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Premier League Match Report: Leicester City 2 - 2 Burnley

Vardy nets three times in a 2-2 draw.

Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League
Our two best players of the match in one convenient photo.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Leicester City drew 2-2 against Burnley at the King Power in an eventful Saturday afternoon affair. Jamie Vardy scored one at either end of the pitch in the first half and Maxwel Cornet scored a brilliant volley for the Clarets to give the visitors the lead at the break. Vardy got a late equaliser for the Foxes but neither side could find a way through for the winner.

If memory serves, the esteemed Mr. Vardy has an applicable phrase for this sort of situation. Can’t quite remember what it was. Any ideas?

Manager Brendan Rodgers was handed a selection dilemma with the impressive performance by Kelechi Iheanacho against Millwell on Wednesday, but the Nigerian had to be satisfied with a place on the bench on Saturday. The starting XI: Kasper Schmeichel (C), Ricardo Pereira, Çağlar Söyüncü, Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, Boubakary Soumare, Ademola Lookman, Harvey Barnes, and Jamie Vardy.

The match started at an absurdly frantic pace, with both sides charging up and down the pitch at pace. The hosts were getting the better of the exchanges, going close no less than three times in the first ten minutes. Tielemans somehow contrived to blast over from 18 yards when given space in the box. Lookman’s pullback for Barnes had the keeper well-beaten, but a last-ditch dive by the defender kept it out. The best chance fell to Vardy, who put a header from close range into the ground and saw it bounce over the bar.

It was Vardy who broke the deadlock, but he did so in the worst possible fashion. The Clarets won a corner on the Leicester right. It was swung in towards the near post at pace. The former Fleetwood Town man rose to clear it but instead made the sort of contact he wished he’d made at the other end, glancing it past Schmeichel and into the back of the net.

How did Vardy score three when Leicester scored twice? Don’t tell me to do the math(s).

The own goal understandably took the wind out of City’s sails for a brief period of time. It wasn’t long before the Foxes were back on the front foot and making life uncomfortable for the Burnley back line. Lookman and Ricardo were combining well on the right but they couldn’t quite find the final ball. Barnes saw a long-range effort saved and a Vardy got a toe to a low ball across the face of the goal that was blocked off the line.

It was, of course, always going to be Vardy who got the goal back and he did so in 2015/16 style. Leicester broke from a Burnley corner and referee Chris Kavanagh played a good advantage to allow play to continue. Tielemans got the ball in acres in space in the centre of the park. He picked out Vardy’s diagonal run across the box and the striker hit it first time, leaving Nick Pope no chance at all to keep it out.

Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League
I find the geometry of this photo very pleasing. Not as pleasing as “Vardy scored a goal,” but pleasing nonetheless.
Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Parity was short-lived as Burnley restored their advantage in style. Matej Vydra found space on the right and crossed it square to Maxwel Cornet. The ball was slightly behind the Clarets’ record signing, but he did incredibly well to lean back and take it on the volley. He got the technique exactly right and rocketed it past the stranded Schmeichel.

The Foxes dominated the first half in terms of possession and, more importantly, chances. In terms of the even more important measure of goals, they faced a 2-1 deficit at the break.

The gaffer made one change at the half and it wasn’t one we expected. Timothy Castagne came on for Ricardo which, given the Portugal man’s contributions, suggested an injury rather than a tactical switch. Or maybe it was tactical, but the Belgium right-back was involved immediately involved, fizzing in dangerous crosses and generally throwing himself about.

The half was being played at an absurd pace but neither goalkeeper was being unduly troubled. Needing to mix things up, Rodgers introduced Iheanacho on the hour mark, hauling off Soumare. This would mean a change of shape, although precisely what shape wasn’t entirely clear. No matter, as the Foxes continued to dominate in all ways except the one that matters.

With a quarter-hour to play, Rodgers withdrew Lookman in favour of James Maddison. The run of play continued to be “attack v. defence” but the final ball wasn’t coming off and the visitors were looking increasingly comfortable absorbing the pressure. Time was running out on a Leicester comeback.

But, just as “All roads lead to Rome,” it is equally true that “All goals go through Vardy.” Breaking on the left this time, the ball fell to Iheanacho. His through ball to the former Stocksbridge Park Steels man was a mirror of the one from Tielemans earlier. Pope came out for it and the striker calmly rounded him and rolled the ball into the back of the net for his second (intentional) goal of the match.

Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League
That’s “Premier League goals leader Jamie Vardy” to you.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

The winner should have come on in the 89th minute. Iheanacho was the centre of a three-man break. With Vardy to his right and Barnes in acres of space on the left, Seniorman dawdled just a moment to long and allowed the defence to get back and deflect the ball that would have sent Barnes 1-on-1 with Pope.

VAR came to the rescue at the death as former Fox Chris Wood, who had been completely anonymous for the first 93 12 minutes, headed home an Ashley Barnes flick at the death. It was a tight call, but he was just offside and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

This was a dark mirror of the Napoli match in the Europa League, leaving both sides with mixed emotions. This time out, we were the better side and probably should have taken all three points. But, we also trailed twice and scored a late equaliser to share the points. So, are we happy or disappointed?

I know it’s obvious, but I kind of had to use this image, didn’t I?

The draw gives the Foxes 7 points from 6 matches which puts us 12th on the table. We close out a frustrating September on the 30th in Poland against Legia Warsaw in the Europa League. We kick off October next Sunday with a trip to Selhurst Park to face Jeff Schlupp’s Crystal Palace.