Jamie Vardy

Leicester & Spartak Share The Spoils On Filbert Way

Leicester City were held to 1-1 draw at home by Spartak Moscow on matchday four in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening.
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Manager Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the Foxes' starting XI as Ryan Bertrand, Ayoze Pérez and Patson Daka came into the side. There were also places on the substitutes bench for youngsters Wanya Marcal-Madivadua and Ben Nelson.

City's first opportunity came after just two minutes as Youri Tielemans located Daniel Amartey, charging forwards on the angle of the penalty area. The Ghana international elected to shoot, too, arrowing a low drive wide of the far post. Kelechi Iheanacho was then denied by Alexander Selikhov.

At the other end, meanwhile, Çağlar Söyüncü did well to curtail Alexander Sobolev's run into the box. Leicester were dominant early on, though, and they were especially unlucky not to find the net after 18 minutes when Boubakary Soumaré released a rocket from range, which cannoned off the crossbar.

Selikhov was quick off his line for the visitors shortly afterwards to stop Iheanacho from running in on goal, before the Nigerian weaved his way into the area, but Patson Daka was unable to apply the finish. Leicester were undoubtedly on top at the interval, but they had no goals to show for it.

The frustration grew six minutes into the second half as Mikhail Ignatov's cross was nodded into the net by former Chelsea wideman Victor Moses to give the 22-time Russian champions the advantage. It was a blow for the Foxes, but the home contingent among the 30,222-strong crowd stuck with them.

Just seven minutes after going behind, Leicester were on level terms. It came about as Bertrand's corner was flicked on by Pérez into the path of Amartey, who glanced his header into the bottom corner to make it 1-1. That was his third goal for the Club since joining from Copenhagen in 2016.

There was more reason for optimism seconds later as Wilfred Ndidi, returning after a five-week injury layoff, and Ademola Lookman were brought on, replacing Bertrand and Pérez. Ten minutes later, Leicester's all-time top Premier League goalscorer, Jamie Vardy, was on the field, taking Daka's place.

The 34-year-old was handed an opportunity to have an instant impact, too, when Lookman was felled in the area by Moses, after Ndidi's smart through ball. Vardy stepped up to take the spot-kick for the home side, but Selikhov dived to his left to keep it out and further frustrate Rodgers' hosts.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was the next figure to appear from the bench, for Soumaré, and the Academy graduate's header was on target. Iheanacho, though, couldn't get out the way, before finding the post and Samuel Gigot in his way on the follow up. It came to epitomise City's hard luck on a frustrating night.

They kept the pressure on into the dying moments on Filbert Way, though, with Vardy's header behind sent behind by Georgi Dzhikiya, while Iheanacho also curled an effort over the crossbar. Jonny Evans, on the other hand, had to step in to stop the visitors from countering, but it ended a point apiece.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Leicester's No.9 was denied from 12 yards by Alexander Selikhov.

There was hope for a winner with around 15 minutes to play when Turkish referee Halil Umut Meler pointed to the spot. Freshly introduced from the bench, it represented a chance for Jamie Vardy to complete the comeback for the Foxes and send them on course for victory.

Goalkeeper Alexander Selikhov had other ideas, however, getting across his line to save well and secure a point for Spartak.

Who impressed?

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans earned praise from Matt Elliott at full-time.

Former City captain Matt Elliott, who represented the Club in the UEFA Cup, said on Matchday Live: "[Youri] Tielemans, as usual, without being at his imperious best, was a big influence. [Timothy] Castagne was a threat all night on that right-hand side. He provided some positive moments. However, for me, the standout figure, by some distance, was Jonny Evans. He was a classy operator tonight."

Where do we stand?

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Dan Amartey & Patson Daka
Dan Amartey & Patson Daka

Leicester remain third in Group C, on five points, one adrift of second-placed Legia Warsaw. Napoli lead the way on seven after their 4-1 victory over Warsaw earlier on Thursday evening.

Coming up...

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

The captain applauds the Blue Army at full-time at Leicester City Stadium.

The Foxes head to Elland Road on Sunday to tackle Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday (2pm kick-off) before the international break. Next up in Europe, meanwhile, Legia Warsaw are the visitors to Leicester on Thursday 25 November (8pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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