Foxes drop points at home against defiant West Brom

By George Bushell

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League leaders Leicester were made to settle for a draw against Midland rivals West Bromwich in what can only be described as a fiercely contested derby.

It was the away side who struck first through a Rondon effort slotted under Schmeichel after being put through one-on-one by Darren Fletcher inside 15 minutes.

The Foxes responded by striking twice through Drinkwater and King, showing the spirit which has kept them so high in the league.

Shortly after the break an equalizer came through a Craig Gardener free-kick which flew straight into the back of the net to give the Baggies a point to hold onto until the end of the game.

Ranieri made two changes to the eleven that narrowly beat Norwich on Saturday, with the injured N’Golo Kante being replaced by Andy King and Danny Simpson returning from suspension to replace Daniel Amartey.

West Bromwich on the other hand make one change, bringing in James Chester to replace Chris Brunt, who also misses out through injury.

In the early stages of the game it looked like Leicester would keep the ball in the oppositions half for the majority of the half but in the eleventh minute Salomon Rondon managed to get goal-side of the Leicester defence to take a shot at goal which proved too difficult for Schmeichel to keep out.

The goal ended an impressive run of 474 minutes without conceding a goal.

The spirit of the foxes would not be dampened despite their early setback, as they continued to take shots at Foster’s goal, none of which managing to hit the target in the early stages.

City grew in confidence as the first half went on and nearly got the equalizer in the 27th minute when Vardy connected with a Mahrez cross but the Englishman’s header went straight into his compatriot’s hands.

It wasn’t much longer until the unrelenting pressure told and a Danny Drinkwater shot from outside the box deflected off Jonas Olsson and past the grasping arms of Ben Foster on the half hour mark.

Soon after it nearly got much worse for the West Midlands team as Jamie Vardy once again got free from his markers to hit the crossbar with a header from a perfectly executed cross from Drinkwater.

It looked as if the teams would go into the break level but in the first minute of stoppage time an Albrighton cross found Mahrez who showed sublime skill to flick the ball back to Andy King, finishing the move with neat side-foot finish past Foster.

The half-time team talk given by Pulis made an instant effect on his players.

Craig Gardener’s direct free-kick found the back of the net in the 50th minute of the game to bring the two teams level.

Leicester responded with their ever present never say die attitude and their reward nearly came in the 57th minute as the crossbar was once again left rattling, this time by Shinji Okazaki.

Ranieri opted for a double substitution in the 63rd minute with Okazaki and Albrighton being replaced by Schlupp and Ulloa.

City continued to pile pressure on the West Bromwich goal with Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy proving a consistent menace for the opposition.

In an effort to turn two dropped points into three gained the Foxes made their third and final substitution an attacking one as January signing Demarai Gray took the place of Sebastian Fuchs but the substitutions didn’t manage to have their intended impact as the game ended honours even.

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