Leicester miss their chance to go top after scoreless draw

Claudio Ranieri's side sit level on points with Arsenal and go into the New Year as title contenders

BY Cian Roche 22:35 Tuesday 29 December 2015, 22:35 29 Dec 2015

We have now reached the halfway point of the season and amazingly enough, Leicester City are still hanging in there.

They missed their chance to regain top spot from Arsenal and had to settle for a point tonight after their goalless draw with Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.

For large periods of the first half, City dominated. So much so that Leicester were forced to switch between a 4-3-3 formation with the ball, to a 4-5-1 when they were under pressure, to ensure they had enough players in the middle of the field.

City had a handful of half chances, Raheem Sterling forcing a wonderful stop from Kasper Schmeichel was probably the best of their lot in the first half.

Manuel Pellegrini's side enjoyed 63% of possession, but typical of Leicester they set up smartly to catch Manchester City on the counter attack.

A defensive error from Fernandinho gave Jamie Vardy what turned out to be the best chance of the game, as he tore through on goal but blazed over.

Vardy is now without a goal in three games, one has to wonder that if he was at the peak of his powers during his astonishing streak would he have scored? Unfair perhaps, considering Nicolas Otamendi tracked back to put pressure on the England striker.

Jamie Vardy had a golden opportunity to put Leicester ahead in the opening half. Image: Tim Goode / EMPICS Sport

Leicester showed resilience as they defended, a double block in the second half denying both Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero encapsulated the spirit that's in the team.

Riyad Mahrez, Vardy and Marc Albrighton all pressed high up the pitch and recognised the frailties of the Manchester City defence in the absence of Vincent Kompany.

In the end a draw was a fair result. Joe Hart insisted his side should have won the game and could well have if Aguero had been awarded a penalty after he was fouled by  Gokhan Inler in the second half.

For the time being anyway, Leicester have only one defeat in the league and tonight was the only Premier League they failed to score in, an amazing turnaround for a team who were bottom of the league this time last season.

The half-term report card is in and it makes for good reading for Leicester City fans, the challenge remains to be consistency.

Ranieri's side have come through the Christmas period without any major injuries and battled well all season. It's time we recognise them as genuine title contenders.


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