Leicester - Leicester City's hopes of a
fairytale Premier League title suffered a setback as they were held to a 2-2
draw at home by West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
The leaders had the chance to extend their
advantage at the top of the table to five points with rivals Tottenham Hotspur,
Arsenal and Manchester City all in action on Wednesday.
But they were restricted to a point as
Craig Gardner levelled for West Brom with a superb free-kick five minutes into
the second half.
That meant a frustrating night for the
Foxes, who had recovered from conceding Salomon Rondon's early opener to lead
2-1 at half-time through Danny Drinkwater and Andy King.
They hit the crossbar twice through Jamie
Vardy and Shinji Okazaki, while captain Wes Morgan was denied late on by Albion
goalkeeper Ben Foster, leaving Claudio Ranieri's surprise package with a
Leicester began the evening positively,
with West Brom content to stay deep and soak up whatever pressure came their way.
A delightful feint from Riyad Mahrez took
him past two defenders early on, but the visitors dealt well with his cross
before clearing a corner that was conceded needlessly by captain Darren
Yet it was Albion who claimed the lead in
the 11th minute as Leicester were undone by a simple move.
Fletcher's excellent forward pass found
Rondon, who beat Robert Huth for pace and power before slotting a shot beneath
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester should have been level almost
immediately when Huth rose to head a set-piece back across goal, only for
Okazaki to flick a shot over the crossbar when he ought to have tested Foster.
Okazaki tried his luck again in the 20th
minute after catching Fletcher in possession, but the Japanese striker sent an
optimistic lob harmlessly wide.
Leicester wasted another fine chance to
level just before the half-hour when another shimmy from Mahrez ended with a
cross that Vardy headed straight at Foster.
Leicester's pressure told in the 30th
minute when Mahrez and King combined to tee up Drinkwater, whose shot from
outside the penalty area took a huge deflection off Jonas Olsson and looped in.
They squandered an opportunity to take the
lead moments later when Drinkwater got to the by-line and his deflected cross
sat up for Vardy, who headed against the bar.
The home side claimed the lead in
first-half stoppage-time, though, with a goal of quality.
Marc Albrighton's fine cross field pass was
flicked deftly by Mahrez into King, who beat Foster with a confident finish.
Leicester looked in good shape to assert
their authority, yet five minutes into the second half they found themselves
Mahrez was penalised for handball 22 yards
from goal and Gardner curled the free-kick expertly over the wall and past
Schmeichel, who was rooted to the spot.
The hosts might have restored their lead
before the hour, but the woodwork frustrated them again as Okazaki's bullet
header from Albrighton's cross rattled the crossbar.
Foster made a smart save to keep out a
deflected shot from substitute Jeff Schlupp.
Then, as the game switched from end to end,
Rondon scooped the ball over as he tried to turn Craig Dawson's misdirected
shot towards goal.
Vardy tested Foster again after beating
Gareth McAuley for pace, but the West Brom goalkeeper turned the shot around
the near post.
Gardner then sent two more long-range
efforts past the post as Leicester committed more players forward and left gaps
The hosts threw caution to the wind and
Vardy had a chance when he met Schlupp's cross after a clever pass by Mahrez,
but the striker could not make a clean connection.
As they pushed for the winner, Foster stood
tall to block a drive from Morgan in a late scramble in the 18-yard box.
And in the dying moments of stoppage time,
Leonardo Ulloa flicked a shot inches past the far post from a Mahrez header.