December 1, 2015

England’s new king of scoring

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

All hail Jamie Vardy, the new record-holder for most consecutive games with a goal in the Premier League.

And he did it against the top defence in the Premier League, too.

The odds were stacked against the Leicester City striker against Manchester United, but that didn’t stop him from collecting an outlet from a United corner and coolly slotted it past David De Gea.

It was his 11th game in a row with a goal, one more than the Red Devils’ own Ruud van Nistelrooy and the first goal that De Gea had allowed from open play since early October.

Vardy has come out of nowhere to become this goal-scoring sensation. As recent as four years ago, he was toiling in the fifth tier of English football. Now, he’s setting records as with the joint Premier League leaders.

He’s the only player to score against Manchester United and FC United of Manchester, which plies its trade in National League North.

While he’s no spring chicken at 28 years old, he should force his way onto England’s Euro 2016 squad if he comes close to keeping this up.

On the other side of the ball, Wayne Rooney might not even deserve that call to France this summer. He was subbed off in the 68th minute and United started looking more potent after the swap for Memphis Depay.

It’s no secret that the United and England captain has been slumping this season, but he’s starting to look like a genuine liability now. It may even be time for him to move on from United if he and Louis Van Gaal can’t get him into playing better, or find a different role for him to thrive in.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

A goal and two assists gives this honour to Kevin De Bruyne.

After one of Manchester City’s shockingly typical cold streaks, the Sky Blues came back to life with a 3-1 win over Southampton.

De Bruyne had been quiet along with him teammates, picking up just one assists in four games.

With David Silva back, coming on as a sub, and Wiflried Bony also returning from injury, we should expect a quick resurgence from City.

And for those worried about Sergio Aguero, who returned last week from a hamstring injury and was subbed off this week while limping, he’s going to be OK. Aguero himself tweeted that it was a simple kick to the heel that he suffered and he won’t miss any time after the early exit.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Bastian Schweinsteiger opened his account with Man U thanks to his header just before halftime. It took a great effort to get open, one that many United players have lacked in attack this season … Fabian Delph scored! That is all … Alan Pardew sure likes brutalizing his old club. Crystal Palace smoked Newcastle even after falling behind 1-0. At times, it was very clear that the Magpies weren’t even trying to get back on defence. Is another revolt underway? … Jose Mourinho was up to his old tricks again, benching Diego Costa for their match against Spurs. It didn’t spark the offence, as the game ended 0-0, but you can certainly do worse than drawing an in-form team like Tottenham these days. You also have to wonder if this was a bid to get Eden Hazard going, playing him up front … Another big injury for West Ham with Diafra Sakho ruled out for two months. This coming just weeks after losing Dmitri Payet for up to three months … Big Sam is doing something right up in Sunderland. That’s two wins in a row – something unheard of from the Black Cats in quite some time … Heurelho Gomes is reportedly OK after suffering a head injury that led to 12 minutes of added time in Watford-Aston Villa … Arsenal just can’t stop losing players. This week, Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny both limped off the pitch. The Gunners might have to start bringing in people from the crowd to start filling out their bench.

THE LAST WORD

A 2-0 lead in the 80th minute is usually a safe one.

That was not the case for Everton against the Cherries on Saturday.

After Adam Smith scored in the 80th minute, Junior Stanislas followed suit in the 86th to even up Bournemouth with the Toffees.

And then it got even crazier – if you can believe that.

Yes, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Ross Barkley scored to seemingly seal the game for the visitors. Travelling fans even poured onto the field to celebrate with the team.

This bit of overindulgence meant another minute or so of time to be played – and boy did Bournemouth use it.

The Cherries charged down the pitch and, off of the last kick of the game, Stanislas buried a header to secure the point.

It’s that kind of crazy turn of events that make even a seemingly non-descript game on paper worth paying attention to.

Or, you could just get a 1-1 draw when expecting a rout like Arsenal-Norwich.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

Leave a Reply