Leonardo Ulloa rescues 10-man Leicester City in controversial 2-2 draw against West Ham
Leicester: Leicester's Premier League title challenge was plunged into chaos as Leonardo Ulloa rescued a dramatic 2-2 draw against West Ham after Jamie Vardy was controversially sent off yesterday.
Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during EPL match vs West Ham United at King Power Stadium in Leicester yesterday. Pic/AFP
Claudio Ranieri's leaders looked destined for a damaging defeat at the King Power Stadium after late goals from Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell put the Hammers ahead following Vardy's dismissal for diving.
Referee Jonathan Moss's decision to give Vardy, who had opened the scoring in the first half, a second booking incensed the Leicester fans and they were even more irate when he awarded West Ham the penalty that Carroll converted to equalise.
But with just seconds remaining, Moss made another crucial decision and this time it went Leicester's way as he gave a soft penalty that substitute Ulloa drilled home to leave the Foxes eight points clear of second placed Tottenham.
It summed up the astonishing nature of the finale that Moss was still booed off despite his late gift to Leicester, whose lead at the top will be cut to five points with four games remaining if Tottenham win at Stoke today.
Vardy out of next game
Vardy's suspension next week against Swansea just adds another twist to an incredible title race.
Right from the opening minutes it was clear Leicester's astonishing march towards the title was about to become even more enthralling.
When Cheikhou Kouyate met Dimitri Payet's free-kick with a powerful header, a goal seemed certain, yet Kasper Schmeichel somehow got a fingertip on the ball to push it onto a post.
Leicester embarked on a blistering counter to take the lead in the 18th minute.
Vardy, took one touch just inside the penalty area before driving into the far corner for his 22nd league goal.
But for virtually the first time all season, Leicester's fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 56th minute when Moss gave Vardy a second booking for diving much to the disbelief of the forward.
They seemed to have weathered the storm until the 83rd minute when Moss once again took centre stage.
As they contested a corner, captain Wes Morgan needlessly bundled over Winston Reid and Moss pointed to the spot for a penalty that substitute Carroll crashed by Schmeichel.
After spending the afternoon as public enemy number one to the Leicester fans, Moss atoned for his perceived mistakes in stoppage-time.
He awarded a soft penalty for Carroll's challenge on Leicester midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp and Ulloa held his nerve to rifle home the spot-kick.