Jamie Vardy rescued a vital point for Leicester City at Elland Road in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United. It’s a result that does neither side any true favours, and keeps them both in the mix as we enter the crucial part of this relegation battle. It's now four games without a win for Leeds who remain one point above the Foxes and two points above the drop zone.
It had to be Vardy who rescued Leicester. The 36-year-old has only been a bit part player this season but was called upon from the bench by Dean Smith, and produced the goods in front of goal yet again. He’s scored so many vital goals for this club. He spearheaded them to a Premier League title and was victorious at Wembley in the FA Cup, but this goal will have been as sweet as any of them as he fired one past Illan Meslier to keep Leicester’s hopes alive.
He hasn’t been given much of a chance this term due to his age, and the equaliser was his first goal in 973 minutes in all competitions, since netting against MK Dons in the EFL Cup in December.
Leeds had been much improved from their previous three defeats, after avoiding an early deficit thanks to VAR. Youri Tielemans crashed one in off the bar in the first ten minutes but Leeds were handed a reprieve thanks to the technology. Then the hosts took the lead and ignited the crowd.
Luis Sinisterra came in at the back post and headed one past Daniel Iverson as Jack Harrison came up with a superb cross to give the Colombian the perfect chance to finish. He duly obliged to send Elland Road wild in a gargantuan goal in this relegation battle.
Home wins are going to be crucial for Javi Gracia and finally Leeds were making the most of home advantage. The demanding crowd cheered every tackle and urged their side on - finally seering a performance to match their passion in this vital encounter. In previous games they’ve been out of it at half-time, but they were roared off at the break, holding that one goal advantage. But it wouldn’t last.
Leeds pushed for a second in the second half and tried to take the game away from Leicester. The duo of Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo seemed to cause the Foxes all sorts of problems and Leeds benefited from having two strikers on the pitch.
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However, Dean Smith turned to his bench and changed the game. He took off both Harvey Barnes and Tete and put on Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka. As they have so often relied upon, it was the Englishman who changed the game.
Iheanacho fed James Maddison who released Vardy in the left channel and with the Leeds defence floundering, he made them pay. It was a typically clinical finish from Vardy who after winning a Premier League title and FA Cup with the Foxes, is now doing everything in his power to keep them in the Premier League.
He thought he’d added a second moments later but was denied by the offside flag as Leicester tried to press home their advantage. But Leeds came back again in this ding-dong encounter. Somehow Marc Roja's free header from five yards out was saved by the face of Iversen before he also stopped Harrison’s follow up effort. Then from the resulting corner, Bamford scuffed his effort when all he had to do was tap-in at the back post.
It was a miss that could cost Leeds dear this season. The man wearing blue with nine on his back would have certainly scored that chance. In the end, it was a tale of two nines. Vardy scores, Bamford misses, and the spoils are shared.