Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has praised his team’s “heart” after a late penalty secured a 2-2 draw with West Ham at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
The Foxes went ahead through Jamie Vardy after 18 minutes, but the striker also picked up two yellow cards before Andy Carroll equalised from the penalty spot in the 84th minute.
Aaron Cresswell looked to have won it for the Hammers when he found the net just two minutes later, in the 86th minute, but the title chasers were awarded a 95th-minute penalty that Leonardo Ulloa tucked away to rescue a point.
“I’m very, very pleased,” Ranieri told his club’s official website. “We were playing normally, we scored a goal and we created a great chance at the beginning of the second half but after the sending off of Jamie Vardy, it changed totally our match.
“Then I can speak only about our heart because our players pushed so strong. They wanted to draw the match. Our fans behind us, thank you to the fans and the players. Fantastic.
“Now we are happy but during the match of course we were unhappy. It’s important to maintain always the right calm and right spirit.”
The result leaves Leicester eight points clear at the top of the Premier League standings, but second-placed Tottenham can reduce that to five if they win their match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Monday.
“Never I look at the gap, never I look at the opponent,” Ranieri insisted. “I just want my teams to play with heart and soul. When they give everything on the pitch I am so, so proud.”