Leonardo Ulloa’s injury-time penalty rescued a point for Leicester in a controversial encounter with West Ham as the Foxes went eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Jamie Vardy’s crisp finish from a lightning break gave Leicester the lead on 18 minutes – but he was then sent off after getting a second yellow card for diving when he tangled with Angelo Ogbonna early in the second half.
Referee Jon Moss made himself even more unpopular when he awarded West Ham a penalty with six minutes left. There had been pushing and pulling in both penalty areas but he decided to punish Wes Morgan for pulling back Winston Reid at a corner.
Substitute Andy Carroll slotted home the penalty and Aaron Cresswell looked to have opened the door to Leicester’s title rivals Spurs with a stunning left-footed finish two minutes later.
As the game went into injury time, Moss produced another controversial decision when he pointed to the spot once more after Carroll made the merest contact with Jeff Schlupp.
West Ham clearly felt Moss had evened things up after earlier decisions in their favour, but Ulloa was not concerned as he took the chance to secure what might yet be a vital point – although Leicester will be without Vardy for next weekend’s home game with Swansea.
Leicester’s fans celebrated at the end before turning their anger on referee Moss – although it was his very questionable decision that allowed them to earn that point at the end.
Psychologically, this point could be vital because a loss might just have produced a few doubts and given Spurs just a little more wiggle room going into their game at Stoke on Monday.
It means Leicester’s last Premier League defeat is still that last-minute loss at Arsenal on Valentine’s Day and their spirits will be lifted by the manner in which they earned a point when it seemed certain they would end up empty-handed.
The facts you need to know
- Leicester have won (11) and scored (9) more penalties than any other Premier League team this season.
- Leicester scored with both of their shots on target.
- West Ham were awarded their first Premier League penalty on the road since October 2010.
- Vardy is only the second Leicester player to score and be sent off in the same league game (David Lowe v Wimbledon in 1994 is the other).
- Vardy has scored the opening goal in 11 Premier League games this season – more than any other player.
- Vardy has had a hand in more Premier League goals this season than any other player (22 goals, 6 assists).