Leicester City squander chance to tie Spurs, Liverpool on points

Leicester, England, Nov 30 (efe-epa).- Leicester City’s struggles at home continued on Monday in a 2-1 loss to lowly Fulham, a defeat that prevented the Foxes from tying Premier League-leading Tottenham Hotspur and second-place Liverpool on points.

While Brendan Rodgers’ men have proven to be one of the English league’s most formidable visiting sides with their road victories this season over Manchester City (5-2), Arsenal (1-0) and Leeds (4-1), their performance at King Power Stadium has left much to be desired.

That was the case once again on Monday, when Leicester’s huge edge in possession was not reflected on the scoreboard.

Held back by sluggish ball movement, the home side mounted few threats in the final third against a club that came into the contest tied for last in goals allowed (18) through nine matches.

And in one rare golden opportunity for the Foxes in the 19th minute they twice struck the woodwork, with Belgium’s Youri Tielemans first catching the post with a blast from outside the penalty area before French defender Wesley Fofana gathered the rebound and sent a shot off the crossbar.

Eleven minutes later, in the 30th minute, Fulham stunned Leicester with a goal on the counter-attack by Ademola Lookman, who finished off a play orchestrated to perfection by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, a midfielder on loan from Spanish club Villarreal.

That score was the start of a poor stretch for the home side, which dug a big hole for themselves when a fresh counter-attack led by Bobby Decordova-Reid ended with the English-born Jamaican international being brought down inside the box by Austrian left back Christian Fuchs.

A penalty was eventually awarded after a lengthy VAR review for what appeared to be a clear foul; Portuguese forward Ivan Cavaleiro subsequently converted that opportunity in the 38th minute.

Rodgers tried to spark a comeback by inserting a pair of forwards – Turkey’s Cengiz Under and Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho – at the start of the second half.

But those substitutes were unable to create clear goal-scoring chances, and instead the Cottagers nearly stretched their lead to 3-0 in the 74th minute on a shot by Lookman that forced goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to make an outstanding save.

Harvey Barnes eventually pulled one back for Leicester with five minutes remaining in regulation, but the Foxes ran out of time to complete their comeback.

Fulham, who are now in 17th place with seven points, climbed out of the relegation zone by earning just their second win of the 2020-2021 season.

With the loss, Leicester remain in fourth place with 18 points, three points behind Tottenham and defending champion Liverpool and one in back of Chelsea.

They are now just one point ahead of fifth-place West Ham United, who topped Aston Villa 2-1 on Monday at London Stadium for their third straight victory.

Angelo Ogbonna opened the scoring for the Hammers in the second minute when he headed home off a corner kick, while Aston Villa equalized in the 25th minute off a shot from just outside the area by Jack Grealish that ricocheted off the foot of Ogbonna and entered the goal just inside the far post.

West Ham then retook the lead at the start of the second half when Jarrod Bowen, who has been a major contributor all year for the London club, expertly headed home off a pass from Algerian forward Said Benrahma.

Ollie Watkins squandered a penalty chance for the visitors in the 74th minute and then had an apparent goal ruled out for offside in second-half stoppage time.

Aston Villa are currently in 10th place with 15 points. EFE-EPA


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