Leicester City 1-1 Swansea City: Federico Fernandez helps visitors maintain revival
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 06/02/18 8:30pm
Swansea City's revival under Carlos Carvalhal continued as Federico Fernandez's second-half header earned the strugglers a hard-earned 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday afternoon.
Leicester, still missing Riyad Mahrez, broke the deadlock early on when Jamie Vardy scored his 12th Premier League goal of the season with one of the England international's trademark strikes.
However, the Swans levelled matters eight minutes after half-time when skipper Fernandez headed home Sung-Yueng Ki's corner - just his second-ever league goal for his side.
As a result, the Foxes stay eighth in the table, while the visitors move up to 17th and out of the relegation zone, albeit only on goal difference.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Maguire (7), Dragovic (6), Fuchs (6), Albrighton (6), Ndidi (7), Diabate (8), Silva (7), Iheanacho (7), Vardy (7)
Subs: Gray (6), James (6), Okazaki (6)
Swansea: Fabianski (6), Olsson (6), van der Hoorn (6), Mawson (7), Fernandez (8), Naughton (7), Sung-yueng (7), Fer (6), Dyer (5), Clucas (7), Ayew (7)
Subs: Carroll (6), Routledge (6), Bony (6)
Man of the match: Federico Fernandez
Despite being without Mahrez, who was still absent after handing in a transfer request in midweek, the Foxes dominated proceedings before the break.
It took the home side just 17 minutes to take the lead after a well-worked goal involving Harry Maguire, who strode forward and found Kelechi Iheanacho.
The forward then showed some neat feet to evade two opponents in a tight space outside the area, before releasing Vardy, who made no mistake with a trademark side-footed finish into the corner of the net.
It could have been worse for the Swans at the interval, though, but for a miraculous goal-line clearance by Alfie Mawson to prevent Iheanacho from scoring, seconds after Lukasz Fabianski has also denied the impressive Fousseni Diabate with an excellent stop.
Leicester did then have the ball in the net on the half-hour mark, only for Wilfred Ndidi's effort to rightly be ruled out after Diabate was judged offside earlier in the move, but only after a consultation between referee Anthony Taylor and his assistant.
Whatever Carvalhal said to his players at the break, however, had the desired effect with Swansea coming out a changed team in the second half, drawing level after 53 minutes.
Ki swung in a left-wing corner and centre-back Fernandez rose highest to power a header past a helpless Kasper Schmeichel for the Argentine's first goal in two years.
Leicester were without Riyad Mahrez, who handed in a transfer request earlier in the week, with Fousseni Diabate replacing the Algerian on his league debut. However, captain Wes Morgan was still out with a hamstring problem
Meanwhile, Swansea's deadline-day signing Andre Ayew was absent with a hamstring injury.
The Swans then held on for a point that could prove vital come the end of the season in their bid to beat the drop.
- The Foxes are unbeaten in their last 14 home games against Swansea in all competitions (W10 D4), since a 2-3 defeat in October 1950
- After a run of seven consecutive away defeats in the Premier League, the Swans are unbeaten in their last three on the road (W1 D2)
- Ki - who provided the assist for Swansea's leveller - made his 155th Premier League appearance, overtaking Park Ji-Sung as the South Korean with the most apps in the competition
- Swansea's equaliser came from their only shot on target in the match
- Leicester have lost just one of their last seven home Premier League games, winning four and drawing two
6 - No player has scored the opening goal in more Premier League games than Jamie Vardy this season (6, level with Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane). Party.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 3, 2018
Claude Puel: "It is big frustration this afternoon, Swansea defended very well. We played very well, especially in the first half, against this team that has just had good results against Liverpool and Arsenal. They had just one chance in the game."
Carlos Carvalhal: "One point is important because the history of Swansea at Leicester is very, very bad. We achieve one point against a strong team. My team also showed that we do not just have commitment, they have the belief they can turn things around, they are strong in this moment."
Man of the match - Federico Fernandez
Not only did the Swansea captain get his team back on level terms with a vital second-half header at the King Power, but the former Argentina international central defender also turned in a rock-solid performance at the back throughout for the visitors.
Leicester travel to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City next Saturday tea time.
Swansea, meanwhile, entertain Notts County in an FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday night, before hosting Burnley in the top flight next Saturday afternoon.