Leicester City 1-1 Norwich City - Canaries display resilient streak as they hold in-form Foxes to a draw
PUBLISHED: 01:26 15 December 2019
Norwich City displayed the resilient streak Daniel Farke wished to see as they held second-placed Leicester City to a 1-1 draw at the King Power stadium.
Teemu Pukki opened the scoring for the Canaries after 25 minutes, latching onto a through pass by Emi Buendia to convert. The Foxes levelled through a Tim Krul own goal as the Dutch keeper parried Jamie Vardy's header into his own net.
City's boss made two changes to the side who were overcome by Sheffield United last Sunday, with Todd Cantwell and Tom Trybull replacing Onel Hernandez and Mario Vrancic respectively.
The City chief was hoping to see a hardy display after the nature in which the Canaries were beaten at Carrow Road by the Blades last Sunday.
For the hosts, Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged XI from the side who comfortably beat Aston Villa last weekend.
The fortunes of the two teams' completely contrast, with the Foxes looking to extend their positive form in the division as they seek to mount a title challenge but, for the Canaries, their aspirations are more modest. They'll be hoping to keep their heads above water come May.
Both possession and territory were being dominated by the hosts in the opening exchanges with Kelechi Iheanacho having the first clear sighting of goal.
The striker twisted his way past Alex Tettey before curling a shot goalward, only to see his effort saved by Krul.
From there, City set about attempting to impose themselves onto the fixture, with a passage of possession resulting in a corner. Tettey was on the end of the flick-on, and despite his effort heading on target, it was blocked by Ben Chilwell at the back post.
City had Krul to thank again on 13 minutes, as the influential Youri Tielemans took aim from outside the box. His effort was parried onto the post, but the Dutch keeper managed to hold onto the rebound.
A smart piece of combination play between Aarons and Kenny McLean on the wing saw City's right-back burst into the area. He dragged his cross towards the back post where Pukki was waiting, but the Finn couldn't connect with the pass.
On 26 minutes, it was City who took the lead courtesy of their talismanic striker.
Tom Trybull's intelligent reverse pass found Buendia in space, who took the ball in his stride before threading a pass-through to Pukki who tucked it calmly into the bottom corner of the net.
Sparks began to fly soon after when the Foxes refused to play the ball back to City after the Canaries had kicked the ball out of touch so Buendia could recieve treatment.
Iheanacho ran unopposed towards the City centre-backs, with Christoph Zimmermann fouling him, that led to a melee with Cantwell the key aggressor.
Cantwell's involvement in the aftermath was deemed not to be a red card offence by VAR before James Maddison kicked the ball out of play to calm the situation down.
Moments later, the hosts did find a reply through the irrepressible Jamie Vardy.
Maddison's corner was whipped into the near post, where Vardy was waiting unmarked to head it towards goal but Krul could only parry it into his own net.
Subsequently, it was ruled as an own goal and accredited to the City goalkeeper.
Vardy's pace was a constant threat throughout the encounter, and after the interval, a long pass from Maddison found the Premier League's top scorer. He took the ball around Krul on the left, but the angle was too acute for him to finish.
The Foxes continued to work their way through the gears after the break, and they carved out another chance for Vardy moments later.
Maddison surged to the byline before picking out the England international, but his side-footed volley was saved at full stretch by Krul.
As the Leicester pressure intensified, City's defensive wall stood firm. Maddison continued to be the protagonist, and his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide by Godfrey.
City still posed a threat on the counter-attack as the Foxes poured bodies forward in search of a winner.
Through Buendia's ball over the top, Pukki raced through only for the recovering Caglar Soyuncu to block.
Pukki's running off the shoulder provided City with another attacking dimension, and the Finn was found by Godfrey once more on 84 minutes.
He raced through on goal only to be caught by the recovering defenders who smothered the striker before he could pull the trigger.
The final whistle was met with cheers from the away supporters as the resilient Canaries stood firm to deny the late onslaught.
- Leicester City (4-3-1-2): Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Praet (Barnes 45), Ndidi, Tielemans; Maddison; Vardy, Ihaenacho (Gray 39). Subs not used: Ward (GK), Justin, Morgan, Albrighton, Perez
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Krul (og) 39
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Byram; Tettey (C), Trybull (Stiepermann 86); Buendia (Vrancic 90), McLean, Cantwell (Hernandez 84); Pukki. Subs not used: Fahrmann (GK), Lewis, Amadou, Srbeny
- Bookings: Cantwell, Trybull, Buendia, Tettey, Krul
- Goals: Pukki 26
- Added on time: 5 mins/ 3 mins
- Attendance: 32,101 (3,254 away)
- Referee: Andrew Madley
- VAR: Mike Dean