Shinji Okazaki

City Denied All Three Points By Stoke

Leicester City had to settle for a 2-2 Premier League draw with Stoke City on Saturday, despite twice taking the lead at bet365 Stadium.
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For the weekend’s early kick-off, Claude Puel made just one change to the side that beat Everton 2-0 on Sunday, as Shinji Okazaki came in for the injured Ben Chilwell.

The game yielded plenty of goalscoring chances, with the first dropping to Jamie Vardy, who couldn’t latch onto a loose ball that Stoke defended well.

Dangerman Xherdan Shaqiri fired wide shortly after, while Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a brilliant low save to deny forward Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The Foxes began to gain a foothold in the game and deservedly broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark. Riyad Mahrez’s corner was nodded down by Harry Maguire into the path of Vicente Iborra, who converted from close range to net his first goal for the Club.

A flurry of chances followed as Iborra had a shot blocked from a similar distance, while Jack Butland produced a fine save to turn away Okazaki’s header.

City couldn’t capitalise, though, and Stoke drew level just before the break. Choupo-Moting played in Shaqiri, who curled in off the post in front of the Boothen End to make it 1-1.

Algeria international Mahrez continued to threaten after the break and while his 25-yard drive was tipped over by Butland, the Stoke stopper could do nothing about his next effort.

The Foxes’ No.26 latched onto Wilfred Ndidi’s clearance and beat Kevin Wimmer before firing low beyond Butland to restore the Leicester advantage.

But just as the Potters had done before the interval, they grabbed an equaliser, this time through substitute Peter Crouch. The former England frontman headed home Shaqiri’s delivery to haul his side level.  

Kelechi Iheanacho then had an effort disallowed for offside with two minutes to play, while Schmeichel, who had earlier denied Ryan Shawcross, did well to turn away Kurt Zouma’s header in injury time.

Major moment

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Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

The Algerian holds off the challenge of Darren Fletcher in midfield.

Riyad Mahrez’s third strike in his last five games looked to have been enough for Leicester to go on and claim all three points given their impressive performance at an autumnal bet365 Stadium.

But the introduction of Peter Crouch proved to be key for the hosts, as the striker headed in after being on the pitch for just four minutes.

Who impressed?

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

The Denmark international makes a key stop for his side.

With their physical presence, Stoke were always going to be a threat from set-plays and while their second goal came as a result of Xherdan Shaqiri’s delivery, City had Kasper Schmeichel to thank for some excellent stops.

The first came from Maxim Choupo-Moting, while the Denmark international was on hand to turn away a Shaqiri strike late in the first period.

Schmeichel got his hands to a powerful header from Potters skipper Ryan Shawcross, before a crucial stop in injury time from Kurt Zouma meant City would return home with what could be an important Premier League point.

Where do we stand?

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Christian Fuchs
Christian Fuchs

Christian Fuchs challenges Mame Biram Diouf for the ball.

For now, Claude Puel’s Leicester City leapfrog his former side Southampton to move into the top half of the Premier League table. They now have 13 points from 11 Premier League games.

Coming up…

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Claude Puel
Claude Puel

The Frenchman passes on instructions from the touchline.

After the final international break of the year, the Foxes return to Premier League action on Saturday 18 November, when they take on Manchester City at King Power Stadium.

Leicester City Crest

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