LONDON (REUTERS) – Leicester City’s traumatic week ended with a 1-0 win at Cardiff City although the result was never the chief concern on a day when the tributes flowed for the Midlands club’s late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who died in a helicopter crash.
Several Leicester players were due to fly to Thailand later on Saturday (Nov 3) for his funeral and a minute’s silence was held at all Premier League grounds to mark last week’s tragedy outside Leicester’s stadium in which four other people also died.
TV requirements saw Saturday’s games staggered over four separate kickoff times with Manchester United recovering to win 2-1 at Bournemouth in the early match to move up to seventh.
Newcastle recorded their first league victory of the season, 1-0 over Watford, while Everton and West Ham United also won before Arsenal hosted Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur travelled to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the later games.
But most attention was inevitably focused on the Cardiff City Stadium where tributes included a wreath brought on to the pitch before the game and the unfurling of a huge flag among the crowd in memory of the 60-year-old Thai billionaire.
A second-half goal from Demarai Gray sparked jubilation amongst Leicester’s players and fans, although referee Lee Probert will face criticism for booking the forward after he took his shirt off in celebration.
“I feel proud, it’s been a really tough week for everyone,” said Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
“The way everyone at the club handles themselves is a testament to the family Vichai built.”
On the south coast, Manchester United’s late win, via a Marcus Rashford strike, failed to alleviate Jose Mourinho’s disappointment at another below-par performance.
“I said at halftime I was the luckiest manager in the Premier League,” said Mourinho who added that he thought Bournemouth should have been 5-2 or 6-2 up by then.
“I said it is impossible to play worse than we did so the second half will be better for sure. I really can’t understand the kind of mentality that brings me more white hair!”
The win moved United level on points with sixth-placed Bournemouth and a point off Spurs who are fifth.
Newcastle fans finally had something to celebrate as Rafa Benitez’s side won at the 11th attempt after Ayoze Perez flicked home a 65th-minute header from a Ki Sung-yeung free kick.
The win took Rafa Benitez’s side out of the relegation zone at Cardiff’s expense, with West Ham, who beat Burnley 4-2, also edging further clear of the scrap at the bottom.
The Hammers’ deserved win was their first in the league since late September and owed much to two goals from Felipe Anderson. The result would have been even worse for Burnley had Joe Hart not pulled off a string of fine saves.
The other 3pm kickoff saw Everton beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 – their third win in four league games – with Richarlison’s double taking his tally to six goals this season.
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