Leicester forward Leonardo Ulloa scored a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to rescue a 2-2 draw for the Premier League leaders against West Ham after top-scorer Jamie Vardy was sent off on Sunday.
And by avoiding a first loss in two months, Leicester extended its lead to eight points ahead of second-place Tottenham playing at Stoke on Monday.
“We showed again our team spirit and togetherness,” Leicester defender Danny Simpson said. “We know we always fight to the death and that’s what we did.”
Leicester had been on a serene march to a first league title in its 132-year history until this game of divisive refereeing and late drama.
The result swung on three penalty calls, with the first not given by referee Jonathan Moss in the 54th minute when Vardy was adjudged to have dived and the striker was shown a second yellow card.
Vardy had already contributed his 22nd goal of the campaign in the first half. Leicester clung on for more than 30 minutes to protect its lead until the 84th minute when Andy Carroll netted from the spot after home captain Wes Morgan shoved Winston Reid over.
It was the first goal Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had conceded in 574 minutes and he was beaten again two minutes later. Aaron Cresswell appeared to have ended Leicester’s seven-match unbeaten streak when he put sixth-place West Ham in front by striking into the top corner.
But deep in stoppage time came a lifeline for Leicester when Moss this time awarded the hosts a penalty. Carroll shoved Jeffrey Schlupp off the ball and substitute Ulloa converted from the spot for his fourth goal of the season.
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