Southampton held Leicester to a draw despite playing more than 80 minutes with 10 men to frustrate the Foxes in their push to clinch a top-four finish.
Jannick Vestergaard was controversially sent off after just 10 minutes when his tackle on Jamie Vardy was deemed to have denied the Leicester striker a goal-scoring opportunity.
Vestergaard, on the edge of his box and the last defender, got the ball with a lunging tackle but referee Robert Jones deemed his follow-through on to Vardy’s ankle had prevented the striker running in on goal.
That decision set the game’s pattern, Leicester probing while Southampton defended deep, but it was the Saints who took the lead in the 61st minute.
James Ward-Prowse scored from the penalty spot after Kelechi Iheanacho had blocked Stuart Armstrong’s effort with his arm raised up by his head.
Jonny Evans headed in Iheanacho’s cross eight minutes later for the equaliser but under near-constant pressure Southampton’s defence held firm.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy brilliantly denied Vardy with his right boot from close range in the final 10 minutes.
The point takes Leicester eight points clear of fifth-placed West Ham having played a game more but they have a difficult end of the season to come.
Southampton edge 10 points clear of the relegation zone as they close in on guaranteeing their safety.
Leicester frustrated on south coast
The point takes Leicester closer to their goal of securing Champions League football next season but, having played against 10 men for so long, they should have ended the night with a 10-point cushion over fifth place.
Wilfried Ndidi dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box and Iheanacho came agonisingly close to meeting Marc Albrighton’s cross in the closing stages.
Before Evans’ equaliser, however, they had had created little despite dominating possession.
With Southampton in a defensive mindset visiting manager Brendan Rodgers replaced defender Wesley Fofana with forward Ayoze Perez at half-time but many of his side’s 22 shots came from long distance.
It was Iheanacho, who has been Leicester’s star in attack with 12 goals in nine games, who foolishly closed down Armstrong’s shot with his arm raised for Southampton’s penalty. He did at least redeem himself with a fine left-footed cross for Evans’ equaliser.
Leicester are still in a fantastic position for a top-four finish but their slump at the end of last season, plus the fact they have trips to Manchester United and Chelsea to come as well as a game against Tottenham on the final day, means Champions League qualification is not yet certain.
More to follow.
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- 4VestergaardBooked at 10mins
- 19MinaminoBooked at 50minsSubstituted forDialloat 76′minutes
- 23TellaSubstituted forSalisuat 15′minutes
- 10AdamsSubstituted forN’Lunduluat 90+1′minutes
- 3FofanaSubstituted forPÃ©rezat 45′minutes
- 33ThomasSubstituted forAlbrightonat 69′minutes
- 21Ricardo Pereira
Match ends, Southampton 1, Leicester City 1.
Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Leicester City 1.
Foul by Ayoze PÃ©rez (Leicester City).
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Southampton. Daniel N’Lundulu replaces Che Adams.
Attempt missed. Timothy Castagne (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Youri Tielemans with a cross.
Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.
Attempt missed. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.
Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.
Offside, Leicester City. Youri Tielemans tries a through ball, but Jonny Evans is caught offside.
Ayoze PÃ©rez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Southampton).
Attempt missed. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt blocked. Ayoze PÃ©rez (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.
Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Maddison.
Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ãaglar SÃ¶yÃ¼ncÃ¼ with a cross.
Substitution, Southampton. Ibrahima Diallo replaces Takumi Minamino.