Stoke City 2:2 Leicester City
City are now the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after a second half comeback against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday…
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Kanté replacing Marc Albrighton to give the side a slightly more defensive aspect, and City got off to a decent start angainst a Stoke side still seeking their first goal at home.
A Schlupp run down the right set up Mahrez for an early chance, but his curving shot was placed too close to Potters’ keeper Butland.
But it was the home side who scored that elusive goal in front of their own fans in the 13th minute.
Arnautovic turned and outpaced De Laet down the left before slipping a ball through to Bojan, who had ghosted through the City defence to find himself one on one with Schmeichel. He slotted home to the delight of the goal-starved home crowd.
Ranieri’s promise of pizza all-round for a clean sheet turned to crumbs.
The Stoke fans only had to wait seven minutes for another goal as Morgan totally mis-cued a pass back to Schmeichel, gifting Walters a goal on a silver plate.
It could have been 3-0 at the break had a Stoke boot managed to connect with Cameron’s inviting low ball across the goalmouth.
Drinkwater and Kanté both went close with long range efforts, but City took a 2-0 deficit down the tunnel at half-time and the unbeaten run looked to be under threat.
Ranieri replaced Inler with Albrighton for the second half to give the side that attacking emphasis that they have for home games, and they were soon back in the match.
Five minutes into the second half Drinkwater pursued a Mahrez ball into the area and was sent tumbling by a clumsy Arnautovic challenge from behind.
Mahrez stepped up to stroke the spot-kick into the bottom right hand corner, sending Butland the wrong way and returning to the top of the Premier League scoring chart with his fifth goal of the season.
Stoke now looked nervy and City were on top, going close to an equaliser in the 62nd minute.
Drinkwater sent Vardy in down the right and he lashed in a low shot which was blocked by Bultand at the near post.
Vardy seized on the rebound and set up Drinkwater who fired a shot narrowly off-target.
Ranieri then brought Ulloa on for Okazaki.
City then delighted their followers with a 69th minute leveller. With Stoke fans still outraged about a Morgan challenge on Walters, City broke swiftly upfield and a lofted ball from Mahrez sent Vardy in on goal. Despite the attentions of defender and goalkeeper Vardy managed to produce a finish that put City back on level terms.
Stoke desperately sought a winner but Schmeichel produced fine saves to deny a Cameron header and a Shaqiri free-kick.
City had the final chance to wrap up three points but Vardy sent a shot inches wide and both sides had to be content with a point.
A point was enough to see City back in second place at that stage of the weekend and also set a new club record of 10 games unbeaten in the top flight.
Claudio revealed his half-time team talk: “At half-time I said, ‘Stoke is more desperate than us? That is not possible. Lose the match, but show our strength and show our pride. If we lose, we lose. It is not important, but I want to see how you react’.”
Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Wilson, Pieters, Whelan, Van Ginkel (Ireland 79), Shaqiri, Bojan (Odemwingie 82), Arnautovic (Crouch 75), Walters. Subs Not Used: Given, Muniesa, Joselu, Wollscheid.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Kanté (King 86), Drinkwater, Inler (Albrighton 46), Mahrez, Okazaki (Ulloa 64), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Simpson, Kramarić, Benalouane, Schwarzer.
Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 26,842 (2,887 away).
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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