Ipswich snatch late draw against leaders Leicester

26 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Jannik Vestergaard scored an unfortunate own goal in the 93rd minute as Championship leaders Leicester drew 1-1 at Ipswich.

The second-placed hosts were aiming to respond to their shock 4-0 defeat at Leeds last week and looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats for the first time under Kieran McKenna until their fortunate leveller which keeps them six points behind.

Stephy Mavididi curled a stunning opener past Vaclav Hladky in the 25th minute to put Leicester ahead before Patson Daka had the chance to make it two although was kept out.

Ipswich improved in the second half while Leicester’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was denied a penalty when he was bundled over in the box – but the hosts’ efforts were finally rewarded when Sam Morsy’s long-range shot took two deflections, the second off Vestergaard, on its way in.

How Ipswich earned a point

Samy Morsy's shot hits Ricardo Pereira and then the head of Jannik Vestergaard for Ipswich's equaliser

Image: Sam Morsy’s shot hits Ricardo Pereira and then the head of Jannik Vestergaard for Ipswich’s equaliser

A tight opening 20 minutes led to Ipswich’s George Hirst suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury when he innocuously slipped and he was forced off.

And three minutes later the Foxes took the lead through Mavididi when he found space on the left to curl a shot beyond the reach of Hladky into the bottom right corner of the net.

Daka was then denied by Hladky when played through which proved to be a crucial moment.

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Stephy Mavididi scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the area to put league-leaders Leicester 1-0 up at Ipswich

Vestergaard grazed the roof of the Ipswich net after the break with a header and Conor Chaplin just tried to catch Mads Hermansen off his line with a shot from just inside the Leicester half.

Hermansen then had to dive full length to parry Chaplin’s shot away before the Ipswich forward fired over from inside the penalty area.

Leicester struggled to find their attacking rhythm although did see Dewsbury-Hall barged over in the penalty area following a challenge by Leif Davis but the referee waved play on and Ipswich grabbed a deserved equaliser in the final moments.

Morsy stepped forward and shot from 25 yards which hit Ricardo Pereira and then the head of Vestergaard, wrong-footing Hermansen to end up in the net.

The managers

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Kieran McKenna believed although Ipswich scored a fortunate goal, his side deserved at least a point against Leicester and says they learnt a lot from their draw.

Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna:

“We deserved something from the game. The boys were a credit to themselves and it was a really good game.

“We can be pleased with the performance. The goal came from a fortunate deflection but it was at least the reward we deserved for the performance.

“The important thing was we kept the belief in what’s got us to this point and that’s the pleasing thing about the performance.

“To respond to that in terms of trying to play as brave as possible against a really good team we have a lot of respect for, to stick true to our beliefs that’s what we can be pleased of.”

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Enzo Maresca feels Leicester should have had a clear penalty which could well have sealed three points against Ipswich.

Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:

“In the end, it’s fair. In the second half, we controlled quite well for half an hour, especially the last 10, 15 minutes.

“It’s not easy to play every three days, they are human beings, it’s normal they can drop some things. Overall, I’m very happy with what they did. It’s a shame when you’re so close to three points but at the same time, they are a very good team. It’s not easy to come here and win the game. We were close.”

On possible penalty: “I think it’s so clear. We don’t need to spend any words. Also, their player was already booked (Marcus Harness) and with one man less the game is almost done. Apart from the penalty we had different chances in the first half where we could score and be more clinical.”

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