LEICESTER CITY could only manage a 1-1 draw in their top-of-the-table clash with Burnley, despite being on top for large portions of the game.
David Nugent put the Foxes in front from the penalty spot for his 11th goal of the season, after Jamie Vardy was fouled by Burnley captain Jason Shackell.
In-form forward Danny Ings brought the visitors level at the start of the second half, and although both teams had plenty of opportunities in an up-tempo final period, neither could net the all-important winner.
Leicester had made four changes to the side that suffered a 3-1 defeat at Brighton last weekend, and the home side looked much improved for it, although they will be frustrated that they were unable to convert their numerous goal opportunities.
Meanwhile, promotion rivals Burnley had won just one of their last seven games going into the match – a 1-0 victory over Barnsley seven days ago.
Early on, Lloyd Dyer was afforded huge space on the left-hand side and produced a couple of early scares, being narrowly thwarted in the box twice in quick succession after linking up well with David Nugent.
The Foxes came close again when Anthony Knockaert hammered a half-hearted clearance at goal, gathered in panic by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton.
Leicester’s dominance paid dividends after 14 minutes when Jason Shackell brought down Jamie Vardy in the box, resulting in a penalty. David Nugent, no stranger to scoring from the spot this season, smashed the ball into the back of the net with ease to make it 1-0.
The hosts continued to hold the lion’s share of possession and territory and Nugent, formerly of the Clarets, was inches from his second goal shortly before the half-hour, mark when his header from Dyer’s short cross was saved on the line.
Burnley struggled to create many opportunities in the first half, with Championship-leading strike partnership Danny Ings and Sam Vokes well contained by Leicester City’s defence. Ritchie de Laet in particular, who had only just returned from a shin injury, proved a formidable force in the home side’s back four.
Shortly before half-time, Jamie Vardy, standing in for the injured Chris Wood, sent a thunderous shot just wide after being played in on the right by Nugent. This attempt was mirrored at the other end moments later when Ings’ effort beat Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel but fizzed beyond the far post.
While the Foxes were clearly the dominant team in the first period, Burnley were eager to respond and they made their presence known just two minutes after play resumed. David Jones whipped in a cross that evaded the Leicester defence, allowing Danny Ings to creep in and fire the ball into the bottom-left corner for the 1-1 equaliser.
The Clarets had clearly benefited from the break, suddenly playing with renewed intent and ambition, and producing more chances in five minutes than they had the entire previous half. The visitors could have easily taken the lead when a poor back pass from Ritchie de Laet played Sam Vokes through on goal, but he was denied by an outstanding save from Schmeichel.
With both teams now looking threatening in attack, the tempo of the match increased, with the run of play moving from one end of the pitch to the other at a blistering pace. Anthony Knockaert’s nimble footwork helped to put David Nugent in a goal-scoring position, but his attempted volley flew well over the crossbar.
Jamie Vardy was also a major threat in Leicester City’s offence, having shaken off a big knock he sustained in the first half. He tried to guide home Lloyd Dyer’s cross from the left with a header but was barely off-target.
The Foxes began to assert their early dominance again in the final 10 minutes and kept pressing for the winning goal, with replacement striker Jeff Schlupp going close, but it was to no avail, and the game ended level.
The closely-contested draw sees Leicester remain in third place, two points ahead of Derby County, while the dropped points saw Burnley lose their top spot to Queens Park Rangers, who won away at Blackpool.
After the match, Leicester manager Nigel Pearson lamented that his side could not secure the three points. He said: “We were excellent in the first half and at the end of the second half. All in all, I still think it was a game we should have won.
“Having said that we were playing against a very good side with good resilience and I’m sure they are pleased with the result and they might think with the misplaced back pass they could have gone on and done better.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: “I’m pleased with a point. In fairness, Leicester started very well. They delivered one or two very good chances, so they will be disappointed they didn’t put them away, but I think we defended resolutely.”
“We weren’t really at our best with the ball and obviously, the first goal came with us giving the ball away in a poor situation, which is not like us.”