Leicester City 2:2 Middlesbrough
City scraped a point from a poor performance against Middlesbrough at the KPS on Saturday afternoon…
Claudio Ranieri made one change to the side that beat Bruges, with Amartey in for the suspended Drinkwater. James made his first appearance in the squad since his injury in May 2015.
The visitors got off to a lively start Zieler saved a Traore effort early on, and then De Roon missed the target as he followed up.
Boro took a 13th minute lead, when a Ramirez ball from the left was directed into the top right hand corner by Negredo.
After a slow start City enjoyed a better spell, and went close to a spectacular equaliser.
Good work from Mahrez on the right saw him curl a ball across the penalty area, but Okazaki’s acrobatic over head kick struck the crossbar with Valdes beaten.
City levelled matters in the 34th minute. A Simpson cross was handled by Chambers, albeit under considerable pressure from Morgan, and Lee Mason pointed to the spot.
Mahrez planted home his third spot-kick in three games, brushing the right hand post.
A couple of minutes before the break, Okazaki sent a low cross towards Vardy, who had hardly had a touch all game, but Ramirez nipped in to intercept and it was all-square at the break.
The opening twenty minutes of the second half were as scrappy as the first. City’s first chance didn’t arrive until the 63rd minute, when King headed a Simpson cross well over.
Claudio Ranieri then shuffled his pack, bringing Slimani on for Vardy and Musa on for Mahrez, but it was Boro who took the lead with twenty minutes remaining.
A Forshaw through-ball sent Negredo clear of the City defence down the right and he beat Zieler with a precise half-volley to send the vociferous away corner wild.
City were struggling to find a way through a dogged Boro defence, and Amartey’s 87th minute shot that flashed past the left hand post was the closest they got in open play.
Soon after this King headed a cross back across goal to Amartey who was crowded out.
However, they were handed a lifeline with just thirty seconds of time added on left.
As Morgan made his way across the 18 yard line there seemed to be little threat, but de Roon needlessly stuck out a leg and tripped him over for an indisputable penalty.
With Mahrez off the field, Slimani stepped up to crash his spot-kick home and claim a point that City’s performance had scarcely deserved.
Claudio Ranieri admitted: “For us now it’s important to think we are in the battle of relegation and every point is OK. We wanted to win, but when it’s not possible one point after 93 minutes is OK.”
Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, King, Amartey, Mahrez (Musa 68), Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 76), Vardy (Slimani 65). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Schlupp, James.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Fabio, Gibson, Clayton, Negredo, De Roon, Barragan, Ramirez (Fischer 88), Chambers, Forshaw, Traore (Stuani 79). Subs Not Used: Guzan, Espinosa, Leadbitter, Downing, Nsue.
Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,058.
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