Vardy got Leicester off to a perfect start by contributing his 22nd goal of the season in the 18th minute. A counterattack launched by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s long throw saw Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante carry the ball forward before setting up Vardy to strike across the face of goal into the net. But Vardy received the first of two bookings 10 minutes later for a late sliding challenge on Cheikhou Kouyate. The second came 11 minutes into the second half for being adjudged to have dived after being held back by Angelo Ogbonna and then tangling with the defender. Vardy was furious at being dismissed and he will now miss next Sunday’s game against Swansea through suspension. Leicester clung on, preserving their lead for almost 30 minutes before conceding twice late on. Andy Carroll netted from the spot in the 84th after Leicester captain Wes Morgan shoved Winston Reid over and Aaron Creswell put West Ham in front two minutes later. But four minutes into stoppage time, Carroll shoved Jeffrey Schlupp off the ball and this time Leicester were awarded a penalty by referee Jon Moss and Ulloa claimed a valuable leveler. Ranieri’s team LEICESTER, England (AP): Leicester are drawing on the fighting spirit it required to survive in the Premier League a year ago to win the title for the first time. Down to 10 men after being shaken by the dismissal of top scorer Jamie Vardy in the 56th minute, the leaders conceded twice to trail West Ham 2-1. On a day of drama and divisive refereeing at the King Power Stadium, there was one final twist in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Leicester’s substitute striker Leonardo Ulloa displayed coolness from the penalty spot to equalise. Despite dropping points with the 2-2 draw, Leicester extended their lead to eight points over Tottenham, which are at Stoke tonight. “We play every match with blood, heart and soul,” Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said. “I said thank you to my players, my fans. We must believe every time. It’s very important psychologically.” perfect start As it stands, Ranieri’s team only requires eight points from its final four matches to be sure of completing one of the most astonishing title wins in the history of English football. What’s more surprising is that the title race isn’t more open, given the collapse of defending champion Chelsea and Manchester rivals City and United struggling for consistency throughout the season. The platform to end a 12-year title drought has also been squandered by Arsenal, which have dropped to fourth this weekend after being held 1-1 by Crystal Palace yesterday. Yannick Bolasie’s late goal canceled out Alexis Sanchez’s first-half opener for Arsenal. Liverpool hasn’t challenged for the title since 2014 and the focus in this season of transition, that has seen Juergen Klopp replace Brendan Rodgers as manager, is now on winning the Europa League. Liverpool, which are eighth in the Premier League, followed up their midweek quarter-final win over Borussia Dortmund by beating Bournemouth 2-1. Daniel Sturridge scored after setting up Roberto Firmino’s opener as Liverpool moved to within two points of sixth-place West Ham with a game in hand to boost their bid for Europa League qualification. Liverpool could still land a spot in the Champions League by winning the Europa League. Leicester have already secured their place in European football’s elite competition for the first time and there’s already a party atmosphere at the King Power as the team edges closer to Premier League glory.
City Hall woes…slams party leaders for failure to publicly back their own councillorsEchoing statements emanating from Georgetown’s outgoing Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed the view that the influence of the Alliance for Change (AFC) at the level of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) has been subverted in favour of a ruling cabal of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).AFC Councillor Sherod Duncan was muzzled while trying to nominate his colleagueDespite the protests and agitation against her leadership, Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green was recently re-elected as mayor. The Deputy Mayor position, held by an AFC representative since 2016, was allocated to another APNU representative.Commenting on the City Hall woes, Jagdeo noted that the AFC was effectively booted out from the deputy mayor position.Outgoing Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran“In spite of all that we’ve heard about how atrocious (Town Clerk Royston) King is and the current Mayor, and almost all right- minded citizens thinking they are not good for the city, The PNC part of the coalition persisted in reinstating them. The AFC part of the coalition and the PPP councillors fought against this, but the AFC councillors were fighting a losing battle,” Jagdeo offered.“Why? Because the AFC national leaders have already sold out all the ordinary AFC members. They don’t care too much that the AFC got booted out of the Deputy Mayor position. So why did this happen and you didn’t hear a single word of protest from any AFC leader? Not (Public Security Minister Khemraj) Ramjattan, not (Prime Minister Moses) Nagamootoo, wherever he is now.”Slamming the senior AFC leaders for their public silence in the face of the party being sidelined at City Hall, Jagdeo posited that the AFC bigwigs are enamoured with their ministerial perks and are unwilling to endanger the Cummingsburg Accord by clashing with APNU, for fear of losing the perks. According to Jagdeo, the AFC is now fully in the arms of the APNU.Nominated and elected under controversial circumstances, Deputy Mayor-elect Akeem PeterHe pointed to the saga at the Guyana Chronicle, where political activist Dr David Hinds, a Working People’s Alliance heavyweight, has had his column pulled. Dr Hinds is well known for calling the Government out on its missteps.“Nothing (has been heard) from (Natural Resources Minister Raphael) Trotman; nothing from (Public Telecommunications Minister) Cathy Hughes. Because they are enjoying themselves! This is a cabal defending itself with the support of Central Government,” Jagdeo declared.MuzzledThe election of a deputy mayor saw Councillor Sherod Duncan being denied an opportunity to nominate incumbent Lionel Jaikarran to the post. It is understood that after the new Deputy Mayor, Akeem Peter, was nominated, Duncan’s attempts to nominate his colleague to continue in the role was thwarted by APNU councillors.Following her own re-election, Chase-Green opened the floor for nominations for the position of deputy mayor and both the AFC’s Duncan and Chase-Green’s People’s National Congress (PNC) colleague Councillor Oscar Clarke rose to nominate their candidates.However, Clarke was allowed to nominate his choice, which was Councillor Akeem Peter, and Duncan had to take his seat. Immediately after, Councillor Ivelaw Henry rose to second Peter’s nomination, after which both Duncan and Councillor Tricia Richards both stood up, resulting in the mayor asking one of them to be seated. When they both remained standing, she was asked to recognise one councillor and she chose to listen to her other PNC colleague, Richards, who then successfully moved a motion for nominations to be closed, resulting in Duncan being denied the opportunity to speak.It was that scenario that prompted Jaikaran to say afterwards that the AFC has lost its voice at City Hall, signalling some amount of bad blood between the coalition partners. This is a troubling prospect when the council’s history leading up to elections is considered.Both Duncan and Jaikarran are known for their anti-corruption advocacy at City Hall, something that has brought them into conflict with Chase-Green and the APNU councillors. Most recently, their attempts to introduce a no-confidence motion against Town Clerk Royston King over a litany of offences was thwarted by Chase-Green and company. (Jarryl Bryan)