Leicester City 1:1 West Bromwich Albion
City managed to scrape a point from a poor performance against an obstinate West Brom at the King Power on Monday night.
A win would have taken City out of the relegation zone, but Albion haven’t lost a game at Leicester since 1994, and from the first whistle their defensive intentions were clear.
A deep lying back four snuffed out City’s main threat of the swift break upfield, and faced with nine defenders there was plenty of sideways passing and no way through.
Okazaki had been dropped in favour of Iheanacho, and his energy was missed.
Vardy made two early runs down the left, Hegazi chopped him down to end the first one, and then put a hand in his face for the second, earning a 7th minute yellow card.
The resulting free-kick from Mahrez flew across the goalmouth, but no one was on hand to get a touch.
The rest of the half consisted of City trying and failing to get past the wall of white shirts, with Albion not interested in moving forward.
City’s best chance arrived in the 35th minute when a headed clearance from Hegazi fell for Simpson to let fly with a fierce half volley, but Myhill reacted well to bat it away.
Two minutes before the break, Iborra hit a shot into the ground and it looped up towards Vardy at the far post, but he couldn’t direct his header downwards and cleared the bar.
Mike Dean’s whistle then drew a veil over a truly woeful first half.
The second half started with a bang when Vardy and Myhill both raced towards an underhit back pass. They collided a yard outside the area and Myhill was yellow carded while receiving treatment.
Mahrez’s free-kick was half-cleared and the ball fell for Maguire at the far post, but a defending boot blocked his goal-bound header.
City should have taken a 50th minute lead when Albrighton surged down and left and cut in before teeing up an unmarked Mahrez, who scooped his effort over the bar from ten yards.
Myhill then received lenghty treatment as he continued to struggle after his collision with Vardy.
In the 62nd minute, the team that had come for a draw contrived to go ahead.
Iheanacho fouled Krychowiak 35 yards out and was harshly booked.
Chadli lifted the ball over the wall, and Schmeichel, wrong-footed and unsighted could only watch it sail into the net.
City huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but made little impression on an even more withdrawn Albion, failing to test a clearly struggling Myhill.
Criag Shakepeare made his first changes in the 74th minute with Icheancho replaced by Slimani, and Simpson off for Chilwell.
This immediately looked like a better set up and both subs were involved in City’s 80th minute equaliser. Chilwell crossed from the left, Slimani nodded the ball back from the far post and Mahrez chested it down and steered it past a forest of defenders and Myhill.
The game had finally come to life and Maguire blasted a swerving 25 yarder which was too close to Myhill, who parried it away.
But Albion rallied and managed to keep City at bay through 5 minutes of time added on.
A point wasn’t enough to lift City out of the relegation zone, but the late conversion to a 3-5-2 may have shown the solution to the problem.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Chilwell 74), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Iborra King 90), Ndidi, Albrighton, Iheanacho (Slimani 74), Vardy. Substitutes: Gray, Hamer, Amartey, Okazaki.
West Brom: Myhill, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Livermore, Krychowiak, Barry, Rodriguez (McClean 84), Rondón, Chadli (McAuley 84).
Substitutes: Nyom, Yacob, Phillips, Brunt, Palmer.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 30,203.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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