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Dublin: 2°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

McClean features from the bench as Mahrez strikes late leveller

Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion shared the spoils this evening at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - King Power Stadium Riyad Mahrez equalises for Leicester. Source: Mike Egerton

A LATE GOAL from Riyad Mahrez earned Leicester City a 1-1 draw against West Brom in tonight’s Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium.

The Algeria international rifled home with 10 minutes left to cancel out Nacer Chadli’s brilliant opener and earn his side a second draw in a row.

Playing for the first time since scoring the winner in last Monday’s World Cup qualifier against Wales, Ireland hero James McClean was greeted by a chorus of boos from Leicester fans as he was introduced as an 84th-minute substitute for West Brom in place of Jay Rodriguez.

Leicester went into the match just two points off the foot of the table and without a Premier League win at home against the Baggies, but they looked the more likely to find the breakthrough in a dreary first hour.

Danny Simpson came close and Mahrez wasted a glorious chance before Chadli at last produced a moment of real quality, smashing his side’s first shot on target into the net from distance.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - King Power Stadium West Brom players celebrate after Nacer Chadli's goal. Source: Nick Potts

Leicester pushed hard in the closing stages and Mahrez eventually proved the hero, steering home from inside the penalty area after West Brom failed to clear their lines.

The result might just reduce some pressure on Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare, whose side have won only once in their last 11, although they remain in 18th place and two points adrift of safety.

These teams had managed only three wins between them in the league this season before tonight’s meeting and that was reflected in a deeply cautious first half-hour, in which there were only two wayward shots to speak of.

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The first chance of note fell to Simpson 10 minutes before the break, the full-back blasting a half-volley goalwards following a corner that was beaten away well by Boaz Myhill, who was starting in goal for West Brom due to a knee injury picked up by Ben Foster.

Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho were seeing little of the ball, the England striker managing to head one half-chance over via a deflection, but Leicester’s less likely scorers continued to threaten and Harry Maguire forced Myhill into another good low stop just after half-time.

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - King Power Stadium James McClean and Leicester's Christian Fuchs battle for possession. Source: Nick Potts

The clearest chance of the first hour fell to Mahrez, though, who swept the ball high over the crossbar after Marc Albrighton had teed him up for an easy finish 12 yards out.

It proved a costly miss. West Brom had not managed a shot on target and none at all in the second half until the 63rd minute, when Chadli stepped up and fired a dipping free-kick into the net from 30 yards out, with Kasper Schmeichel wrong-footed.

Leicester pushed forward in search of an equaliser and were nearly stung on the break, with Grzegorz Krychowiak seeing a shot blocked and Chadli failing to control a promising ball at the far post.

But with 10 minutes left, Mahrez proved Leicester’s hero, gathering in Islam Slimani’s knock-down before firing low right-footed into the bottom-left corner of Myhill’s net from 12 yards.

Maguire stung the palms of Myhill from the edge of the area but Leicester’s late pressure could not yield a winner, meaning their wait for a home victory over West Brom goes on.

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