This was something of an oddity of a match: open but lacking copious goalscoring chances, much of the play occurring between the two boxes. By the final whistle Burnley had 29 points, six clear of Fulham in the final relegation position, while Leicester had reached 50, six better than fifth-placed Chelsea in the race for a Champions League berth.
Both Sean Dyche and Brendan Rodgers would have preferred victory, of course, but at this stage of the campaign the Burnley and Leicester managers can be content with the draw and move on.
Dyche’s sole change was Chris Wood for Jay Rodriguez in attack, from the XI that lost 4-0 at Tottenham. Rodgers was forced to bring in Daniel Amartey and Hamza Choudhury for the injured Jonny Evans and Harvey Barnes from the side that went down 3-1 to Arsenal, while Luke Thomas was dropped for Nampalys Mendy.
Choudhury was the culprit who allowed Burnley an ideal start. The midfielder will not wish to see a replay of his pass straight to a lurking Matej Vydra outside his area. The striker swooped past Wilfred Ndidi and smashed home for a Clarets lead only four minutes in.
Dyche’s team had already put on pressure with two Dwight McNeil free-kicks in quick succession. Each of these was from the left: the first headed over by Ben Mee, the second hit into Kasper Schmeichel’s hands.
Rodgers may have been nonplussed at how the Foxes had conceded but their response was bright. Youri Tielemans soon had a couple of corners. The opener came back to him and he made for the penalty area, where Charlie Taylor seemed to push the No 8 over but the referee, Andy Madley, ruled no penalty. No equaliser came from the second corner, either, but Choudhury was cursing his luck at how it was won in the first place: his shot into the turf was beating Nick Pope before the goalkeeper flung out fingertips and flicked the ball over.
The next act had Leicester skating upfield and Jamie Vardy – who was largely starved of opportunity throughout – peeling left to collect. His pass was clever, played into space behind Burnley, but Kelechi Iheanacho did not share the centre-forward’s vision.
Leicester were hardly performing like the division’s third-placed side. When James Tarkowski mis-hit a clearance for a corner this was a rare Foxes foray near goal. Tielemans’s delivery – cleared with ease – was indicative of their stuttering display before a classy move and strike revived them. Ndidi found the clever run of Iheanacho with a pinpoint chip and when the ball dropped over his shoulder the forward’s volley was purely struck, allowing Pope no chance: a supreme finish.
Also outstanding were how Schmeichel pounced to his left to keep Tarkowski’s towering header out a little later, and Pope when beating away a Tielemans shot on an angle as the half ended level.
It was becoming a tale of goalkeeping feats – particularly from Schmeichel. He dived left to parry a Wood header, then to his right to repel the same player’s deflected shot. At this juncture Burnley again seemed more likely to score, with Leicester devoid of ideas.
Yet this was also true of the contest as it meandered into its closing phase. Rather than a free-flowing move, the match might have turned on a moment of individual magic akin to Iheanacho’s – as when Ashley Westwood flicked the ball up and hit a volley that skidded past Schmeichel but not his right post, rebounding to safety.
At the end Tielemans hit Pope’s right post via a Jack Cork deflection but a draw felt fair.
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