Leicester 1-1 Norwich: Foxes held to fall 10 points behind Liverpool
Report and highlights as Tim Krul own goal cancels out Teemu Pukki opener at King Power Stadium
Last Updated: 14/12/19 7:13pm
Leicester fell 10 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race as Norwich produced a resilient display to earn a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.
Liverpool had extended their lead at the top courtesy of a 2-0 win over Watford at Anfield, but as Brendan Rodgers' side sought to close the gap with a ninth consecutive league win, they ran into a resolute Canaries outfit who were good value for their point.
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Teemu Pukki, who carried on playing despite sustaining a broken toe, gave the visitors the lead when he ran free onto Emiliano Buendia's through-ball to slot home his ninth domestic goal of the season (26).
Norwich's advantage lasted just 12 minutes, however, as Tim Krul directed Jamie Vardy's header from James Maddison's corner into his own net - but the hosts were unable to complete the turnaround as Liverpool stretched their lead at the summit by a further two points.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Chilwell (7), Soyuncu (6), Evans (6), Pereira (6), Ndidi (6), Tielemans (6), Praet (5), Maddison (7), Iheanacho (4), Vardy (6).
Subs: Gray (6), Barnes (7)
Norwich: Krul (7), Aarons (8), Byram (8), Godfrey (7), Zimmermann (7), Trybull (6), Tettey (7), McLean (6), Buendia (7), Cantwell (6), Pukki (8).
Subs: Vrancic (n/a), Hernandez (n/a), Stiepermann (n/a)
Man of the match: Max Aarons.
How Foxes hit a yellow brick wall
Prior to the visit to the Midlands, Norwich manager Daniel Farke had said that his side needed to produce an "outstanding" performance and the Canaries - who remain 19th but are now three points off 17th-placed Aston Villa - were the better side in the opening 20 minutes.
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Leicester, by contrast, were flat and offered very little by way of an attacking threat barring a Youri Tielemans' shot from 25 yards that was spilled by Krul onto the post.
Pukki very nearly broke the deadlock as Kenny McLean found Max Aarons down the right, and his low cross was directed wide by the Finland striker at the far post as he stretched with his right foot.
But six minutes later, Pukki was celebrating. Buendia was afforded far too much space in midfield to pick out the striker with a precise pass that pierced the Leicester defence, and the Finn strode away from Caglar Soyuncu to steer his right-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Leicester needed to change something, but it was a flash-point that sparked Leicester into life as Kelechi Iheanacho infuriated the Norwich players by not putting the ball out due to an injury.
Leicester were unchanged as they chased a ninth straight league win.
Struggling Norwich recalled Todd Cantwell and Tom Trybull as Mario Vrancic and Onel Hernandez dropped to the bench.
Ben Godfrey avoided a red card for his role in the ensuing melee, but with their tails pricked, the Foxes levelled moments later as Vardy met Maddison's corner to flick his effort towards goal with the Norwich defence switching off at the set piece.
The striker, who was seeking to score in a ninth straight Premier League game, claimed the finish as the ball deflected into the net via Krul, but following a review it was later awarded as an own goal by the Norwich stopper.
Rodgers reacted to Norwich experiencing joy in midfield by withdrawing Iheanacho in favour of Demarai Gray prior to the interval, but it was that familiar combination of Maddison and Vardy that very nearly led to a second Leicester goal three minutes after the restart.
Maddison collected the ball in a deep position before finding the run of Vardy, who rounded Krul only to see his shot from the angle hit the foot of the post.
Norwich were riding their luck and after Wilfred Ndidi had flashed a header wide from another wicked Maddison free-kick, Vardy forced Krul into another smart save low to his left following a period of pinball in the Norwich penalty box.
An agitated Rodgers looked up to the big screen as the clock ticked down, but Norwich grew in confidence with Pukki offering a threat on the counter-attack, forcing Soyuncu into a desperate late block after being found by Christoph Zimmermann's searching pass.
Zimmermann might even have snatched all three points for the visitors when his header was hooked away by Soyuncu from underneath his own crossbar as Leicester failed to equal their club-record of 10 straight wins in all competitions.
What the managers said
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "We didn't start the game particularly well, but we worked our way back into it and in the second-half I felt we dominated it. But it was just one of those days where it wasn't going to drop for us.
"We needed that little bit of luck for it to go our way but the players gave everything.
"We came from that goal behind so we showed a good mentality but we just couldn't find that bit of quality in the final third to get the winner. It's a disappointment for us but we'll press the reset and go again."
Norwich manager Daniel Farke: "It's always difficult to compare results, but regarding how good and in-form the opponents were, I think this was our best performance of the season. We're a bit disappointed that we haven't taken one of our chances on the counter-attack to claim all three points.
"All the games we've been in have been close, and we're competitive at this level. For that, we are happy and we'll head forward in a good mood and with a lot of confidence."
Man of the match: Max Aarons
Norwich have won just once in their last 12 Premier League games, but Leicester were not the first side to be left frustrated by Farke's side, and provided the team take inspiration from Aarons dogged display, they won't be the last.
The Canaries have won four points in their last three away games in the top-flight, as many as in their previous 16 combined, and the key to their most recent impressive display on the road was nullifying Leicester in the wide areas.
Sam Byram was equally diligent in denying Demarai Gray the space to provide Vardy with the ammunition from the flanks, but Aarons was the standout performer, making more blocks than any other player (3) as well as providing one key pass.
- Leicester City are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games, picking up 25 points in the process (W8 D1). Indeed, the Foxes have dropped points at home for the first time since the opening weekend vs Wolves.
- Teemu Pukki has been directly involved in 12 Premier League goals this season (9 goals, 3 assists), twice as many as any other Norwich player.
- Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul scored his first-ever Premier League own goal, in what was his 172nd appearance in the competition.
Leicester are in Carabao Cup quarter-final action in midweek as they travel to face Everton before returning to the Premier League next Saturday away to Manchester City, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.
Meanwhile, Norwich host Wolves at Carrow Road next Saturday at 3pm.