Leicester 1-1 Tottenham: Riyad Mahrez scores late equaliser
Leicester 1 Tottenham 1
Late goals from Dele Allli 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 the 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.