Never-say-die Leicester deny Stoke first win

Date published: Saturday 19th September 2015 4:52

Jamie Vardy: Leicester striker fires towards goal against Stoke

Jamie Vardy: Leicester striker fires towards goal against Stoke

Leicester underlined their lionhearted spirit by recovering from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Goals from Bojan (13) and Jonathan Walters (20) had seemingly put Mark Hughes’ side into a commanding position going into the interval.

But Leicester – who last week recovered from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 – showed their determination not to be beat once again thanks to a Riyad Mahrez penalty (51) and a Jamie Vardy strike (69).

 

The Foxes went into this game second in the table and with their boss Claudio Ranieri having promised to buy them pizza if they kept the first clean sheet of their impressive campaign.

They showed little appetite for that in a poor first-half performance before once again producing a comeback to salvage something from the game – just as they have done in their last three league fixtures.

Stoke, meanwhile, must reflect on a great opportunity missed to get a monkey off their back as they remain winless and in the relegation zone.

Bojan: Celebrates Stoke's opener against Leicester

Bojan: Celebrates Stoke’s opener against Leicester

 

They had settled into the game quickly and went 1-0 up when Marko Arnautovic deftly turned away from Ritchie De Laet on the left flank, cut inside and delivered a wonderful through ball for Bojan.

The Spaniard stroked home his first goal of the season gleefully, his celebration showing his relief at being back on the scoresheet after the nightmare he has endured since sustaining a serious knee injury in January.

Soon after, Stoke had another goal. Ex-Potters man Robert Huth allowed Jack Butland’s long kick upfield to bounce past him and Morgan then made a complete hash of an attempt to play the ball back to his goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Walters, who had dashed past Huth, seized on the loose ball and side-footed in – a moment for him to savour, coming on his return to the matchday squad after a second bid for him from Norwich was rejected.

Stoke were almost in again as Walters and Marco van Ginkel just failed to touch in a Geoff Cameron cross, before Butland produced a great save to turn N’Golo Kante’s shot around the post.

Leicester fightback

Things suddenly became less comfortable for Stoke shortly after the restart as Arnautovic bundled over Danny Drinkwater and Mahrez fired in the resulting penalty, his fifth goal of the season.

The in-form Butland then pulled off another fine stop to keep out Vardy’s shot before Xherdan Shaqiri fired across Schmeichel’s goal.

Vardy then drew things level with his fourth goal of the season, holding off Erik Pieters and scuffing a shot beyond Butland.

Stoke threatened again as Cameron headed wide and Schmiechel kept out a Shaqiri free-kick.

Vardy then almost won it at the death but his shot went narrowly wide.

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