Kasper Schmeichel was man of the match for Leicester as he helped the visitors to a 1-1 Premier League draw at Burnley on Wednesday night.
After Matej Vydra scored his first top-flight goal in over a year in the fourth minute, Kelechi Iheanacho pulled Brendan Rodgers’ side level with a fantastic volley later in the first half. But it was Schmeichel who put in a standout performance for depleted Leicester.
Schmeichel kept out headers from James Tarkowski and Chris Wood before Ashley Westwood hit the post and, although Leicester rallied late on with Youri Tielemans also denied by the goal frame, the sides settled for a 1-1 draw.
Leicester lost to Slavia Prague in the Europa League and Arsenal in the Premier League last week, and they were on course for a third straight defeat under Rodgers for the first time when they fell behind as Vydra ended a league goal drought lasting 1,212 minutes.
Iheanacho equalised but this still felt like a missed opportunity for Champions League-chasing Leicester, who remain third. Burnley moved six points clear of the relegation zone but they too may rue their missed chances.
Already without Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet, James Maddison, James Justin and Wes Morgan, Leicester came into this game without Harvey Barnes and Jonny Evans due to injuries suffered against the Gunners on Sunday.
The absence of the pair has stretched Leicester’s resources further, and they brought in Daniel Amartey, Papy Mendy and Hamza Choudhury while midfielder Wilfred Ndidi was drafted into the centre of a back three.
Ndidi was played into trouble by Choudhury’s loose return pass, intercepted by Vydra, whose first touch took him past the makeshift centre-half before he then lashed a left-footed strike high into the net after just four minutes.
It was a confident finish from a player who last scored in the league on 22 February last year, but Leicester slowly found their footing after a lethargic start as Choudhury came close to atoning for his mistake. Having been left unmarked in the area, the midfielder’s finish into the ground was tipped over by Nick Pope while Tielemans had penalty appeals waved away after a tangle of legs with Charlie Taylor on the right side of the area.
Yet Leicester’s endeavour was rewarded after 34 minutes as Ndidi’s floated pass over the top was finished with aplomb by Iheanacho, expertly volleying beyond Pope after letting the ball drift over his right shoulder.
Schmeichel saved brilliantly low down to his left after James Tarkowski had risen highest at the back post to head Dwight McNeil’s cross towards goal, while at the other end Pope tipped away Tielemans’ powerful shot.
Schmeichel was twice at full stretch after the interval to get fingertips to Wood’s header and then a deflected strike from the New Zealand striker, making his first start in a month following injury.
Schmeichel was left rooted to the spot just after the hour by Ashley Westwood’s crisp effort from the edge of the box but the visiting goalkeeper was bailed out by a post. Not long after, Wesley Fofana and Marc Albrighton were sent on and the changes had the desired effect as Leicester asserted themselves. Ricardo Pereira was just over with an effort while Timothy Castagne’s shot was blocked.
Albrighton tested Pope while Tielemans’ effort from just outside the area came back off a post as Burnley escaped with a point. The draw means the Clarets have won just one of their last eight league matches.
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