Sport

Stoke V Leicester 2 : 2

Stoke twice game from behind to draw 2-2 with Leicester as goals from Vicente Iborra and Riyad Mahrez were cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri and Peter Crouch.

An entertaining game at the bet365 Stadium ended all square as Leicester twice surrendered a one-goal lead.

In the opening stages of the game it was the visitors who saw the most of the ball and Demarai Gray in particular was causing problems for Stoke’s Kurt Zouma.

The young winger got the better of Zouma on three occasions in quick succession, but Leicester failed to take advantage of his positive play, as Ryan Shawcross made a vital block from Jamie Vardy’s effort.

The first chance for the home team fell to the feet of Eric Choupo-Moting after 28 minutes. The striker was released by Ramadan Sobhi and side-stepped Harry Maguire and just had Kasper Schmeichel to beat, but the Leicester goalkeeper was equal to his effort and stopped Stoke from taking the lead.

After failing to make a number of corners count, Leicester took the lead on 33 minutes through Vicente Iborra. Maguire headed Mahrez’s corner from the right back into the danger area and Iborra smashed the ball into the back of the net to give the Foxes a 1-0 advantage.

Following the opener, the Stoke defence were certainly on the back foot. Mahrez had an excellent chance to square to Vardy in acres of space but hesitated and allowed Zouma to get back and make a challenge, and Butland reacted well to a low Okazaki header after more dangerous play from Gray.

Although it looked like Claude Puel’s side would extend their lead, they were made to pay for their wastefulness as Stoke equalised against the run of play after 39 minutes.

Choupo-Moting released Xherdan Shaqiri with a first time pass, and the Swiss winger curled an unstoppable shot past Schmeichel into the goal via the post.

Both sides then came close to going in at half-time ahead, as Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf came within inches of directing a clearance into his own net, and Schmeichel got down well to a near-post effort from Shaqiri.

Leicester came close to giving his side the lead early in the second half but Mahrez fired left-footed effort across the goal but it went just wide.

Schmeichel then came to his side’s rescue after 59 minutes when he saved brilliantly from a Shawcross header following a Stoke corner.

Just one minute after the goalkeeper’s heroics, the Foxes were ahead once again through Riyad Mahrez. Wilfried Ndidi threaded through for the winger on the right-hand side, and he drifted into the area, cut inside and fired low past Butland to make it 2-1.

The game started to open up as Stoke pushed for another equaliser and became more vulnerable to the counter attack, but substitute Peter Crouch equalised for the Potters with yet another goal off the bench.

Just five minutes after coming onto the pitch, Crouch headed home with ease at the near post from a corner in by Shaqiri, making it 2-2 with his 52nd headed goal in the Premier League.

Both sides were looking for the winner and Vardy had an excellent chance to get his side’s third goal.

The striker should quick feet to spin away from Shawcross but he directed his left-footed effort just wide of the post from the edge of the area.

In the final stages, Kelechi Iheanacho had the ball in the back of the net after Mahrez’s shot deflected his way, but he flagged offside as he stabbed home.
Peter Crouch was agonisingly close to scoring a last-gasp winner for the home side, but Schmeichel thwarted him with a fine save from a corner in the last action of the game.

Claud Puel remains unbeaten after two games in charge at Leicester, while Stoke were unable to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since January. The Foxes will feel they should have been out of sight in the first half, but the home side twice fought back to earn the point.

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