Peter Crouch came off the bench to rescue a point for Stoke City in their massively entertaining 2-2 Premier League draw with Leicester at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
Stoke City 2 Leicester City 2
Iborra opens the scoring on 33′
Shaqiri levels on 39′
Mahrez scores with 60′ played
Crouch comes on to level on 73′
Vicente Iborra’s 33rd minute goal was quickly cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri, and while Riyad Mahrez restored Leicester’s lead, Crouch headed home a powerful equaliser for a share of the spoils.
Leicester started with the ball at their feet and Stoke seemingly content to sit back and soak up the early pressure.
A long ball forward from Kevin Wimmer was cut out by the Foxes to spark their first counter-attack, but after Jamie Vardy broke forward, his low cross to Demarai Gray into the box was smashed behind for a corner.
Ryan Shawcross made a great block to deny Vardy from opening the scoring on 11 minutes as he connected to a good Gray cross.
Xherdan Shaqiri, meanwhile, pulled his 14 minute shot past the target when he had options in the box before Mahrez could only hit the wall with his 20th minute free-kick.
Shinji Okazaki came close moments later as the lively Gray floated in a ball to his teammate that was cut out by the on-rushing Jack Butland.
Ramadan Sobhi set Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting on goal but after beating Harry Maguire, Leicester stop Kasper Schmeichel kept out his 28th minute effort.
While there were chances for both sides, it was Iborra who scored first for the Foxes with 33 minutes played, as he fired past Butland from close range after Maguire’s header from a Mahrez corner was blocked and landed at the feet of the goalscorer.
Kurt Zouma denied Mahrez from sliding in Vardy before Butland was forced to tip an Okazaki header over his goal. And two minutes after Iborra headed over when unmarked in the box, Shaqiri levelled for Stoke, on 39 minutes, with an excellent curling shot after being released by Choupo-Moting.
Mame Biram Diouf was relieved not to have sliced the ball into his own goal as the half drew to close, that ended with Schmeichel making another good save from a Shaqiri effort.
Schmeichel was busy at the start of the second half, making a smart stop from a deflected Joe Allen shot.
Butland somehow kept out a 25 yard drive from Mahrez on 50 minutes before some more good approach play form the playmaker saw his drilled effort fly inches wide.
Schmeichel was equal to a Shawcross header on 59 minutes, and the saved proved crucial as Mahrez put Leicester ahead after cutting in from the right and beating Butland through a host of defenders.
Peter Crouch was brought on in place of Sobhi as Stoke looked to respond, and while Leicester substitute Kelechi Iheanacho went close, Crouch buried his chance after just five minutes on the pitch as he beat Christian Fuchs to power past a despairing Schmeichel.
Vardy was again off target, when he at least should have tested the keeper, before Iheanacho was ruled to be offside as he poked home following a deflected Mahrez shot.
Despite both sides fighting until the very last, it was a point apiece from a very entertaining game.