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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 11 May 2021
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League leaders Leicester stumble at home as superb Gardner free-kick ensures stalemate

Danny Drinkwater and Andy King netted for the Foxes after Salomon Rondon opened the scoring but despite hitting the crossbar twice, they couldn’t find a winner.

Image: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

CRAIG GARDNER’S SUBLIME free-kick prevented Leicester City going five points clear in the Premier League as West Bromwich Albion held the leaders to a 2-2 draw.

After Salomon Rondon put West Brom ahead, Leicester hit back through Danny Drinkwater and Andy King, only for Gardner to earn the visitors a point by arcing a free-kick into the top-left corner in the 50th minute.

Tottenham Hotspur can go above Leicester on goal difference if they win at West Ham United on Wednesday, while Arsenal will be just three points behind them if they overcome Swansea City.

Leicester made two changes to the team that had edged Norwich City at the weekend, Danny Simpson and King replacing Daniel Amartey and the injured N’Golo Kante, and fell behind in the 11th minute.

Darren Fletcher’s through-ball released Rondon and the Venezuelan striker shrugged Robert Huth to the ground before steering a shot beneath Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium Danny Drinkwater equalised for Leicester after Rondon had put West Brom in front. Source: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Drinkwater equalised on the half-hour with a shot that deflected off Jonas Olsson and looped over Ben Foster and after Jamie Vardy had headed against the bar, Leicester went ahead in first-half stoppage time.

Marc Albrighton’s crossfield pass from the left was audaciously back-heeled into King’s path by Riyad Mahrez and the Welsh midfielder swept home.

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But five minutes into the second half Gardner levelled after Mahrez had been penalised for handball, caressing the ball over the wall and past a flat-footed Schmeichel from around 22 yards.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium Gardner's exquisite free-kick drew the sides level and Leicester failed to find a winner despite creating a number of chances. Source: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Leicester piled on the pressure in the latter stages, Shinji Okazaki heading against the bar and Foster thwarting substitute Jeff Schlupp, Vardy and Wes Morgan, but they could not find a way through.

Elsewhere in the top-flight on Tuesday evening, Sunderland had Fabio Borini to thank for a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

The striker popped up with a last-gasp equaliser after Connor Wickham’s brace had cancelled out Dame N’Doye’s opener.

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