On a night of landmarks, controversy and late drama, the Foxes exhibited their undoubted resilience to recover from a succession of setbacks to salvage a precious point at King Power Stadium.
The Filbert Way pandemonium was quelled by a Juan Mata brace either side of half-time, before substitute Daniel Amartey was dismissed after just 16 minutes on the pitch.
City were changed to the sum of seven from their 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, with Vardy and Mahrez among those to return.
A fraught encounter simmered at first but burst into life just before the half-hour mark as Mahrez took his time to place it into Vardy’s path, before the England man made City history.
Jose Mourinho’s men, though, responded admirably and they restored parity on the scoresheet before the interval as Mata wriggled into space and poked it past Kasper Schmeichel with a smart finish.
Great spirit from the team and also from the fans... we keep going!!! Merry christmas to you all.🎄— Ndidi Wilfred (@Ndidi25) December 23, 2017
The Red Devils’ fortunes improved further when the Spaniard curled a majestic free-kick beyond the Foxes stopper from 25 yards, before Amartey was dismissed for two bookings by referee Jon Moss.
The frustration of that decision gave City new life in their pursuit of an equaliser. While United undoubtedly enjoyed supremacy for long spells with a man advantage, Leicester dug deep.
The visitors hit the post through Jesse Lingard in the latter stages while Schmeichel also scooped the ball up from under Marcus Rashford's feet to stop him to racing in on goal.
But, when Albrighton’s cross landed at Maguire’s feet right at the very end, the defender sent the Filbert Way faithful home with an early Christmas present.
When all appeared to be lost, with frustrations mounting, Harry Maguire stepped forward to drag City to a draw which could act a stimulus for future successes in the weeks to come.
The 24-year-old has been a revelation since he joined the Club, finally warranting an England call-up, and his status among the Blue Army has never been higher after this latest intervention.
Not just the scorer of perhaps City’s most memorable goal of the campaign so far, Harry Maguire also delivered an outstanding defensive shift against illustrious attacking foes.
Jose Mourinho elected to utilise Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial in attacking positions but, aside from two moments of quality, Maguire stood tall all night to keep them at bay.
Where does it leave us?
The Foxes remain in eighth position in the Premier League, five points adrift of Burnley and eight behind fourth-placed Liverpool with a goal difference of +1.
A trip to Vicarage Road to tackle Watford is next up for City on Boxing Day before another away day at Liverpool on Saturday 30 December (both 3pm kick-offs).
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