Leicester 1-1 Norwich: Foxes fall further behind Liverpool with draw

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Jamie Vardy played a key role in Leicester's goal

Leicester were dealt a huge blow in the Premier League title race as they were held to a draw by a battling Norwich at King Power Stadium.

The Foxes, who remain second, now lie 10 points behind league leaders Liverpool, following their hard-fought win over Watford in Saturday's early game.

Norwich, who were impressive, deservedly took the lead when Teemu Pukki slotted home after being sent through by Emiliano Buendia.

But their lead only lasted 12 minutes as Leicester equalised when Jamie Vardy's bullet header was turned into the net by Norwich keeper Tim Krul.

Both sides pressed for a winner in an entertaining second half, with Vardy twice going close, but neither side could find a way through.

The point sees Norwich close the gap on Aston Villa and Southampton, who play in Saturday's late game, to three points but they remain 19th.

Foxes frustrated by resolute Canaries

Having reached a club-record eight consecutive Premier League wins last week with victory over Aston Villa, the Foxes had the chance to equal their club record for wins in all competitions against the Canaries (10).

However, they failed to produce neither the result nor the performance that had seen them sweep aside the likes of Villa, Watford and Brighton in weeks gone by.

Of course there were chances for Brendan Rodgers' side to win it but the ruthless touch they have displayed throughout 2019-20 eluded them.

James Maddison was bright as usual, as was Youri Tielemans, but neither of them were able to prise open a resolute Norwich backline; Wilfred Ndidi should have twice done better with free headers from Maddison deliveries.

Vardy, who had found the net in his previous eight league games, was expertly denied by Krul late on while the former England man could only find the woodwork after rounding the Canaries keeper early in the second half.

And while he may have thought he'd kept his impressive run of scoring going in the first half when his header was deflected in by Krul, his run of goals was ultimately ended by one of the Premier League's leakiest defence.

Where does this leave Leicester's title charge?

The Foxes were flying coming into this game.

They had won their last eight league games, nine including the Carabao Cup victory over Burton Albion, and they had overtaken reigning champions Manchester City as Liverpool's chief rivals in the Premier League title race.

But despite having picked up 25 of the last 28 points on offer to them, they sit 10 points adrift of the league leaders.

And while they still have the division's best defensive record, there are sterner tests to come.

Namely, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City next weekend.

If Rodgers' side are beaten at the Etihad their chances of replicating their stunning 2015-16 title-winning campaign are surely almost all but diminished.

However, if they can pick themselves up after this setback and pull off an unlikely victory against the reigning champions their confidence will go through the roof ahead of a massive Boxing Day clash with Liverpool.

Struggling Norwich show up again

Norwich have already lost to fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton, Watford and West Ham this season, preferring, it seems, to save their best performances for the big games.

Having taken points off Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton, they continued the trend at Leicester and produced a fine performance against the division's in-form side.

They played with confidence throughout and, while there were a few nervy moments at the back, they threatened the Foxes' goal consistently.

Even after Pukki had scored with a nerveless finish, he continued to find himself in space behind the Leicester backline and he could well have netted again had it not been for excellent defending from Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira, who both produced potentially goal-saving blocks.

Meanwhile, Todd Cantwell shone on his return to the side, playing with a real swagger, while Buendia impressed with his ball-playing ability.

However, despite this confidence-boosting result the Canaries still sit in the relegation zone as we near the midway point in the season, illustrating that they have not been able to produce performances like this one consistently enough.

More to follow.

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