Leicester 1 Burnley 1
DANNY Ings struck again as the Clarets kept Leicester at arms-length in a thrilling top of the table clash.
The Clarets striker slotted home his 16th goal of the campaign 90 seconds into the second half to cancel out David Nugent’s early penalty for the Foxes.
It has been a nervy first half by Burnley, who were forced onto the back foot for long periods by a City team desperate to bounce back from successive away defeats.
But Burnley were much brighter after the break and in an end-to-end half it was Sean Dyche’s side who would have been happier with another valuable point to underline their status as leaders.
The Clarets were boosted by the return of midfielder Dean Marney, back in the squad for the first time in over a month and replacing Brian Stock in the only change to the side that beat Barnsley last weekend.
But with Leicester fired by defeats at Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday, it was the hosts who sprung from the blocks to make all the early running.
Kieran Trippier made a sensational double block within two minutes to deny Lloyd Dyer and as the early onslaught continued, Tom Heaton was perfectly placed to save Anthony Knockaert’s stinging 20-yard effort
But it took just 14 minutes for the opening goal to arrive. The Clarets conceded possession and as Luke Vardy was slipped in, Ben Mee was adjudged to have nudged the City striker in the back.
And, predictably, ex-Claret Nugent made no mistake as he stroked home his seventh and the Foxes 10th penalty of the season!
It was no more than Leicester deserved, but Burnley slowly began to settle and from their first opening of the game in the 26th minute they came close to snatching an equaliser.
Trippier drilled over a right wing cross and Ings’ flick header beat Kasper Schmeichel but bobbled off the foot of the upright and out to safety.
The Clarets though would have perhaps been glad to get to the sanctuary of the dressing room just a goal down.
But City could – and probably should – have put daylight between themselves and the Clarets four minutes from half time.
Nugent looked offside as he slipped the ball square to strike partner Vardy, who shuffled across the box, fired wide and sunk to his knees as he looked to cut the ball back across Heaton.
Back came Burnley and in stoppage time, following Trippier’s blocked free kick, the full back found Ings, who swivelled and fired across Schmeichel but wide.
The Clarets needed a bright start to the second half – and it came within 90 seconds!
Kightly fed Trippier for a low cross that evaded everyone and fell invitingly for Ings to control and slot home the equaliser.
Suddenly the Clarets were on the front foot - and but for Schmeichel they would have been ahead within right minutes of the restart.
Vokes was perfectly placed as he loitered as the last man to intercept a poor back pass and went for placement, but the big Dane made a great one-handed save to keep the Foxes in the hunt.
Now it was Burnley causing panic in the City ranks and after Vokes had an appeal for a hand ball denied as he tried to dink the last man, the resulting corner brought another appeal for a spot kick.
The contact on Kightly, as he eyed a dropping ball, looked similar to the penalty awarded to Leicester in the opening half, but this time referee Andy D’Urso was unimpressed.
However, City were not done yet and with 13 minutes left they again carved out a clear chance.
Lloyd Dyer’s pace took him past Trippier and from his clipped cut-back Vardy stooped to head wide of the far post from six yards out.
There was more late pressure for Burnley to soak up as City ploughed forward in search of a winner.
But this Clarets defence is made of stern stuff - and Heaton’s smart parry from Dyer’s deflected cross assured the Clarets of a precious point.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly (Treacy 71), Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Vokes.
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Stock, Long, Edgar, Stanislas.
Booked: Marney 82
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Wasilewski 70), Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Dyer, Nugent (Taylor-Fletcher 70), Vardy (Schlupp 84).
Subs: Hammond, King, Miquel, Logan.
Booked: De Laet 29
Ref: A D'Urso
Att: 23,143 (840)