Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Mahrez strike earns Foxes a point

Published 22/08/2015

Riyad Mahrez, second from left, celebrates his equaliser
Riyad Mahrez, second from left, celebrates his equaliser

Late goals from Dele Alli and Riyad Mahrez lit up an otherwise largely forgettable 1-1 draw between Leicester and Tottenham, as Claudio Ranieri's side were denied a small piece of club history.

Chances were few and far between and it looked certain to remain goalless but with nine minutes left substitute Alli, a £5million signing from MK Dons last season, stooped to head Tottenham in front.

However, Spurs' lead was extremely short-lived as Leicester went straight up the other end and equalised through Mahrez.

The Foxes, with victories against Sunderland and West Ham already under their belts, had never won their first three games in the top flight and never really looked like achieving the feat.

But neither did Spurs seem likely to win.

Ranieri's men were typically tenacious, none more so than Jamie Vardy, but lacked quality in the final third - a claim impossible to level at Leicester in their opening two fixtures.

Tottenham were pleasing on the eye but their front four looked like strangers at times.

Mousa Dembele worked himself a shooting opportunity from 25 yards out early on but his effort was straight at Kasper Schmeichel.

Schmeichel's heart must have been in his mouth briefly in the 12th minute when his attempted clearance struck Harry Kane, only for the ball to ricochet harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

Marc Albrighton threatened with a mazy dart from the left flank into the Tottenham penalty area but he cut across his shot and the ball flew wide of the far post just before t he players took a water break midway through the first half.

Dembele cut in from the right-hand side, showing good strength to hold off Jeffrey Schlupp, and managed to get a shot off but Schmeichel made a parrying save.

Leicester looked like they might be able to cause Tottenham problems down the right with Mahrez and Vardy managing to get good deliveries into dangerous areas, only for nobody in a blue shirt to gamble and make a telling run into the penalty box.

When Shinji Okazaki did break into the box he was denied by a timely hook clear from Jan Vertonghen.

Leicester felt another Mahrez burst down the right should have brought a penalty when the Algerian went over following a challenge from Vertonghen, but referee Martin Atkinson saw no infringement.

At the start of the second half, Kyle Walker slipped a perfectly-weighted pass in behind Schlupp but Nacer Chadli snatched at the chance and put his shot into the Leicester supporters behind Schmeichel's goal.

Chadli then directed a header into the same stand from an Erik Lamela corner.

A driving run into the box from Kane looked like it may be the moment to break the deadlock but he was stretching when he shot and his effort from 12 yards out was straight at Schmeichel.

Mahrez came close when his shot from a tight angle struck the base of a post, before the exciting finale no-one expected.

Chadli's curling cross from the left side of the penalty box evaded Kane but Alli was on hand to head home from inside the six-yard box for his first Premier League goal.

However, straight from the restart Leicester went on the attack and Mahrez curled home a lovely left-foot effort from the right-hand side of the area for his fourth goal of the campaign.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

''The photo you've all been waiting for: #LCFC midfielder Danny Drinkwater drinking water.....'' - Drinks breaks were the order of the day.

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/635101858575613952

PLAYER RATINGS

Leicester

Kasper Schmeichel: 6 (Out of 10)

Ritchie De Laet: 6

Wes Morgan: 6

Robert Huth: 6

Jeff Schlupp: 6

Riyad Mahrez: 8

Andy King: 6

Danny Drinkwater: 7

Marc Albrighton: 7

Jamie Vardy: 7

Shinji Okazaki: 7

Subs

Ngolo Kante 5

Gokhan Inler 5

Leonardo Ulloa 3

Tottenham

Hugo Lloris 6

Kyle Walker 7

Toby Alderweireld 6

Jan Vertonghen 6

Ben Davies 6

Ryan Mason 6

Erik Lamela 5

Eric Dier 6

Mousa Dembele 7

Nacer Chadli 6

Harry Kane 5

Subs

Dele Alli 7

Tom Carroll 5

Nabil Bentaleb 3

STAR PLAYER

Riyad Mahrez: The Leicester winger has arguably been the stand out player in the Premier League so far this season and he scored his fourth goal of the campaign to rescue a point for his side. The Algerian always looked a threat and most of the good things the Foxes did went through him.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Dele Alli: What a moment for the teenager, his first Premier League goal. The £5million signing from MK Dons scored 16 times last season in League One and he has made a good start to making the step up to the top flight. Shame for him that it was not the winning goal.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Both Ranieri and Pochettino spent much of the game in their respective technical areas, where they shared an embrace and a joke prior to kick-off. Ranieri was suited and booted, and despite the heat did not remove his jacket. Pochettino's attire was much more suited to the weather, with the Argentine sporting a Spurs polo t-shirt with the collar turned up Cantona-style.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

The first 81 minutes were pretty dull. A shame really, and a surprise, considering the attacking talent on show on both sides and the blistering start to the season made by Leicester

WHO'S UP NEXT

Leicester v Bury (a) Capital One Cup, Tuesday 25 August

Tottenham v Everton (h) Premier League, Saturday 29 August

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph