Read a full match report on the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Sunderland at King Power Stadium on Saturday 22 November.- Leicester City register their first Barclays Premier League point in five games
- Kasper Schmeichel claims his first clean sheet of the season after a number of key saves
- Costel Pantilimon twice denies Matty James
- Nigel Pearson made two changes to team that lost to Southampton, with Riyad Mahrez and Paul Konchesky returning to starting XI
Leicester City ended their four-game losing streak with a goalless draw against Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Foxes registered their first point since the 2-2 draw with Burnley in October while Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a number of key saves to earn his first clean sheet of 2014/15 campaign.
Nigel Pearson made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Southampton earlier this month, with Riyad Mahrez and Paul Konchesky replacing Andy King and Danny Drinkwater.
The Foxes knew that a point against Sunderland – who were unbeaten in November after a win over Crystal Palace and a draw against Everton – could propel them to move out of the bottom three.
An early chance for City fell to centre-half Marcin Wasilewski, who headed Matty James’ corner wide just two minutes in.
Sunderland 'keeper Costel Pantilimon then did well to deny striker Jamie Vardy, who stole the ball off Wes Brown before taking a heavy touch – the shot-stopper racing out well to tip behind.
Mahrez, who had been on duty with Algeria in the African Cup of Nations over the international break, then cut in from the right wing and hit a low drive at goal – Pantilimon collecting comfortably.
And Mahrez turned provider just moments later, playing Jeff Schlupp into a good position deep in the opposition box, but the Ghanaian fired into the side netting on 13 minutes.
At the other end, a tough challenge from Wasilewski prevented Steven Fletcher from breaking through, as both sides looked dangerous on the break.
And Schmeichel halted the striker just moments later. Winger Adam Johnson played in Fletcher, only for the Danish goalkeeper to pull off a superb stop to keep the game goalless.
Hitting the Black Cats on the break, a one-two between Esteban Cambiasso and Leonardo Ulloa saw the latter direct an effort on goal that was blocked and eventually cleared by Sunderland’s defence.
Schmeichel pulled off another fine save on the half-hour mark, this time clawing out a long-range strike from Johnson that looked to be heading for the bottom corner.
A lively Mahrez came agonisingly close to giving his side the lead two minutes later, swinging a cross in from the right that avoided everybody before it bounced just inches wide of Pantilimon’s post.
Sebastian Larsson then floated a corner onto the edge of the box and found Johnson, who hammered his looping volley over the bar.
Captain Wes Morgan, who currently holds the record for the most blocks by any player in the Premier League so far this season, added another stop to his tally after throwing himself in the way of Larsson’s goal-bound strike on 37 minutes.
Ulloa could have broken the deadlock following another James corner, but the Argentine hitman headed the ball over from four yards – nothing to separate the two sides at the break.
City carved out their first opportunity of the second period just three minutes in. Schlupp nodded down for Mahrez, who controlled with his chest before hitting an effort onto the arm of John O’Shea, but nothing was given by the referee.
On 51 minutes James thought he had put his side into the lead, only for Pantilimon to palm away the midfielder’s left-footed strike, but City threatened again four minutes later. Cambiasso spread the ball well to Mahrez, who took a touch, cut the ball towards goal and shot just wide with his right foot.
Schmeichel was on hand to collect a tame Wickham shot shortly after as both sides had their chances to find the back of the net.
Mahrez then latched onto a long ball from Ulloa, but took a tumble on the edge of the area under pressure from Anthony Reveillere – again nothing given by the officials.
A curling free kick from Larsson saw Schmeichel collect comfortably, while at the other end, Ulloa couldn’t quite connect with Morgan’s knock-down just after the hour mark.
A tidy one-two between James and Ulloa led to half a chance for the midfielder, who fired straight at the Sunderland No.1.
Another Schmeichel save, this time from Fletcher, kept the game all-square, before Jamie Vardy broke well at the other end but couldn’t find a pass with 69 minutes gone.
David Nugent replaced the tiring Vardy to freshen up the City attack, and registered his first effort of the game on 74 minutes, dragging Ulloa’s nod-down wide of the mark.
Anthony Knockaert and Chris Wood came on to bolster the forward line in the late stages, but a solid defensive performance from Gus Poyet’s men saw City have to settle for a point.
The draw moves Pearson’s side out of the bottom three for now, with a testing trip to Loftus Road to face bottom-of-the-league Queens Park Rangers next Saturday.
: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan (c), James, Vardy (Nugent 72), Schlupp (Knockaert 79), Cambiasso, Ulloa (Wood 88), Mahrez, Wasilewski
SUBS NOT USED
: Drinkwater, King, Hamer, Moore
: Pantilimon, Brown, Cattermole, Larsson (Bridcutt 75), Fletcher, Wickham, Johnson, Gomez (Buckley 86), Reveillere, O’Shea (c), Vergini
: Rodwell, Altidore, Coates, Mannone, Robson
: 31,825 (3,284 away)
: Robert Madley