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Stoke City 2 Leicester City 2: Mahrez and Vardy salvage point for visitors

Leicester City came from two goals down for the second consecutive Premier League game as they fought-back to draw 2-2 with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy cancelled out earlier strikes from Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters, which had put Stoke two up midway through the opening period.

Making his first Premier League start since returning from a cruciate ligament injury, Bojan, whose last league goal came against Leicester back in January, fired Stoke ahead early on.

That effort was Stoke’s first at home in 2015-16, and shambolic defending from Wes Morgan then allowed Walters to add a second in the 20th minute.

Jack Butland had to be on form at the other end to deny N’Golo Kante, but Claudio Ranieri’s men did pull one back early in the second half through Mahrez’s penalty.

Vardy snatched a deserved leveller in the 69th minute, and though Stoke pressed for a late winner, Mark Hughes’ men had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Leicester, who came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 last time out, are now unbeaten in 10 league matches stretching back to last season and they started well here, with Geoff Cameron having to be alert to prevent Shinji Okazaki getting in on goal in the first minute. 

But it was Stoke who had the lead 13 minutes in as Bojan, one of four changes for the hosts, slotted home after being teed up by Marko Arnautovic, the Austria forward having jinked his way infield from the left.

And Stoke had a second soon after, Leicester captain Morgan failing to deal with a punt up-field from Butland – Walters capitalising on the defender’s under-hit back-pass to slot home past Kasper Schmeichel.

Stoke should have had another prior to the half-hour mark as Cameron drilled in a wonderful cross from the right, but Walters was unable to apply the finish from close-range.

Butland has starred for Stoke so far in 2015-16, and did well to deny Kante a maiden Leicester goal, tipping the Frenchman’s venomous effort wide.

Leicester were rewarded for a bright start to the second half five minutes after the resumption – Arnautovic pushing Danny Drinkwater in the area – with Mahrez stepping up to send Butland the wrong way from the spot for his fifth league goal of the season.

Moments after Vardy was thwarted by Butland, the England striker made no mistake with his next chance, finishing clinically after pouncing onto a searching pass from former Stoke man Robert Huth.

Stoke twice went close to a winner late on, with Cameron heading wide and Xherdan Shaqiri testing Schmeichel with a dipping free-kick, but they could not snatch the points and remain without a win in the league this term.

Sat 19 Sep, 2015
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