Leicester title tilt stumbles

Leicester’s title challenge was dealt a blow as they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom at the King Power Stadium.

By Sam Drury

Tony Pulis’ side had taken the lead through Salomon Rondon in the 11th minute, before Leicester hit back through Danny Drinkwater’s deflected strike.

The Foxes completed the turnaround in first half stoppage time as Andy King found the net but were forced to settle for a point as Craig Gardner curled home a superb free-kick to level the match early in the second period.

The result means Leicester go three points clear at the top of the table, although they could be replaced at the summit by Tottenham if Mauricio Pochettino’s men win at West Ham on Wednesday.

West Brom set their stall out early on, sitting deep and inviting Leicester to break them down. The hosts might well have been expecting that, but they were stunned in the 11th minute as Rondon put Albion ahead.

Darren Fletcher slid the ball through and the Venezuelan striker outmuscled Robert Huth before sliding the ball beneath Kasper Schmeichel and into the net.

Danny Drinkwater scores Leicester’s equalising goal against West Brom

Shinji Okazaki almost provided the perfect response for the Foxes but, six yards out, diverted Huth’s header from a corner narrowly over the bar.

A lull followed for the next 15 minutes as the Baggies continued to frustrate their table-topping opponents, who seemed short of ideas.

However, they sprang into life just before the half-hour and soon levelled as Drinkwater’s seemingly harmless 25-yard shot flicked off the boot of Jonas Olsson and looped over Ben Foster into the corner of the net.

Darren Fletcher and Jamie Vardy challenge for a header

While the equaliser was fortuitous, the second showcased the real quality Leicester possess. Marc Albrighton hit a pinpoint crossfield pass that Mahrez back-heeled first-time, on the volley, into the path of King, and the Welshman made no mistake, coolly slotting the ball into the far corner from 12 yards.

West Brom refused to be beaten though and drew level again five minutes into the second half.

A Mahrez handball gave the visitors a free-kick in a central position, 22 yards out, and Gardner took full advantage, curling the ball beautifully into the top corner with Schmeichel left motionless.

Salomon Rondon slips the ball under Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to put West Brom 1-0 up

While Albion still had their moments – Rondon fired over from six yards – from there on it was Leicester making all of the running. Okazaki powered a header against the bar and Jamie Vardy saw shot saved by the legs of Foster, but it stayed all square heading into the closing stages.

The Foxes continued to push for a winner and created two clear openings in the final minutes. The first fell to Wes Morgan, the centre-back shooting straight at Foster after the ball fell kindly to him eight yards out, before Leonardo Ulloa was just unable to force the ball over the line from Mahrez’s cross in added time.

West Brom held on though with Leicester left to rue missed chances as their unlikely title bid took a knock.

Player ratings

Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Huth (5), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (7), Drinkwater (8), King (7), Albrighton (7), Okazaki (7), Vardy (6).

Subs: Schlupp (6), Ulloa (6), Gray (5).

West Brom: Foster (8), Dawson (6), McAuley (7), Olsson (6), Chester (6), Yacob (6), Gardner (7), Fletcher (6), Sessegnon (7), Berahino (6), Rondon (7).

Subs: McClean (5), Anichebe (5), Sandro (5).

source:SkySports