Leicester spurned the possibility to re-establish a 10-point lead on the prime of the Championship as Ipswich struck a late leveller to earn a 1-1 draw on Monday night time.
Leif Davis’ unlucky personal purpose after simply over half an hour had put the Foxes heading in the right direction to place final weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Coventry behind them.
However after Massimo Luongo’s dipping strike was solely parried by Mads Hermansen, Jeremy Sarmiento pounced to tuck residence the dear equaliser with 89 minutes on the clock.
That ensured the pair – who’ve virtually solely occupied the highest two spots all through the marketing campaign –
couldn’t be separated once more, less than a month after a 1-1 draw at Portman Road, when Sam Morsy haunted the Foxes with a 93rd-minute equaliser.
Leicester stay seven factors clear on the prime of the pile, however solely seven factors away from the Tractor Boys, who climb again above Southampton into second.
How Ipswich rescued a draw from the jaws of defeat
Leicester won’t have had supervisor Enzo Maresca within the dugout – owing to the Italian’s touchline ban for gathering a 3rd yellow card of the season in opposition to Coventry – however his absence made little distinction to start out with; the Foxes had been as dominant as ever from the off.
Whereas Ipswich barely had the time or area to trend an assault, Leicester asserted themselves and – 5 minutes after Hamza Choudhury examined the water with a strong strike that Vaclav Hladky dived to push away – they took the lead.
Stephy Mavididi stretched to regulate a ball, performed a neat one-two with Ricardo Pereira after which laid the ball throughout the six-yard field, the place a contact from the gloves of Hladky pushed the ball into Davis’ path. He couldn’t react rapidly sufficient to stop the ball touching his leg and crossing the road.
No matter McKenna stated to his gamers on the break appeared to work. Hermansen needed to be alert to tip Wes Burns’ connection on a bouncing ball over and Conor Chaplin even tried a diving header; there was simply one thing about their strategy that gave the sensation the sport was not carried out.
That concept was bolstered when Hladky raced off his line to bravely smother on the ft of Kasey McAteer, after the ahead had been picked out by Yunus Akgun.
Then got here the second Ipswich had longed for; the second Leicester had dreaded. Luongo hit a dipping strike that Hermansen may solely scramble to push in entrance of him, with Sarmiento reacting rapidly to tuck the ball underneath the Dane to breathe life into the battle for the Championship title.
Maresca: It is a disgrace, however we’re nonetheless entering into the fitting course
Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:
“It is a huge disgrace due to the trouble they put in tonight. I feel we fully deserved to win the sport, nevertheless it’s soccer. I’ve nothing to say concerning the efficiency as a result of the efficiency was superb and, when it comes to ultimate goal and confidence, we’re entering into the fitting course.
“Ipswich are an excellent staff and they’re the place they’re as a result of they’re a great staff. They’ve already labored with one another for a very long time, which is a bonus for them.
“I’ve stated since day one, the Championship could be very lengthy, very tough. It is a race. Generally you might be in entrance, generally you might be behind. An important factor for us is the way in which we carry out, which has been superb.”
Promotion not on McKenna’s thoughts with 18 video games to play
Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna:
“It is a huge step for this group of gamers to come back to a staff like this – and it seemed like that within the first half, to be trustworthy. We had a great chat at half-time, we knew we had a degree to go and we did that from the primary minute within the second half. I believed it was a significantly better sport and we had greater than sufficient good probabilities to get one thing from the sport.
“We discover it simple [to focus on ourselves], to be trustworthy. I do know, externally, there may be that noise, however I’ve stated it earlier than, it is not a problem for us. The massive majority of this group had been in an enormous title race in League One final yr. That was our strategy final yr, we by no means actually spoke concerning the league or factors.
“There are nonetheless 18 video games to go after tonight. It is a lot too early to fret about what different groups are doing. It is the journey that we’re on. For us, it would stay about making an attempt to carry out, making an attempt to enhance.”
Each side are subsequent in motion on Saturday January 27, within the fourth spherical of the FA Cup.
Ipswich host Maidstone United of the Nationwide League South at 12.30pm, earlier than Leicester tackle Birmingham on the King Energy at 3pm.