West Brom stall Leicester’s title charge

BY SAM PINKHAM

Goals from Salamon Rondon and Craig Gardner were enough to hold league leaders Leicester to a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

Leicester had their chances to win the game, and on two occasions they saw efforts rebound off the woodwork, but Ranieri’s men will be disappointed they did not pick up all three points.

Leicester made two changes to the side that beat Norwich City at the weekend, with Danny Simpson and Andy King replacing Daniel Amartey and N’Golo Kante. West Brom made one change from their last outing, with James Chester replacing the injured Chris Brunt.

Leicester started the game brightly and had the first chance of the game. Mark Albrighton whipped a free kick in which fell to Andy King at the back post, but his effort blazed over the bar.

But it was the baggies who opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Salamon Rondon managed to get goal side of Robert Huth and poked the ball under the legs of the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel.

That was the first goal that City had conceded at the King Power in their last seven hours and 43 minutes of Premier League action.

City piled on the pressure and eventually drew level in the 30th minute when Danny Drinkwater’s speculative effort deflected off Olsson and looped over the helpless Foster.

It was just what the rampant foxes deserved, and they almost went ahead when Drinkwater’s cross found the head of Vardy, but the bar stood in the way of him netting his 20th goal of the season.

On the stroke of half time, Leicester did take the lead, and it was the Welshman Andy King who fired home after Mahrez neatly took down an Albrighton cross.

City were well worth their half time lead, but were slow out of the blocks in the second. They were made to pay when Craig Gardner fired in a lovely free kick past the stranded Schmeichel to draw the baggies level in the 50th minute.

The bar denied Leicester again in the 57th minute, when Okazaki’s powerful header beat Foster but could not beat the woodwork.

Ranieri made a double substitution in the 63rd minute, with Leonardo Ulloa and Jeff Schlupp replacing Shinji Okazaki and Mark Albrighton.

Vardy’s energy was causing the West Brom defence problems all game, and he nearly put Leicester in front when he forced a good save from Foster after nicking the ball from Gareth McCauley on the left wing.

Leicester should have won it in the final minute. Mahrez’s header fell to the feet of Leonardo Ulloa but the Argentine struggled to make good contact and his effort deflected just wide.

2-2 was how the game would finish, and Tony Pulis will be heading home the happier of the two managers.

Ten of the past 12 teams to be top of the Premier League by the 1st March have gone on to win the title. Leicester fans will be hoping that tradition continues.

Next up for them is a trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday, whilst West Brom face an injury hit Manchester United at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

 

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