that has been operated on.“Everything has gone very well, luckily we got it with plenty of time, but I still have a number of months of fighting ahead as I go through the required treatment.“I know there’s a tough road ahead but I’m sure it will have a happy ending.”Her husband, who was released from hospital on May 6, has said he will announce his future plans in his own time.