Northern Irish coach Brendan Rodgers paid the price of his options after Leicester City settled with a point from his match and his host Crystal drew 1-1 with him in a match during which he was trailing until the last minutes, Monday, in the 16th stage of the Premier League.
In light of the pressure of matches during this period of the year in England, Rodgers allowed many Leicester stars to catch their breath, making seven adjustments to the squad that tied in the last stage with Manchester United (2-2), and Jamie Vardy was the most prominent absentee from the starting line-up.
The 2016 champion ended up settling for a point and even nearly suffered his sixth defeat this season were it not for the last-minute goal from Harvey Barnes.
Leicester took advantage of the postponement of the Everton match and its guest, Manchester City, due to the new Coronavirus infections in the latter’s ranks, to climb to second place on goal difference from the Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti’s team and three points for the defending champion and leader Liverpool, who meet Wednesday with its host Newcastle, while Crystal Palace raised its tally to 19 points in the thirteenth place temporarily.
Despite playing a substitute squad largely, Leicester was the best party from the start and got a golden opportunity to open the scoring from a penalty kick caused by James Tomkins by dropping Luke Thomas in the forbidden region. Still, Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Gaeta starred in the face of Nigerian Kelichi Iyanasho and saved the host (19).
Despite his many attempts to compensate for this opportunity in the remaining minutes of the first half, Leicester lacked efficiency in front of the goal, so the two teams entered the halftime break while they were at the same distance.
At the beginning of the second half, Leicester found himself in a difficult situation after falling behind with a nice goal for the Ivory Coast, who launched a quick counterattack and then passed the ball on the right side to Andros Townsend. The latter returned it to him with a cross pass to the far post to grab it directly into the net from a difficult angle (58), Scoring his eighth goal in the league this season.
Rodgers felt the embarrassment of the situation, so he shoved the Belgian Jerry Tillmans, Vardy, and Dimaray Gray in search of a draw, which was eventually achieved thanks to the effort of Harvey Barnes, who manipulated the defenders before he hit the ball from the outskirts of the area on the floor to the left of goalkeeper Gaeta (83).