Sports Desk, Apr 30 (EFE).- Southampton were down a man for all but the first 10 minutes of Friday’s Premier League match against Leicester City, yet they managed to eke out a 1-1 draw that left the 14th-place Saints 11 points above the drop zone.
The Foxes, meanwhile, will hope that they don’t have cause to look back on the dropped points as the reason they miss out on a top four finish.
They are currently third in the table with 63 points, 5 more than fourth-place Chelsea and 8 better than West Ham United in the fifth spot.
Leicester took all 9 points from their last three visits to St. Mary’s, yet the hosts thought they had grabbed the early lead when Kyle Walker-Peters put the ball past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 2nd minute.
But the offside flag went up.
Schmeichel dealt easily with an effort from Nathan Tella two minutes before the game was turned on its head with the expulsion of Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard for a challenge on Jamie Vardy.
Though Vestergaard got the ball, the referee and the VAR official concluded he deserved a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
The last time Southampton went down to 10 at St. Mary’s against Leicester scenario was on Oct. 25, 2019, a day that saw the Foxes pound the Saints 9-0 to set a record for away margin of victory by any team in the history of top-flight soccer in England.
As if to show that this occasion would be different, Nathan Redmond forced a save from Schmeichel in the 17th minute.
Leicester began to dominate – they would end the match with 71 percent possession – and Youri Tielemans tested Saints keeper Alex McCarthy in the 37th minute.
James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho also threatened for the visitors, but the teams went to the dressing rooms level at 0-0.
The match clock was approaching an hour when Southampton got a break in the form of a penalty after Iheanacho used his arm to block a shot from Stuart Armstrong.
Saints captain James Ward-Prowse converted to give his team the 1-0 lead.
The Foxes pushed hard for the equalizer and McCarthy needed to be sharp to tip Ayoze Perez’s strike over the cross-bar. But Jonny Evans made it 1-1 with a goal on the ensuing corner, beating the Southampton keeper with a header from close range.
McCarthy went on to deny Vardy and Iheanacho and Leicester’s Timothy Castagne missed the mark on a good opportunity in stoppage time. EFE