Leicester 2-2 Middlesbrough: Late Islam Slimani pen rescues Foxes
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 27/11/16 12:15am
A last-minute penalty from Islam Slimani rescued a point for Leicester as they drew 2-2 with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
It had been Alvaro Negredo's afternoon as he got his first goals since the opening day of the season to twice see Boro ahead, putting the visitors in front in the 13th minute as he chipped a delightful effort over the Foxes defence.
Riyad Mahrez got Leicester level from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark following a Calum Chambers handball but Negredo once again found the net with just under 20 minutes to play.
But the Premier League champions were to have the final say as Marten de Roon fouled Wes Morgan in the box to see referee Lee Mason point to the spot for a second time, and Slimani stepped up to seal a last-gasp draw for the hosts.
Leicester now move up to 13th - two points above the relegation zone - while Middlesbrough sit in 15th just one point ahead of the bottom three.
Boro started as the stronger side and drew a fine save from Ron-Robert Zieler after ten minutes following a brilliant run from Adama Traore on the right flank. He saw his cross palmed into the path of Adam Forshaw, who in turn found De Roon at the top of the box - but he fizzed wide.
Three minutes later, Negredo got his first Middlesbrough goal in 977 minutes of action. He set off the move in the middle of the park, finding Gaston Ramirez on the left flank who surged forward, before crossing back in for the striker who delightfully chipped the ball over the Foxes defence and into the back of the net.
Leicester started to find their flow on the half hour mark as Mahrez showed off the best of his skills to get away from Fabio on the right-hand side, dancing in the box before his cross found Shinji Okazaki to his left. The Japan forward hit a delightful overhead kick but his effort rattled the crossbar and went wide.
The Foxes found the breakthrough in the 34th minute as Mason pointed to the spot after a handball from Chambers in the area. It was Mahrez who stepped up to take, hitting home via the upright to get Leicester back level.
Jamie Vardy had failed to score in 14 matches for the Foxes ahead of Saturday's game, and went agonisingly close to breaking his drought with two minutes of the half to play. Okazaki latched onto a scrappy knock down from Mahrez and fired a cross for the striker, which he duly sent goalwards but a slight nick from an incoming Ramirez saw it poke just past the upright.
Chances were mostly at a premium during the second half, with the first eye of goal coming in the 63rd minute as a Danny Simpson cross found Andy King in the middle of the box but his header just popped over the bar, prompting Claudio Ranieri to take off Vardy and Mahrez and replace them with Slimani and Ahmed Musa.
The two had an instant impact and Leicester looked to be getting on the front foot, linking up to set up Okazaki for a fine effort from the top of the box - which was well saved by Victor Valdes - before a Musa shot just skimmed the crossbar.
But Negredo was on target once again in the 71st minute during the Foxes resurgence as a fine ball over the top from Forshaw saw him run into the box between Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs, having plenty of space and time to set himself up before firing past Zieler to put Boro back ahead.
Leicester were threatening to equalise as the minutes ticked down, as Daniel Amartey hit a firecracker of an effort just over the bar before King headed into the path of Musa but he also scuffed an effort in front of the goal mouth.
In the final seconds of the three added on, De Roon tripped Morgan on the edge of the box, which saw Mason point to the spot for a second time in Leicester's favour. Slimani was the man to step up and send the ball past Valdes to grab a point for the Foxes.
Leicester: Zieler (6), Simpson (7), Morgan (7), Huth (6), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (6), King (7), Amartey (7), Albrighton (7), Okazaki (7), Vardy (5).
Subs used: Slimani (7), Musa (7), Gray (5).
Middlesbrough: Valdes (6), Barragan (6), Chambers (6), Gibson (7), Fabio (7), Clayton (6), De Roon (6), Forshaw (7), Traore (6), Ramirez (8), Negredo (8).
Subs used: Stuani (5), Fischer (n/a).
Man of the match: Alvaro Negredo.