Leeds 1-1 Leicester: Vardy’s first league goal in six months cancels out Sinisterra opener

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Leeds 1-1 Leicester: Jamie Vardy celebrates his goal

Jamie Vardy scored his first Premier League goal since October to help Leicester avoid a disastrous defeat at relegation rivals Leeds.

Luis Sinisterra headed Leeds into an interval lead but Leicester were rewarded for their second-half pressure when substitute Vardy fired them level with 10 minutes left.

Patrick Bamford spurned a golden chance to snatch victory for Leeds in the final minute as he missed from a yard out at the back post and that could prove costly for the Yorkshire club come the end of the season.

Leeds remain 16th in the table, one point and a place above 17th-placed Leicester, who stay one point above the bottom three – who all have six games to play to Leeds and Leicester’s five.

Leicester were celebrating in the seventh minute when Youri Tielemans crashed a 25-yard shot into the top corner, but his effort was ruled out after VAR adjudged Boubakary Soumare to have been offside.

Leeds fans celebrated that decision as if their side had scored a goal before hush descended again when James Maddison was inches away from connecting with Kelechi Iheanacho’s cross.

Leeds had made an encouraging start themselves without creating a clear-cut chance until the 20th minute, when they took the lead with their first effort on target.

Jack Harrison tricked his way into space on the right and his brilliant cross to the far post picked out Sinisterra, who scored his fifth league goal of the season with an emphatic downward header.

Sinisterra was replaced by Crysencio Summerville after limping off in the 32nd minute and a tetchy first half – Leeds pair Luke Ayling and Rodrigo were both booked – concluded without further goalmouth incident.

With so much at stake for two struggling sides, it was not a night for pretty football but both were showing plenty of fight.

Patrick Bamford’s shot was blocked by Caglar Soyuncu early in the second period and Rodrigo almost wriggled clear in the box, but Leicester then had their best spell.

The Foxes pushed Leeds on to the back foot. Marc Roca and then Liam Cooper were both booked for the home side – the latter for a desperate challenge on Iheanacho on the edge of the box.

Leicester pair Soumare and Tielemans were also shown yellow cards but the visitors began to build momentum, with Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier twice denying Iheanacho to preserve his side’s slender lead.

The visitors’ pressure told in the 80th minute. Cooper held up Iheanacho on the edge of the box but the ball broke to Maddison and he slipped in Vardy, who converted into the bottom corner.

Vardy had another effort soon after ruled out by VAR for offside as the Foxes went in for the kill, but it was Leeds who almost snatched the win.

Marc Roca’s flick-on from a last-minute corner forced Leicester goalkeeper Daniel Iversen into a brilliant save before Victor Kristiansen booted the ball off the goal-line.

Bamford then somehow blazed wide from the subsequent corner after the ball had fallen for him at the back post and the points were shared.

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