A Riyad Mahrez goal earned Leicester a point on Monday evening as they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw with West Brom. After the returning Nacer Chadli fired the Baggies ahead at the King Power Stadium with a superb free kick before the Algerian salvaged a point for his side with ten minutes to play.
Both sides came into the game in poor domestic form knowing that securing the three points would be a massive boost for either team. Craig Shakespeare decided made three changes from the side that drew with Bournemouth before the international break with Riyad Mahrez, Vicente Iborra and Kelechi Iheanacho coming into the eleven in place of Demarai Gray, Andy King and Shinji Okazaki.
West Brom boss Tony Pulis made three changes from the team that threw away a 2-0 lead against Watford. Boaz Myhill replaced the injured Ben Foster in goal, with Jake Livermore and Chadli replacing Matt Phillips and James McLean in the line-up with the widemen dropping to the bench.
Jamie Vardy returned to full fitness following the injury that saw him miss the Three Lions international fixtures and started the game brightly as he caused the two West Brom centre halves issues with his pace. Ahmed Hegazi saw himself booked with only eight minutes on the clock, after tripping the Leicester number nine with the resulting free kick being flashed across the box by Mahrez.
The away side’s first site of goal came after 17 minutes when summer signing Kieran Gibbs crossed for the returning Chadli, whose snatched volley flew harmlessly wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.
10 minutes before half-time Danny Simpson had the first effort on target after a Christian Fuchs long throw was half cleared to the right back, whose thunderous strike was palmed away by Myhill with Iborra turning the rebound back over the bar. Vardy then headed over after Iborra’s scuffed effort into the ground presented itself to the forward, as Mike Dean drew a drab first period to an end.
Within 30 seconds of the second half a poor back pass from Hegazi was seized upon by Vardy, with the England forward nicking the ball ahead of Myhill before being brought down by the goalkeeper, who was shown a yellow card for his efforts. Harry Maguire’s then saw his header from Mahrez’s free kick turned away by the Baggies stopper at the near post as Leicester began the half on the front foot.
Mahrez then had a golden opportunity with 50 minutes on the clock after a Vardy backheel freed Mark Albrighton whose low cross was blazed over by the Algerian from 12 yards out when it looked easier to score for a player of his calibre. Chadli then opened the scoring as West Brom began to attack with a sublime free kick that left Schmeichel routed to the spot, after Ihenacho had fouled Grzegorz Krychowiak.
With just under 20 minutes to play Shakespeare made a double change, desperate to get the Foxes back into the match with Islam Slimani and Ben Chilwell replacing Iheanacho and Simpson, as the home side reverted to a 3-4-3 formation in search of the equaliser. The double change paid dividends when Chilwell’s deep cross was nodded back by Slimani into the path of Mahrez who took one touch before firing into the bottom corner.
With Myhill clearly struggling from his collision he poked a clearance out for a throw-in when it would have been easier to clear, and had to deny Maguire again from the following move. Pulis responded with the introduction of 37-year-old Gareth McAuley and McClean for the goalscorer Chadli and Rodriguez as West Brom looked to steady the ship with five minutes to play.
Despite five minutes of added time, neither team could find a much needed winner as both side’s winless runs in the league continued, with West Brom moving into 10th place and Leicester worryingly sitting in the relegation zone just two points behind Pulis’ old side Stoke.