Leicester held by Spartak as Vardy pen saved

Leicester were held to a 1-1 draw by Spartak Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday, with Jamie Vardy seeing a second-half penalty saved.

The reverse fixture in Moscow a fortnight ago was a thrilling 4-3 away victory for the Foxes, but the return leg was a much quieter affair.

Leicester saw the better of the ball throughout the first half but struggled to create chances. Boubakary Soumare rattled the post with a stunning curled effort in the pick of the efforts.

But the second half was far more lively as Spartak took a shock lead inside five minutes. Former Chelsea defender Victor Moses (51) turned home Mikhail Ignatov’s well-placed cross with the visitors’ only shot on target.

Seven minutes later though and Leicester were level as Daniel Amartey (58) powered a header into the bottom corner. The Foxes were then handed a golden chance to take the lead later in the half, but Vardy’s penalty was saved well by Aleksandr Selikhov.

It will feel like two points dropped for Leicester, who had the possession and second-half chances to see off Spartak. It leaves them with just one Europa League victory this season, sitting third in Group C on five points with the top two – Legia Warsaw and Napoli – to come in their final two games.

Spartak remain bottom with four points, with qualification still up for grabs for all four teams in a tight group.

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Foxes frustrated by Spartak

Victor Moses nodded Spartak Moscow ahead early in the second half

Leicester started well and Amartey skidded a shot wide while Iheanacho’s early sighter was easily dealt with by Selikhov.

It was promising from the Foxes, but they needed to be patient, especially when Soumare came close on 18 minutes, but saw his 25-yard rocket rattle the underside of the bar.

While the Russians defended resolutely, Leicester needed to raise the tempo and a bright Iheanacho run, which ended with a Patson Daka airshot, epitomised their first half.

But the Foxes were left reeling six minutes into the second half when Spartak, previously so toothless, took the lead.

Daniel Amartey’s powerful header drew Leicester level in the second half

Moses started the move, lifting the ball to Ruslan Litvinov before barrelling into the area and was left unforgivably unmarked to glance in Ignatov’s fine cross.

How the former Chelsea man, who spent time on loan under Rodgers at Liverpool, was able to burst into the area unchecked was another reminder why the Foxes have kept just one clean sheet since the opening day.

But they were behind for just seven minutes as Amartey headed in after Ayoze Perez flicked on Ryan Bertrand’s corner.

Buoyed, Leicester went in search of a second and Selikhov tipped over Youri Tielemans’ dipping cross.

Jamie Vardy has his penalty saved by Aleksandr Selikhov

Vardy was then summoned from the bench with 20 minutes left and, five minutes later, blew the golden chance when Moses sent Ademola Lookman tumbling in the box. It would have been an instant impact but the striker’s penalty was poor and Selikhov pushed it away.

There was still plenty of time for Iheanacho to hit the post from four yards when he blocked Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s goalbound header as the Foxes failed to find a winner.

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Daniel Amartey celebrates his equaliser with Timothy Castagne

After keeping a clean sheet in their opening two games of the season in all competitions, Leicester have kept just one shutout in their last 15 matches, conceding at least once in each of their last nine.All three of Daniel Amartey’s goals for Leicester in all competitions have been headers, with Thursday night’s equaliser his first strike for the club at the King Power Stadium.Victor Moses’ opener for Spartak Moscow was the Nigerian’s first goal in European competition (excluding qualifiers) in 3,108 days, since netting for Chelsea against Basel in May 2013.

What’s next?

Leicester’s next game comes at Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday; kick-off at 2pm. Their final two Europa League group games see Leicester host Legia Warsaw on November 25 before a final showdown away to Napoli on December 9 in what could prove to be a group decider.

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