Burnley 1-1 Leicester: Kelechi Iheanacho earns Foxes’ a draw

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Iheanacho’s goal was just his second in the Premier League this season

Kelechi Iheanacho stepped up superbly in the absence of a number of injured team-mates to earn Champions League-chasing Leicester a potentially important draw at Burnley.

With Harvey Barnes having joined James Maddison on the Foxes’ injury list and Jamie Vardy having only just returned from his own lay-off, Iheanacho gave his side the attacking edge they required courtesy of a volleyed equaliser midway through the first half.

City had earlier gifted the home side the lead, with Hamza Choudhury’s under-hit pass near his own box allowing Matej Vydra to nip in, beat a man and then fire a shot into the roof of the net.

There were chances to win the game for both sides, but goalkeepers Nick Pope and Kasper Schmeichel each produced a typically excellent display.

Foxes keeper Scmeichel was particularly impressive, diving to superbly save headers from James Tarkowski and Chris Wood.

Both teams also hit the post in the second half – Ashley Westwood for Burnley with a volleyed effort from a tight angle and Youri Tielemens for Leicester with a shot from the edge of the box.

It is a useful point for Burnley, who extend the gap between themselves and 18th-placed Fulham to six points.

For Leicester, the comeback and resulting confidence it may inspire is as important as the reward it yields. and they now have a six-point advantage of their own over fifth-placed Chelsea.

Iheanacho provides hope in the gloom

Having earned a reputation as a predatory finisher during a series of cameo appearances for Manchester City in the early stages of his career, Iheanacho has never fully justified a regular starting spot at Leicester since joining the club for £25m in 2017.

Now would be a fine time to start fully living up to his considerable promise, with the Foxes deprived of top-drawer attacking talent and desperate not to allow Champions League football to elude them again.

Maddison and Barnes have either scored or assisted 15 of Leicester’s past 20 Premier League goals.

But in allowing Ndidi’s lofted pass to float over his shoulder before volleying the ball past Pope, Iheanacho demonstrated he has the skills to take over from the England pair.

His goal on Wednesday was not only brilliant but timely, with the early concession rocking a Foxes side that came into the fixture off the back of two defeats and had a number of square pegs in round holes.

While understandably not at their best, they visibly lifted after the goal, though, and stepped up again when defender Wesley Fofana came on and Wilfred Ndidi was restored to his preferred spot in the middle of midfield.

Before that, Choudhury had a chance to make amends for his error but fired over with just Pope to beat from a central position. After the equaliser, Tielemens saw one shot hit the woodwork and another saved by Pope, who also denied Marc Albrighton from long range.

A point is not ideal, but it is a necessary check on a potentially demoralising run of results in dire circumstances.

Wood return lifts Clarets

The same could be said of Burnley.

A win would have provided that extra bit of breathing space at the bottom, but they should take heart from a better result and much-improved performance from Sunday’s 4-0 surrender at Tottenham.

Ben Mee almost gave them an early lead with a header that went over the bar before Vydra did put them in front.

Tarkowski and Wood were both unfortunate not to restore the Clarets’ advantage with headed efforts, as was Westwood when he drove against the woodwork.

Wood in particular made Sean Dyche’s side a far more potent attacking weapon with his hold-up play, neat link-ups and ability to find space to test Schmeichel.

There were certainly more positives than negatives for Dyche, who is likely to welcome some more absentees back soon and clearly has enough in his squad to avoid getting dragged back into the bottom three.

Burnley making draws a habit

  • Burnley have drawn four of their past six Premier League games, as many stalemates as they had in their previous 23 league games combined.
  • This was the Clarets’ fourth consecutive Premier League draw at Turf Moor; the first time they’ve drawn four in a row at the stadium in league competition since August 2011.
  • Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has only lost one of his seven Premier League games against Burnley’s Dyche, with that defeat coming at Turf Moor in January 2020.
  • Burnley’s Vydra ended a run of 1,212 minutes without a Premier League goal, scoring his first since February 2020 against Bournemouth.
  • Iheanacho has scored two goals in his past three Leicester starts away from home in the Premier League, just one fewer than he managed in his first 15 away starts for the club in the competition.
  • Burnley striker Wood had three shots on target without scoring in Wednesday’s game – his most attempts on target in a Premier League match he failed to score in since November 2018.

Player of the match

VydraMatej Vydra

Burnley

  1. Squad number27Player nameVydra

  2. Squad number9Player nameWood

  3. Squad number6Player nameMee

  4. Squad number5Player nameTarkowski

  5. Squad number1Player namePope

  6. Squad number11Player nameMcNeil

  7. Squad number2Player nameLowton

  8. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  9. Squad number8Player nameBrownhill

  10. Squad number4Player nameCork

  11. Squad number18Player nameWestwood

  12. Squad number19Player nameRodriguez

Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  3. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  4. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  5. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  6. Squad number3Player nameFofana

  7. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  8. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  9. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  10. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  11. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  12. Squad number50Player nameTavares

  13. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  14. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

Line-ups

Burnley

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Pope
  • 2Lowton
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Brownhill
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 11McNeil
  • 27VydraSubstituted forRodriguezat 90+2′minutes
  • 9Wood

Substitutes

  • 15Peacock-Farrell
  • 16Stephens
  • 19Rodriguez
  • 23Pieters
  • 26Bardsley
  • 28Long
  • 34Dunne
  • 38Richardson
  • 41Benson

Leicester

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 18Amartey
  • 25Ndidi
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 24MendySubstituted forFofanaat 66′minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 21Ricardo PereiraBooked at 90mins
  • 20ChoudhurySubstituted forTavaresat 77′minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 27Castagne
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forAlbrightonat 67′minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 3Fofana
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 19Ünder
  • 28Fuchs
  • 33Thomas
  • 38Leshabela
  • 46Daley-Campbell
  • 50Tavares

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