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I'd be in Brazil if the title race was over – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho said he would be "on holiday to Brazil or Los Angeles" if he believed the Premier League title race was over.

Southampton 1 Leicester 4: Saints' shambolic first half ensures a happy St Mary's return for Claude Puel

It fell to the travelling Leicester City fans to ask the burning question on a night of white-hot shame for Southampton. “Are you glad,” they sung. “Are you glad you sacked Puel?” As reunions go, this was an evening of particular awkwardness for Southampton’s board. Claude Puel strolled back into St Mary’s, just six months after he was dismissed for guiding the club to a League Cup final and an eighth-placed finish, and promptly laid waste to his former home. Here was concrete evidence of how far Southampton have regressed since his departure. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side still have difficulty scoring goals, as they did under Puel, but now, it seems, they also struggle to keep them out. Regular viewers of the Premier League will be stretched to find a first-half showing more shambolic than these opening 45 minutes, which ended with the home fans thankful that Southampton were only trailing by three goals, rather than five or six. “We were really bad from the beginning until the end,” said Pellegrino. “I have to say sorry to our fans. You can lose games, but not in this way.” Riyad Mahrez puts Leicester in front Credit: Reuters The primary criticism of Puel during his one-year spell as Southampton manager was that his side was too boring, that they did not thrill or quicken the pulse. It felt fitting, then, that his flying Leicester attack duly scored three times in the first 38 minutes, with Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki and Andy King all cashing in on the most generous defending imaginable. The ‘Claude Puel derby’ was therefore more of a procession than a contest, even if the home side did at least muster a second-half goal through Maya Yoshida. A second Okazaki strike quickly put a stop to any faint hopes of a comeback, though, and secured a fourth successive victory for Leicester. Puel even had the luxury of being able to remove Mahrez and Jamie Vardy from the fray with 20 minutes still to play. If that was the managerial equivalent of showboating, it was hard to begrudge him for it. Claude Puel will have enjoyed going back to St Mary's Credit: Getty images “Of course it was a strange feeling to come back here,” Puel said. “It was nice to see familiar faces. I kept a good understanding and relationship with a lot of people here, players and staff. “My feeling was always to keep positive with Southampton. I tried to give my best here and we had some fantastic games and the fantastic journey in the cup.” They hardly helped themselves, but Southampton’s cause was not aided by a short but heavy pre-match downpour that left half of their players struggling to keep their balance in the early exchanges. It certainly worked against them in the build-up to Mahrez’s opener, as two Southampton defenders, looking like they had worn their plimsolls to the ice rink, slipped over as the Algerian slalomed through midfield. Boring, negative and defensive Claude Puel. 5 wins from 8 games, 15 goals. Vive la rèvolution! #lcfc— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) December 13, 2017 With the path to goal sufficiently cleared, Mahrez took aim and fired a powerful shot into the bottom corner. It was his fifth goal in his last 10 games, and his third from outside the box this season. The Southampton midfield continued to melt away, with Okazaki twice going close to doubling the lead. There was also a chance for Vardy, but his effort was beaten away by the increasingly busy Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal. The second came from the resulting corner, with Okazaki eventually stabbing the ball into the net after it had pinballed around the six-yard box. As King tapped in a third, the ironic chants of “boring, boring Leicester” that emanated from the jubilant away end were swiftly replaced with vocal farewells to the departing Southampton fans. Southampton 0 - 3 Leicester (Andy King, 38 min) Either the queue for a half-time pie was an hour long, or those Southampton fans had gone for good. In truth, it was hard to blame them for heading towards the exits, such was their side’s total lack of any coherence, solidity or noticeable strategy. Asked what went wrong in the first half, Pellegrino replied: “Everything.” The half-time introduction of Manolo Gabbiadini did at least threaten to pull Southampton back into the game, particularly after Yoshida headed home following a Ryan Bertrand corner. There could even have been genuine hope of a comeback when Bertrand picked out Charlie Austin for what seemed a tap-in at the far post, but the striker failed to beat the diving Kasper Schmeichel. If it was not already over by then, Okazaki made sure by sweeping in a fourth from Vardy’s low cross.

Southampton 1 Leicester 4: Saints' shambolic first half ensures a happy St Mary's return for Claude Puel

It fell to the travelling Leicester City fans to ask the burning question on a night of white-hot shame for Southampton. “Are you glad,” they sung. “Are you glad you sacked Puel?” As reunions go, this was an evening of particular awkwardness for Southampton’s board. Claude Puel strolled back into St Mary’s, just six months after he was dismissed for guiding the club to a League Cup final and an eighth-placed finish, and promptly laid waste to his former home. Here was concrete evidence of how far Southampton have regressed since his departure. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side still have difficulty scoring goals, as they did under Puel, but now, it seems, they also struggle to keep them out. Regular viewers of the Premier League will be stretched to find a first-half showing more shambolic than these opening 45 minutes, which ended with the home fans thankful that Southampton were only trailing by three goals, rather than five or six. “We were really bad from the beginning until the end,” said Pellegrino. “I have to say sorry to our fans. You can lose games, but not in this way.” Riyad Mahrez puts Leicester in front Credit: Reuters The primary criticism of Puel during his one-year spell as Southampton manager was that his side was too boring, that they did not thrill or quicken the pulse. It felt fitting, then, that his flying Leicester attack duly scored three times in the first 38 minutes, with Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki and Andy King all cashing in on the most generous defending imaginable. The ‘Claude Puel derby’ was therefore more of a procession than a contest, even if the home side did at least muster a second-half goal through Maya Yoshida. A second Okazaki strike quickly put a stop to any faint hopes of a comeback, though, and secured a fourth successive victory for Leicester. Puel even had the luxury of being able to remove Mahrez and Jamie Vardy from the fray with 20 minutes still to play. If that was the managerial equivalent of showboating, it was hard to begrudge him for it. Claude Puel will have enjoyed going back to St Mary's Credit: Getty images “Of course it was a strange feeling to come back here,” Puel said. “It was nice to see familiar faces. I kept a good understanding and relationship with a lot of people here, players and staff. “My feeling was always to keep positive with Southampton. I tried to give my best here and we had some fantastic games and the fantastic journey in the cup.” They hardly helped themselves, but Southampton’s cause was not aided by a short but heavy pre-match downpour that left half of their players struggling to keep their balance in the early exchanges. It certainly worked against them in the build-up to Mahrez’s opener, as two Southampton defenders, looking like they had worn their plimsolls to the ice rink, slipped over as the Algerian slalomed through midfield. Boring, negative and defensive Claude Puel. 5 wins from 8 games, 15 goals. Vive la rèvolution! #lcfc— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) December 13, 2017 With the path to goal sufficiently cleared, Mahrez took aim and fired a powerful shot into the bottom corner. It was his fifth goal in his last 10 games, and his third from outside the box this season. The Southampton midfield continued to melt away, with Okazaki twice going close to doubling the lead. There was also a chance for Vardy, but his effort was beaten away by the increasingly busy Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal. The second came from the resulting corner, with Okazaki eventually stabbing the ball into the net after it had pinballed around the six-yard box. As King tapped in a third, the ironic chants of “boring, boring Leicester” that emanated from the jubilant away end were swiftly replaced with vocal farewells to the departing Southampton fans. Southampton 0 - 3 Leicester (Andy King, 38 min) Either the queue for a half-time pie was an hour long, or those Southampton fans had gone for good. In truth, it was hard to blame them for heading towards the exits, such was their side’s total lack of any coherence, solidity or noticeable strategy. Asked what went wrong in the first half, Pellegrino replied: “Everything.” The half-time introduction of Manolo Gabbiadini did at least threaten to pull Southampton back into the game, particularly after Yoshida headed home following a Ryan Bertrand corner. There could even have been genuine hope of a comeback when Bertrand picked out Charlie Austin for what seemed a tap-in at the far post, but the striker failed to beat the diving Kasper Schmeichel. If it was not already over by then, Okazaki made sure by sweeping in a fourth from Vardy’s low cross.

Southampton 1 Leicester 4: Saints' shambolic first half ensures a happy St Mary's return for Claude Puel

It fell to the travelling Leicester City fans to ask the burning question on a night of white-hot shame for Southampton. “Are you glad,” they sung. “Are you glad you sacked Puel?” As reunions go, this was an evening of particular awkwardness for Southampton’s board. Claude Puel strolled back into St Mary’s, just six months after he was dismissed for guiding the club to a League Cup final and an eighth-placed finish, and promptly laid waste to his former home. Here was concrete evidence of how far Southampton have regressed since his departure. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side still have difficulty scoring goals, as they did under Puel, but now, it seems, they also struggle to keep them out. Regular viewers of the Premier League will be stretched to find a first-half showing more shambolic than these opening 45 minutes, which ended with the home fans thankful that Southampton were only trailing by three goals, rather than five or six. “We were really bad from the beginning until the end,” said Pellegrino. “I have to say sorry to our fans. You can lose games, but not in this way.” Riyad Mahrez puts Leicester in front Credit: Reuters The primary criticism of Puel during his one-year spell as Southampton manager was that his side was too boring, that they did not thrill or quicken the pulse. It felt fitting, then, that his flying Leicester attack duly scored three times in the first 38 minutes, with Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki and Andy King all cashing in on the most generous defending imaginable. The ‘Claude Puel derby’ was therefore more of a procession than a contest, even if the home side did at least muster a second-half goal through Maya Yoshida. A second Okazaki strike quickly put a stop to any faint hopes of a comeback, though, and secured a fourth successive victory for Leicester. Puel even had the luxury of being able to remove Mahrez and Jamie Vardy from the fray with 20 minutes still to play. If that was the managerial equivalent of showboating, it was hard to begrudge him for it. Claude Puel will have enjoyed going back to St Mary's Credit: Getty images “Of course it was a strange feeling to come back here,” Puel said. “It was nice to see familiar faces. I kept a good understanding and relationship with a lot of people here, players and staff. “My feeling was always to keep positive with Southampton. I tried to give my best here and we had some fantastic games and the fantastic journey in the cup.” They hardly helped themselves, but Southampton’s cause was not aided by a short but heavy pre-match downpour that left half of their players struggling to keep their balance in the early exchanges. It certainly worked against them in the build-up to Mahrez’s opener, as two Southampton defenders, looking like they had worn their plimsolls to the ice rink, slipped over as the Algerian slalomed through midfield. Boring, negative and defensive Claude Puel. 5 wins from 8 games, 15 goals. Vive la rèvolution! #lcfc— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) December 13, 2017 With the path to goal sufficiently cleared, Mahrez took aim and fired a powerful shot into the bottom corner. It was his fifth goal in his last 10 games, and his third from outside the box this season. The Southampton midfield continued to melt away, with Okazaki twice going close to doubling the lead. There was also a chance for Vardy, but his effort was beaten away by the increasingly busy Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal. The second came from the resulting corner, with Okazaki eventually stabbing the ball into the net after it had pinballed around the six-yard box. As King tapped in a third, the ironic chants of “boring, boring Leicester” that emanated from the jubilant away end were swiftly replaced with vocal farewells to the departing Southampton fans. Southampton 0 - 3 Leicester (Andy King, 38 min) Either the queue for a half-time pie was an hour long, or those Southampton fans had gone for good. In truth, it was hard to blame them for heading towards the exits, such was their side’s total lack of any coherence, solidity or noticeable strategy. Asked what went wrong in the first half, Pellegrino replied: “Everything.” The half-time introduction of Manolo Gabbiadini did at least threaten to pull Southampton back into the game, particularly after Yoshida headed home following a Ryan Bertrand corner. There could even have been genuine hope of a comeback when Bertrand picked out Charlie Austin for what seemed a tap-in at the far post, but the striker failed to beat the diving Kasper Schmeichel. If it was not already over by then, Okazaki made sure by sweeping in a fourth from Vardy’s low cross.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game against Swansea City, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, scores his side's fourth goal of the game against Swansea City, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, centre right, and David Silva celebrate their victory after the final whistle of the game against Swansea City, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Romelu Lukaku strikes and Manchester United beat Bournemouth

Romelu Lukaku scores the opening goal for Manchester United in their Premier League match against Bournemouth.

Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, left, and Manchester United's Juan Mata during the Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Tottenham's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Brighton's Gaetan Bong in action with Tottenham's Son Heung-min Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Tottenham's Serge Aurier celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring their first goal REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Brighton manager Chris Hughton Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Arsene Wenger bemoans fixture list as Arsenal lose ground in Premier League after West Ham stalemate

Arsene Wenger bemoans fixture list as Arsenal lose ground in Premier League after West Ham stalemate

Premier League - Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth- Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester United's David De Gea celebrates Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Leicester City Manager Claude Puel acknowledges the fans after the match against Southampton during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)

Leicester City's Marc Albrighton, left, and Southampton's Mario Lemina in action during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, England, Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's Ederson makes a save Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski looks dejected as he collects the ball from the net after conceding the fourth goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Swansea City's Ki Sung Yueng in action with Manchester City's Yaya Toure Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's David Silva scores their first goal REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores their fourth goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's David Silva scores their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in action with Swansea City's Roque Mesa before scoring their fourth goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's David Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their second goal with Fabian Delph, Raheem Sterling and team mates as Swansea City's Nathan Dyer and Roque Mesa look dejected Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Referee Anthony Taylor gestures as Swansea City's Roque Mesa is in action with Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with David Silva at the end of the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks dejected REUTERS/David Klein

Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 Arsenal's Jack Wilshere with team mates REUTERS/David Klein

Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 West Ham United's Javier Hernandez misses a chance to score REUTERS/David Klein

Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Arsenal - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 13, 2017 West Ham United's Mark Noble in action with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Manchester City - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - December 13, 2017 Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski looks dejected as he collects the ball from the net after conceding the fourth goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League - Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 13, 2017 Bournemouth's Asmir Begovic attempts to make a save as Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (not pictured) hits the post REUTERS/Darren Staples

Premier League: Arnautovic und Hammers holen Punkt gegen Arsenal

Marko Arnautovic und West Ham United setzten ihren Aufwärtstrend in der Premier League fort. Am 17. Spieltag kamen die Hammers gegen Arsenal zu einem torlosen Remis.

Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - December 13, 2017 Everton manager Sam Allardyce celebrates after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - December 13, 2017 Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle in action with Everton's Jonjoe Kenny REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - December 13, 2017 Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle in action with Everton's Jonjoe Kenny REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Everton - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - December 13, 2017 Everton's Wayne Rooney in action with Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith